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Florida is favored to beat Tennessee on Saturday, but if it’s going to earn its fifth-straight win in the rivalry series, it will have to do it without its best player on defense. Starting cornerback Kaiir Elam has been ruled out for the game with a knee injury, as was first reported by the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson.
Elam is one of the nation’s best corners, and he’s projected to be an early first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft. So far this season, he has eight tackles, an interception and three passes defended.
Without Elam available, Jason Marshall Jr. is likely to get the start on the outside opposite Avery Helm, who has started the first three games. Marshall is a true freshman and former five-star recruit, but he has struggled a bit this season. However, he’ll have a big opportunity on Saturday.
The Gators also have Elijah Blades, a late-arriving transfer from Texas A&M who played sparingly in the season opener but hasn’t appeared in the last two games. But with Elam out, look for him to play a bigger role in the outside corner rotation.
Florida takes on the Volunteers at 7 p.m. EDT in the Swamp.
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