Published September 15, 2012 - 10:24pmNEW: Follow on facebook -
Here’s a couple of quick thoughts on Florida’s 37-20 win over Tennessee:
What it means: Florida starts conference play 2-0, and Tennessee starts 0-1. We know from history that the loser of this game rarely gets into the SEC Championship game, and the Gators start with two wins in conference play. But the Gators’ offense in particular looked sharp, racking up 555 total yards and scoring 37 points. Florida didn’t score over 27 in the first two weeks this year. Tennessee has to be deflated after this loss, coming in with so much hype. But they have to get better as a team and respond when adversity hits.
What I liked: Florida’s second-half adjustments won the game again, along with the rushing yards. Florida racked up 336 rushing yards to Tennessee’s 83. We knew the team with the best running game would win, and Florida’s ground game took over in the second half. Runs from Trey Burton (80 yards) and Mike Gillislee put the game away late. In addition to the running game, Florida’s defense looked fresher in the second half than Tennessee’s offensive line. Bray was hit on several drop backs late in the game, and Lerentee McCray was a boss all night at DE.
But you cannot say enough about the job Will Muschamp is doing at Florida. He’s becoming a very good coach who makes even better in-game adjustments, and the players are buying into it. This is Muschamp ball.
What I didn’t like: It always seems like when Tennessee hits adversity, they fold. The Vols got down a score 27-20, and they never were able to get anything going on offense. The leaders Tennessee thought it had folded in the second half, with their body language and the way the Vols carried themselves after getting down in the third with plenty of time left in the game to win it. When adversity strikes, the Vols have had no answer in the last few years. I thought this year was different, but it wasn’t tonight.
Who’s the man: Jeff Driskel played with ice water in his veins. He’s so calm and poised under pressure. He finished 14 of 20 for 219 yards and two touchdowns, completing 70 percent of his passes. He also ran eight times for 81 yards.
Key Play: Jeff Driskel’s 75-yard touchdown pass to Frankie Hammond with 9:55 left in the fourth quarter was the nail in the coffin.
What’s next: Florida plays Kentucky next week in the third conference game in a row, and Tennessee hosts Akron.