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Rapid Reaction: Florida 37, Tennessee 20

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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.





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Comments 7

  1. What was sad for me was that Florida didn’t really try anything tricky or fool anyone. They did exactly what they always do. Strong running game, complimentary pass good, lights out defense. And it wasn’t like Driskel didn’t make mistakes or was untouchable. Tennessee combined bad tackling, with blown coverage, and an offense that went into the game as one of the SEC’s best and out of it deflated and defeated.

  2. Kevin
    Commented : 2 years ago

    Florida is not making mistakes. Driskel is playing very very good. Great win for the Gators.

    • Come on. A couple of those catches were his receivers making a good catch, as opposed to him making the good throw. Plus this was the second week in a row, UF needed a second half surge to win. Driskel is far from perfect, but is getting better.

      • Jon
        Commented : 2 years ago

        Driskel is far from perfect, but he’s the most posed sophomore I’ve seen in quite some time. And he’s getting better every single week. His maturation will make take Florida from a “good team” to an upper tier that can compete with anyone.

        • I won’t lie and say he didn’t look good. He does. But for the second straight week, Florida has struggled in the first half. I like the defense, and I think that Mike Gillislee is the third or fourth best back in the SEC, but Driskel worries me. Like you said he is a sophomore, and I remember last year watching Aaron Murrary one week and think he is going to be the best in the nation next year, and the next wanting to rip my hair out (that really goes with a lot of QBs though). Driskel looks like he will be a good QB, but I want to see a game where the team plays both halves. I guess it isn’t really Driskel I worry about, but the team in general.

        • I works down to this for me, what will happen if UF is playign UGA and UGA going into the half is leading 27-10, which is a reasonable score for what I saw against TAMU and UT. How does UF respond? Georgia plays a good second half too. Teams can’t just play for one half. That is what separates UF from a good team and a great team.

        • @Jecmoore

          It sounds like you are trying to convince yourself.