Ex-Gators QB Austin Appleby says Super Bowl reminded him of loss to Tennessee
When former Florida quarterback Austin Appleby watched this year’s Super Bowl, it brought back some bad memories. Seeing Atlanta’s 28-3 over New England disappear as the Patriots rallied to an improbable 34-28 victory, he was reminded of the Gators’ disastrous second half in Knoxville last season.
Appleby recently spoke to Landon Watnick for Inside the Gators’ “Parting Thoughts” series. In the first installment, he looked back on his experience as a UF graduate transfer and reflected on the game against Tennessee, his first start at Florida. The Gators jumped out to a 21-3 in the first half, but in the second half, the Volunteers grabbed the momentum and outscored UF 35-7 en route to a 38-28 win.
“It felt very similar to what we were watching in the Super Bowl, with the Patriots and Atlanta,” Appleby told ITG. “It was the tale of two halves. Once a team gets rolling, it’s hard to stop them.”
Appleby didn’t win any over Vols fans last fall when he said, “I truly believe that the better team didn’t win on Saturday,” on the Monday following the loss. In “Parting Thoughts,” he does not address who was the better team, but he maintains that Florida’s collapse was not caused by complacency.
“I don’t think we took our foot off the gas, but I think a lot of people said that we got complacent or we got less aggressive. I don’t think that was true,” Appleby said. “I think when you get forced in third down and long, and once momentum gets going that offense started scoring points. Before you can blink, we were down 10 points. Once you’re playing catch-up in the fourth quarter, it’s something that’s hard to turn around.
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