Josh Heupel and the Tennessee Volunteers went into The Swamp on Saturday night and hung tough in the first half.

However, after the intermission, it was all Gators, as Florida cruised to an easy 38-14 victory over an SEC East rival.

The game made it clear how much distance there still is between the Vols and other elite programs. So, how can Tennessee bridge that gap?

Heupel said it comes down to recruiting as much as it does on-the-field stuff (via 247Sports):

“It’s in everything that you do,” Heupel said when asked how Tennessee can close the gap on Florida. “There’s plenty of plays out there for us as coaches and players to close the gap tonight. Got a chance for it to be a tie ballgame going in (to halftime). It’s who we are and how we continue to develop as we build this program. It’s in recruiting, too. We’ve got to continue to grow. We’re in a race against ourselves.

“I said it last week, I said it the week before that: There’s things for us to do that we can be better than what we showed in the second half, in particular.”

The Vols have a great chance to pick up their first SEC win of the Heupel era on Saturday when they head to Columbia to take on a struggling Mizzou squad.