Tennessee coaches and players finally respond to Gators trash talk
All offseason players from both Tennessee and Florida had to deal with hearing about the hype surrounding the Volunteers as the perceived front-runners to capture the East division in 2016. However, the way both teams reacted to the near consensus speculation could not have been more different.
After deservedly feeling slighted after capturing not only the 2015 East title but the last 11 games in the annual series, Florida seemingly never passed on the opportunity to slight the Vols. Whether it was All-American cornerback Jalen Tabor, safety Quincy Wilson or head coach Jim McElwain, the Gators seemed to always have a Tennessee slight just on the tip of their tongues.
Yet despite all the talk of the rivalry, Tennessee players – taking a cue from head coach Butch Jones – took the high road as much as possible and refused to enter into a war of words with the Gators.
Even leading up to game this week, Jones denied being aware of any Wilson’s guarantee of his “duck pulling a truck” comment. His post-game comments on the field revealed something very different, as Jones broke from his normally stoic nature and actually let loose for a moment.
“The duck is pulling the truck tonight baby,” Jones enthusiastically said to CBS Sports sideline reporter Allie LaForce moments after the game clock struck zero inside Neyland Stadium.
Jones wasn’t the only one to display some bravado after the game, as senior quarterback Joshua Dobbs threw some shade Florida’s way late Saturday evening – while also creatively using both a duck and a truck emojis in his message to Gator Nation:
— Josh Dobbs (@josh_dobbs1) September 25, 2016
Not to be outdone, running back Jalen Hurd got in a shot himself with this Instagram post:
Needless to say, Tennessee heard all the talk from Florida leading up to this game and did the only thing they could do to finally silence the Gators and beat them on the field once and for all.