Wow. That was not pleasant. Against Florida, Tennessee was outplayed on both offense and defense. Yes, they played well on special teams, but there weren’t enough of those moments to make a real difference.

Last season the Vols racked up 576 yards of offense against Florida. The time around they had 393 yards, with only 122 of those coming in the 1st half. After the opening 30 minutes, Tennessee found itself trailing 26-7. There were opportunities for Tennessee to make this close in the 2nd half, but their rally fell short.

Where have you gone, Casey Clausen? Vol Nation turns its lonely eyes to you…

Player of the Week: Bru McCoy

The Vols passing game has not been as effective as what we saw a year ago. There have been way too many dropped passes and a lack of emphasis on the deep ball. Against the Gators we finally saw UT take some shots downfield, although some of that happened when the Vols were desperate.

Against Florida, Bru McCoy had probably his best game as a Vol. Tennessee’s 5th year receiver made 5 catches for 94 yards, including a 55-yard TD. He also had a highlight reel hit on a Gators defensive back following a catch.

Freshman of the Week: Arion Carter

The Vols aren’t playing very many true freshmen this season. This is an experienced squad with players making the most of their extra COVID year.

LB Arion Carter did see the field at Florida, collecting 3 tackles, 2 of them the solo variety.

Biggest surprise: Crowd noise influence on Tennessee’s offense

Back in Florida’s glory days of Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium was one of the most intimidating venues in college football. On Saturday night The Swamp was once again at that level of loud. And that had a serious effect on the Vols.

Look at how drives 2-5 started for Tennessee. False start. False start. False start. And then they were forced to call a timeout. Not surprisingly, the Vols didn’t come close to scoring on each of those drives. On their 6th drive, the Vols were forced to call 2 timeouts to avoid delay of game penalties.

Under Josh Heupel, Tennessee has won multiple games on the road. The Vols victory in Baton Rouge last season was one of Tennessee’s most impressive victories in decades. But last night the Vols offense performed like they never even prepared for crowd noise.

Biggest concern: Missed tackles

In the Vols 1st 2 games of the season, the defense created all sorts of havoc. But that was against Virginia and Austin Peay.

This Florida offense won’t remind anyone of those Fun n Gun Spurrier squads, but in the 1st half the Vols defense made them look like a juggernaut. A big reason was because of missed tackles. Their inability to wrap up Gators running backs, tight ends and wide receivers led to extra yardage and TDs on multiple occasions.

DC Tim Banks will have nightmares after watching this game film.

Developing trend: Struggles in The Swamp

Tennessee has now lost 10 straight games in Gainesville. Yes, sometimes the Gators had a lot more talent and/or better coaching, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday night.

For whatever reason, UT always finds ways to play some of its worst football at The Swamp. Tennessee was undisciplined and made crushing mental mistakes. 10 penalties for 79 yards, with many of them extending Florida drives.

Key stat: 3rd down defense

In the 1st half the Vols had multiple opportunities to get off the field. But the Gators converted on 7 of 8 3rd down attempts.

First impression about Week 4 against UTSA

During the offseason this was looked at as a possible trap game, smack down in the middle of the Florida and South Carolina games.

But Texas-San Antonio doesn’t appear to be as good as they were a year ago. The Roadrunners have already lost to Houston and Army, and edged Texas State for their lone win.

Tennessee will be significant favorites to beat UTSA … but the last 2 weeks they haven’t looked very much like a Top 25 team.