We’re a few days removed from Florida’s 38-14 win over the Tennessee Volunteers in The Swamp Saturday night. There was talk about how the Gators would respond following the loss to Alabama. Early it looked like a letdown game might be taking place but Dan Mullen utilized a strong second half to get the win.
Another day, another game totaling over 400 yards of total offense. The offensive line looked good with starters Stewart Reese and Jean Delance on the sideline. Not to mention Emory Jones posting some career numbers and being the first player since Tim Tebow with 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a game. Not to mention those two touchdowns. Jones, who earned SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week said he looked more comfortable and happy with his performance overall. There were some times where the Gator offense had issues. A false start and delay of game forced Florida to kick a field goal on it’s second drive. Then a fumble by Jacob Copeland kept the Gators from putting more on the board later in the game too. It was just a little slow out of the gate too. But Dan Mullen mentioned how his team did a better job with mental errors this week.
This unit too had a sluggish start too. Again, some bad mistakes cost the Gators on the scoreboard but were able to make the adjustments and pitched a shutout in the second half. There were the missed tackles on a screen that went 45+ yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. Then a blown coverage allowed for a 75-yard touchdown pass that gave the Vols the lead. Those mistakes were the different between over 400 yards allowed and over 300. Mohamoud Diabate mentioned postgame how those little mistakes were what led to the big plays. They knew Tennessee couldn’t drive on them and once those were cleaned up it showed. However, the Gators did a job of getting off the field on third down as they forced conversion rate in the 30s. The defensive front did another good job getting pressure and harassed Hendon Hooker.
Special teams: A
Jace Christmann got his chance at placekicker. He nailed his only attempt which came from 47 yards plus went perfect on all of his extra points. Gator punt returner Xzavier Henderson was consistently kicked away from so not much opportunity was present there. But the Gators need to improve in kickoff returns as they don’t have many quality returns there. Mullen even mentioned that. Lastly, Jeremy Crawshaw averaged nearly 46 yards per punt on three attempts.
The Gators overcame another slow first half and pulled away in the second half for their third win of the year and got to 1-1 in the SEC. Yes it could’ve been by more but it’s hard to argue with a 24-point win over a rival at home after an exhausting week prior.