The Florida Gators took care of business Saturday afternoon as they blew out the Tennessee Volunteers 34-3. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask made his start since his freshman year in high school and was outstanding for most of the game. The Gators defense had a great game as they only allowed three points against the Tennessee Volunteers’ offense. They also forced four turnovers and got four sacks which bring their total up to 20 sacks on the season. The Gators still do have some things they need to clean up but it was good to see Florida get a comfortable win against an SEC opponent. So, how did the Gators dominate Tennessee?
Gators Dominate Tennessee
The Tennessee Volunteers had a rough game as they did not look prepared to play against the Gators. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano struggled mightily as he completed 10 out of 17 passes for 107 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Backup QB Brian Maurer came in the game but he wasn’t much better. He went 4 for 11 with 44 yards and an interception. The Tennessee rushing attack was also absent Saturday afternoon thanks to Florida’s stout front seven. Tennessee’s lead rusher was Ty Chandler. Chandler had 10 carries for 34 yards. The only offensive player for the Volunteers that had a good game was the senior wide receiver, Jauan Jennings. He had seven receptions for 73 yards. Nobody else on offense had more than two catches or was over 30 yards. The lack of offense allowed the Gators to dominate Tennessee.
On defense, the Volunteers did do some nice things forcing three turnovers including two interceptions. Theo Jackson was the first to pick off Trask and Alontae Taylor got his interception on a tipped pass in the end zone. Senior linebacker Daniel Bituli led the Vols in tackles with eight tackles including five solo. He also had both of Tennessee’s sacks against the Florida Gators. Michigan transfer Aubrey Solomon had two tackles in the game with a tackle for loss. Bryce Thompson had seven tackles in the game and Darrell Taylor had six tackles including four solo tackles.
The Florida Gators picked up their second conference win against one of their most hated rivals. Trask made his first collegiate start and succeeded against the Tennessee defense. Trask completed 20 out of 28 passes for 293 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. The Texas native looked poised, confident and comfortable in a game which fans wondered how nervous he would be. Florida’s ground game improved a little as they had 128 yards on the ground. Lamical Perine had 14 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. Dameon Pierce had 11 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. Freddie Swain led the Gators in receiving with three receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Kyle Pitts also had a good game with four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.
The Florida defense continues to play at an elite level against good opponents. Jon Greenard dominated all game as he recorded four tackles with a sack, a forced fumble, and three pass breakups. Amari Burney led the Gators in tackles with four in the game and also caught an interception. In addition, Burney recovered a fumble that was forced by the Louisville transfer Greenard. Jeremiah Moon had four tackles with a sack and a pass break up. Defensive tackle Luke Ancrum was able to get to the QB. Khris Bogle and Marlon Dunlap Jr. both shared a sack against the Tennessee quarterback. Sophomore Trey Dean picked up his first interception of the season on a dropped pass in the end zone. Junior Marco Wilson also picked up his first career interception as a Florida Gator.
The Florida Gators will be back home for another non-conference opponent. The Gators will take on the Towson Tigers. This will be the first time both of these programs will play against each other. Towson is coming into Gainesville, Florida with a 3-1 record after losing to the Villanova Wildcats 52-45 in overtime. You can watch this game this upcoming Saturday at 4:00 pm EST on the SEC Network.