The Florida Gators officially clinch the SEC East division with a win over Tennessee. The Gators will play the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game. Florida knocked off the Tennessee Volunteers 31-19 in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday night.
Gators quarterback Kyle Trask had another impressive performance to add to his Heisman resume. Florida’s offense didn’t perform to the best of its ability but was able to secure the win.
Florida Gators Clinch SEC East
The Florida defense played pretty good for most of the game but gave up two garbage-time touchdowns that made the game look closer than it actually was. It was also the first game that the Florida defense didn’t force a turnover. However, the Gators got the win and have one more regular-season game before taking on the Crimson Tide for the SEC Championship.
The Tennessee Volunteers started true freshman quarterback Harrison Bailey but also played two other quarterbacks. Bailey had an okay performance as he completed 14 out of 21 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt-sophomore J.T. Shrout was the leading passer for Tennessee. Shrout completed 12 out of 14 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.
The Tennessee rushing attack was contained by Florida’s front seven. Tennessee rushed for 94 yards on 39 carries averaging just over two yards per carry. Ty Chandler was the leading rusher. He rushed for 49 yards on twelve carries and a touchdown. Eric Gray also rushed for 47 yards on twelve carries.
Redshirt-senior wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. was Tennessee’s leading receiver. Jones had four receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. Gray had seven catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Senior Josh Palmer also caught four passes for 36 yards.
On defense, Tennessee did a pretty good job of containing Florida’s offense. The unit made the Gators one-dimensional on offense limiting their ground game to 19 yards on 17 carries. Sophomore Warren Burrell led the Volunteers in tackles with eight including seven solos.
Linebacker Henry To’o To’o had a nice game as he recorded eight tackles including six solos and two-and-a-half tackles for loss. Tyler Baron and Ja’Quain Blakely both recorded a sack against the Gators.
The Florida Gators got the win against one of their rivals but the team didn’t have their best showing. The offense struggled as their rushing attack was nowhere to be found forcing Trask to throw the ball more than usual.
Trask continues to look good in his redshirt-senior season. He completed 35 out of 49 passes for 433 yards and four touchdowns.
The Florida rushing attack was terrible. The offensive line had its worst game of the season. They couldn’t create any running lanes and their running backs were constantly getting hit behind the line of scrimmage. The lead rusher was wide receiver Jacob Copeland and he only had one carry for 17 yards.
Star tight end Kyle Pitts had another great performance as he had seven receptions for 128 yards. Senior Kadarius Toney had eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. Another senior wide receiver, Trevon Grimes, had a big game as he caught six passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Copeland also had three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.
The Florida Gators defense had a pretty solid game against Tennessee for the most part. The Gators defense had six sacks against one of the top offensive lines in the SEC. Redshirt-junior linebacker Ventrell Miller led the Gators in tackles with 12 including eight solos, a sack, a tackle for loss, and a pass breakup.
Trey Dean had eight tackles including six solos and a sack. Defensive end Zachary Carter had four tackles including a sack and one-and-a-half tackles for loss. Amari Burney and Khris Bogle both had two tackles and a sack. True freshman Princely Umanmielen also recorded his second sack of the season.
The Florida Gators will return to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for their regular-season finale against the LSU Tigers. The LSU Tigers have a 3-5 record and are coming off a 55-17 blowout home loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide. This game will be playing on Saturday but the time and channel of the game have not been announced yet.