The Florida Gators get their first SEC win of the season as they beat the Tennessee Volunteers 38-14. Florida got off to another slow start as they only led by three points against the Volunteers heading into halftime. In the end, Florida routs Tennessee 38-14.
Florida completely dominated the second half as Florida scored three more touchdowns and Tennessee got shutout in the second half. Florida quarterback Emory Jones also played his best game of the season. Jones didn’t make any mistakes in the passing game and also had a career game running the football.
Florida’s ground game continues to have tremendous success as they had ran for 283 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee’s defense had allowed less than 200 rushing yards in their first three games combined but couldn’t contain the top rushing offense in the country.
The Tennessee Volunteers fought hard against the Florida Gators but couldn’t keep up with Florida in the second half. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker got the start and played pretty well for the most part. Hooker completed 13 out of 23 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 23 rushing yards on thirteen carries. Unfortunately, Hooker was injured on a big hit in the fourth quarter and missed the rest of the game.
The Volunteers rushing attack had a pretty solid night as they rushed for 148 yards on 37 carries. Sophomore running back Jabari Small led the Volunteers in rushing with 59 yards on eleven carries. Former number one JUCO running back Tiyon Evans also ran for 50 yards on 11 carries.
Senior Javonta Payton had a big game against the Gators defense. Payton had two receptions for two receptions for 82 yards including a 75-yard touchdown. Evans had a big game in the receiving department as well. The junior running back had three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, the Volunteers had previously done a great job of stopping the opponent’s rushing attack but couldn’t against the Gators. They had also given up 505 total yards of offense which the most they have given up this season.
Safety Trevon Flowers led the Volunteers in tackles with 15 on the night including six solo tackles. Junior linebacker Jeremy Banks had eight tackles in the game and also had half a tackle for loss. Aaron Beasley had six tackles and a fumble recovery that prevented Florida from scoring to end the first half. Senior defensive lineman Ja’Quain Blakely recorded the only sack in the game for Tennessee’s defense.
The Florida Gators improve to 3-1 on the season after cruising past the Tennessee Volunteers. Redshirt-junior quarterback Emory Jones had a breakout performance on Saturday night. Jones completed 21 out of 27 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
He also led the Gators in rushing with 144 rushing yards on fifteen carries. Jones became the first Florida quarterback to throw for 200+ yards and run for 100+ yards in a game since Tim Tebow. Gainesville native wide receiver Trent Whittemore also completed a 13-yard touchdown pass in the game.
Senior running backs Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis continue to have productive games. Pierce rushed for 62 yards on eight carries. Davis rushed for 45 yards on ten carries and a touchdown. Redshirt-sophomore Nay’Quan Wright also had a 23-yard rushing touchdown in the win over Tennessee.
Former Penn State transfer Justin Shorter led the Gators in receiving with three receptions for 54 yards. Sixth year senior Rick Wells had four catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Kemore Gamble caught the Whittemore 13-yard touchdown pass and Malik Davis also had a receiving touchdown in the first drive of the game.
The Florida Gators defense had a pretty solid game overall but they definitely need to work on some things. Tackling was a major issue in the game as Tennessee’s first touchdown happened because of a couple of missed tackles.
Safety Trey Dean III led the Gators in tackles with eleven tackles including five solos and 1.5 tackles for loss. Linebacker Ty’ron Hopper had seven tackles, a pass breakup and shared a sack with Gervon Dexter. Defensive ends Zachary Carter and Princely Umanmielen both had a sack in the win.
The Florida Gators will hit the road for the first time against a SEC opponent. The Gators will travel north to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky is 4-0 on the season and are coming off a 16-10 win over South Carolina. Kickoff is at 6pm EST on ESPN.