If someone told me that Tennessee is down 21 points against Florida in the first half and won the game, I would have said NOT!!! The 11 game winning streak of Florida over Tennessee would become 12. However, that is not what happen… that is why we play 60 minutes of football because anything is possible.
Tennessee started out with an unsportsmanlike penalty, which eventually gave Florida a TD, and continued with five drop passes in the first half. So, everyone in Neyland was sure they were seeing another consecutive loss to Florida, which would have been the longest to any opponent in Tennessee school history.
And then this happen…
The Vols, who was completely frustrated and disillusioned in the first half of the game turned into the football team that everyone picked as the preseason favorite out of the SEC. QB Joshua Dobbs first drive of the second half resulted in pick at the 8-yard line of Florida, however the Vols’ defense led by DE, Derek Barnett held it down and stop the Gators.
What happen next is one of the greatest performance I have seen from Tennessee in a really long time. Dobbs proceeded to lead the Vols to 5 TDs in six possessions. Tennessee scored 38 unanswered points against Florida. Yes, the SEC best defense of the Gators were still giving Dobbs problems on the pass rush, but Tennessee decided they were not going to be denied… this losing streak to Florida was coming to an end.
Tennessee finished with a total of 498 yards, while holding Florida to 102 yards in the second half. Dobbs finished with 16 of 32 for 319 yards and also had a rushing TD of those total 5 TDs. The Vols outgained the Gators for a total of 179-106 on the ground.
This Vols team was without key players like star cornerback, Cam Sutton, and star linebacker, Jalen Reeves-Maybin along with an offensive line, who has not played great in games this season so far. However, Tennessee showed great resilience and show the SEC and the college football nation… It’s not over until it is over.
With this win over Florida, Tennessee has put its mark on being the team who will be a contender for the SEC East Division title. I liked to call this game “How the SEC East was Won”.
Photo Credit: Gridiron Now-Mandatory Credit: Alison P. McNabb/Tennessee Athletics