September 15, 2012
Florida gashes Vols with big plays
Florida flipped the script on Tennessee Saturday night in Neyland Stadium in its 37-20 victory over the Vols. Tennessee had the high-powered offense coming into the game, but it was the Gators who used quick strikes in the second half to extend its winning streak over the Vols to 8 games.
The Gators' three touchdown drives that took the score from a 20-13 Tennessee lead to a 34-20 Florida advantage consisted of seven total plays. The three drives lasted 12 seconds, 1:19, and 1:32. The Vols went from being up 7 to down 14 in just 8 minutes of game time.
From there, the Vols never recovered.
"You can't give up those plays in this league and expect to win the game. You just can't," Dooley said.
Florida started off the barrage when wildcat quarterback Trey Burton ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run to tie the game 20-20 with 3:15 left in the third. The Gators then capitalized on a Tyler Bray interception on the next drive.
Mike Gillislee ran for 45 yards to start the three-play drive and Jeff Driskell found Jordan Reed from 23 yards out just two plays later to take the lead.
"It takes (so) much out of us because in the meeting room that's the one thing we stress is eliminate big plays," senior cornerback Prentiss Waggner said. "When they gash us that much for those many yards it kind of takes a toll on the defense. We just have to do deal with adversity well; to get back up and make a play."
But Tennessee, only down two touchdowns early in fourth quarter wasn't able to get back up. The Vols gave up another big-play when Frankie Hammond Jr. took a Driskel pass that he caught at the 30 and ran 70 yards for a touchdown.
Once the big plays began to pile up on a team it gets harder and harder to respond junior defensive lineman Daniel McCullers said.
"It was very deflating. When you do so good and then you lose a block and they run right past you -- we have to work on that," McCullers said. "We have to work on that throughout next week so we can get better on it."
Tennessee's explanation for the mishaps that led to the big plays was the lack of execution in the little things.
"Florida did break some balls out on us and they did make some good plays. I don't think it was what they did; it was what we did," Jacques Smith said. "We didn't adjust ourselves and we made some critical mistakes and they cost big."
Maybe most frustrating of all was the Vols ability to stop Florida on third down, allowing the Gators to convert just 3-13 throughout the game. But, the lack of adjustments and allowing the big plays erased any success they encountered on Saturday.
"It was real frustrating. We came out and made a lot of big stops and we just didn't adjust to some things and they gashed us so there's just stuff we've got to go back to and adjust in practice," Herman Lathers said.
VOLS GET RUN THROUGH
The Gator's shellacking of Tennessee's run defense was the worst performance of a Vols' run 'D' since Tennessee gave up 359 rushing yards against Ole Miss in 2009. The Gators ran for 336 total yards, 250 in the second half.
"It was a break down in defensive. We didn't communicate as well as we should have," A.J. Johnson said. "Some of us missed tackles."
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