Instant Analysis: Second half dominance leads to blowout victory

Sep 26, 2021 | 0 comments

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No. 11 Florida was back in the Swamp on Saturday night to face the Tennessee Volunteers. After a sluggish first half, the Gators dominated the second half for a 38-14 win.

Here’s the Instant Analysis:

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Emory Jones found Rick Wells for a 9-yard touchdown connection with 2:04 left in the 3rd quarter. The score put the Gators up 31-14 and the deficit was too much for the Tennessee offense to come back from after not finding the endzone again after going ahead 14-10 with 11 minutes left in the second quarter. The Gators got off to a slow start, but ran away with the win in the second half.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: The offensive line! The Gators outrushed Tennessee 283-148. The run game dictated the pace of the game and the Gators ran the ball at the tune of 7.1 yards per carry. Emory Jones had a career-high 144 rushing yards, Dameon Pierce had 62 yards, while Malik Davis added 45 yards. The offense has rushed for at least 200 yards in all four games.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: The Volunteers were held to just 14 points overall, but they still totaled 423 yards on offense based mostly on explosive play touchdowns in the first half. Florida got the win tonight but against a better offense, the defense will need to cut down on the breakdowns in coverage and missed tackles at the second level. The defense stepped up and made stops in the second half but in a similar look to the previous three games, the defense came out slow and had to adjust at the half.

THIS MATCH-UP PROVED KEY: Gators offensive line versus the Tennessee defense. As was the case in the first three games of the season, the Gators run game, which came in ranked No. 2 in FBS in yards per game, has been a force to be reckoned with and against the Volunteers No. 5 ranked rush defense, that did not change. The starting line consisted of Richard Gouraige, Ethan White, Kingsley Eguakun, Josh Braun, and Jean Delance, but gave way to Michael Tarquin on at right tackle in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Gators will take to the road to visit Kentucky at 6 or 7 p.m. next Saturday night. The Wildcats are 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play with wins over Missouri and South Carolina. Over the last three weeks, The Wildcats have won each game by 7 points or less. Playing in Lexington at night is never easy but the Gators should be favored to win.

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