Florida 26, Tennessee 20: 3 Things That Matter
Check out 3 Things That Matter about Florida’s 26-20 win over Tennessee.
Florida 26, Tennessee 20
1. America, meet Feleipe Franks
He might have thrown a bad pick that helped keep Tennessee alive, but Feleipe Franks was having a nice day before that happened.
But that is why Feleipe Franks is the starter. He’s the type of quarterback with the type of talent who can do that.
Franks finished completing 18-of-28 passes for 212 yards and two scores with that pick, but, of course, it’s his ability to throw the ball for a 63-yard touchdown that makes him so special and with so much upside.
The Gators have a whole slew of issues. There were three turnovers, the running game went nowhere outside of Malik Davis’s 72-yard dash, and the defense melted down late under the pressure and tempo, but no one will care about any of that tonight.
Florida beat Tennessee, and it did so in brutally painful fashion.
And now, because of that, Feleipe Franks will forever be a Florida legend.
2. Tennessee blew it
With three turnovers, three missed field goals, and with the blown coverage at the end, Tennessee allowed itself to be in a position to lose.
It had its chances to take over, and while it was able to come back late to almost pull off overtime, on the road in a game like this, it had to take control earlier. Florida’s defense had plenty to do with that, but the Vols weren’t sharp enough.
John Kelly ran for 141 yards and a score, but he was only given the ball 19 times on the ground – to go along with his six catches for 96 yards. Quinten Dormady was struggling, but he still ended up throwing it 39 times.
That’s why you have a running back like Kelly – to take the pressure off your young quarterback. And now …
3. Tennessee really, really needed to win this
Fortunately, the Vols get a layup against UMass up next, but in SEC play they face Georgia, then South Carolina, and then they have to go to Alabama. Now, with this loss, it’s asking a whole lot to go on a run to take over the East, and it’s distinctly possible it starts 0-4 before going to Kentucky.
And now Florida is in a position to be in charge of the East again.
Vanderbilt is looking good, so it’s not like Florida can just walk through a home win over the Commodores in a few weeks, but it’s still not like playing Alabama.
With the obligatory win over Kentucky coming up next, the Gators – as ugly as they’ve been – might be 3-0 in the SEC before having to deal with LSU and Texas A&M at home.