2. Florida 47, Tennessee 21
Six takeaways. That’s how Florida got through yet another win over Tennessee, with no drama, no concerns, and a 26-3 halftime lead to just go through the motions in the second half.
This is still not the smoothest of Gators offenses, but it got the job done mostly because Feleipe Franks was effective and didn’t screw up. He spread around his three touchdown passes, didn’t give up any picks, and he ran for a score, while his counterpart – Jarrett Guarantano – only hit 7-of-18 passes with two interceptions.
It’s not like the Gators brought a ton of pressure, and they didn’t do anything fancy. Their amazing secondary was on throughout the game, and the Vols simply couldn’t hang on to the ball.
It’s going to be a process for Jeremy Pruitt. He’s going to need a while.
The Vols showed a few flashes here and there to potential. There was the occasional pass rush, Guarantano connected on a few big pass plays, and Madre London ripped off a nice run, this isn’t team that can dig itself out of a hole.
And now, any tuning up that might have happened in blowout scrimmages against East Tennessee State and UTEP are gone. With at Georgia, at Auburn, Alabama, and at South Carolina up next, it’s going to take something special to not be 2-6 before things ease up a wee bit.
But first, the mistakes have to stop, or forget about a November run to bowl eligibility, or coming up with an upset over one of the big boys on the slate.
For Dan Mullen, considering the Kentucky debacle, this was a must-win game in the early part of his tenure.
Here come the tests with Mississippi State up next in Starkville, followed up by LSU. With Vanderbilt, Idaho and Florida State still to play, this win might have been the one key step to going bowling.
And now, the loss to UK doesn’t seem so bad, because …