Gainesville Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley analyzes the first half of the Florida-Tennessee game tonight:
- Obviously, Florida was helped a lot by Tennessee’s ineptitude. But let’s not take away from the fact that the Gators did manage 204 yards in the half and we finally saw a reverse which went for a 34-yard gain by Kadarius Toney to set up a late field goal. Feleipe Franks made a couple of bad reads, including the botched handoff where he should have kept the ball and Lamical Perine was credited with a lost fumble. But he saw Freddie Swain on a scramble that resulted in a 65-yard score and the 17-yard run was solid. Don’t ask me what he was doing when he tried to jump over Darrin Kirkland.
- The defense gave up a lot of big plays — in fact the total yardage between the two teams was even at 204 — but got bailed out first by the fumble through the end zone and then by a personal foul penalty. David Reese obviously makes a difference for this defense, but when they go to the backups in the interior, they are susceptible to the running game. They will have to defend the pass better in the second half as well as Tennessee threw for 140 yards.
- If anything could go wrong for Tennessee it did, but they key is to take advantage of the mistakes. I have been saying all week that you don’t have to be a great offensive team to score a lot of points if you win special teams and create turnovers and short fields. Tennessee turned it over four times, but Florida created the first three of those turnovers. Amazing stat of the night — Florida had three fumble recoveries all of last year and already has nine this year. Coming into the game, the NCAA leader had seven.