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Florida out-uglies Tennessee, 31-17

Tennessee v Florida Getty Images

Most of Saturday’s game featuring Florida versus Tennessee felt like a race to the bottom.

Turnovers. Missed assignments. Busted plays. Dropped passes. This was all par for the course for these two teams on Saturday. Remember those great Florida-Tennessee games of yesteryear?

Just a distant memory at this point.

But the Gators managed to look a little less ugly and overcame a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Jeff Driskel to beat the Vols, 31-17.

The sequence that led to Driskel’s injury turned out to be the high point for Tennessee. Devaun Swafford took a first-quarter Driskel pass 62 yards to the house and Driskel left the game after clutching his ankle.

Junior Tyler Murphy, who had never thrown a pass in his college career, replaced Driskel and actually provided a spark to the moribund Gators offense. He completed eight of 14 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown and also rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Voila, with Driskel out for the year, we have a new quarterback in Gainesville.

Meanwhile, the talented Florida defense squashed the Volunteers like a bug. As long as the Gators continue to play like this on defense, it should be in every game, although it won’t be able to count on seeing such ineptitude on the other side of the ball each week, either. Tennessee’s offense mustered just 220 yards of total offense (much of it in garbage time) and 12 first downs while turning the ball over six times. Redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman made his first start and it was a forgettable one as he completed four of 11 for five yards and two interceptions. Former starter Justin Worley relieved Peterman and was more effective, but only by comparison. He completed 10 of 23 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown with two picks.

Make no mistake: These two teams are miles away from living up to their potential. There’s really not much to excuse the Gators, given that Will Muschamp is in his third season in Gainesville. When will the Florida offense figure things out? Meanwhile Tennesse at least can point to having to adjust to a new coach in Butch Jones. As bad as the Vols looked, their program can only get better. Florida? It looks to be going sideways these days.

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6 Responses to “Florida out-uglies Tennessee, 31-17”
  1. timh1955 says: Sep 21, 2013 7:15 PM

    Both of these teams were an embarrassment to the SEC today!

  2. overratedgators says: Sep 21, 2013 8:55 PM

    Just Gators bein’ Gators. Overrated as always.

  3. gatorcheme says: Sep 21, 2013 9:55 PM

    The Gator offense has some work to do. But they ARE on the edge of being a great team if they can pull it together. The defense is as good as they get. And should help keep things close even against the elite teams.

    I’m frankly surprise that Muschamp allowed his QB core to become so thin. I had hoped that a consistent offense coaching staff would improve his turnover margin. Miami was a perfect example of how you can be good at every stat (except one the one really critical ‘turnover margin’) and still loose a game. Oh well, with Driskel out, it’s Murphy’s to win.

    Go Gators!

  4. florida727 says: Sep 21, 2013 10:35 PM

    Overrated at #19? You’re an idiot. Actually, you just an ignorant hater. In all three games this season the offense completely dominated their opponents, out gaining them 2-to-1 in yardage and possessing the ball for 40 of the 60 minutes. Stupid penalties and turnovers prevented all three games from being embarrassing blowouts. Learn something about football you moron before posting your idiotic comments. #overrated, just go away. What are you, a Kentucky fan?

    Sorry to hear about Driskel, but Murphy might prove to be a blessing in disguise. Excellent arm, can run when in trouble, and has elusiveness in spades. This kid could be exciting. Probably not enough to win the East, but he’ll keep us in games.

  5. timh1955 says: Sep 21, 2013 11:11 PM

    After watching this game I think both Georgia, South Carolina and FSU will totally own Florida as they (Florida) are terrible!

  6. gatorprof says: Sep 22, 2013 3:55 PM

    I agree that UF’s D will keep them in most, if all all games. They were missing several pieces yesterday.

    We will see how TM does as a QB….my first impression is that he will be an improvement over Jeff.

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