Florida holds a 6-3 lead over Tennessee halfway through a game that’s been about as pretty as the overcast skies above Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
The Gators accepted the ball to open the game and put together the best offensive drive of their young season, consuming nearly half the first quarter on a 15-play march. But a pair of procedure penalties forced a field goal try on a possession in which the Gators actually gained 15 yards, and Eddy Piniero‘s 27-yard boot put Florida on the board.
Tennessee moved into Florida territory on its first possession, but the drive ended scoreless when David Reese intercepted Quinten Dormady‘s third down pass. The sides traded punts over the next four possessions before Florida moved 32 yards to set up another Piniero field goal, this one from 41 yards out at the 8:11 mark of the second quarter.
Tennessee answered with its only points of the half, a 12-play drive that took 5:13 off the clock and ended in a Brent Cimaglia kick from 51 yards out.
A Johnny Townsend punt out of bounds at the Tennessee 26-yard line with 23 seconds left in the half seemingly doomed the Vols to a 6-3 halftime deficit, but John Kelly raced 37 yards on an inside handoff on the following play, putting the Vols at the Gators’ 37 with 13 ticks remaining. Tennessee moved in position for Cimaglia to knot the score with a 47-yard field goal on the final play of the half, but his attempt hooked wide right.
Dormady has completed only 10-of-18 passes for 83 yards with an interception, and John Kelly and Ty Chandler have mustered 52 rushing yards between them, with 37 coming on one run and 15 on their other nine combined carries.
Making his first home start, Feleipe Franks has put together a solid-but-unspectacular effort, hitting 11-of-18 throws for 106 yards. Florida has rushed for 35 yards on 17 credited carries.
Tennessee will receive to open the second half.