Florida scores 37-20 win over Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Behind their quarterback of the future, Jeff Driskel, and a quarterback from their past, do-everything junior Trey Burton, the Florida Gators staged another dramatic, second-half comeback on the road.
In the process, the No. 18 Gators (3-0, 2-0 SEC) gave head coach Will Muschamp a long-awaited signature win, a 37-20 victory Saturday night at Tennessee.
With the No. 23 Vols (2-1, 0-1) holding a touchdown lead and in control of the game, the Gators seized the momentum during an improbable third quarter filled with big plays on both sides of the ball.
Florida would close the game with 24 unanswered points in the game’s final 18 minutes.
It began with 80-yard touchdown run by Burton and 23-yard touchdown pass from Driskel to Jordan Reed in a two-minute span on successive drives. The plays gave Florida a lead – at 27-20 – it would not lose.
Sandwiched between the two big players, Gators linebacker Lerentee McCray hit the passing arm of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray as he threw down field, and the ball wobbled its way into the waiting hands of Florida safety Matt Elam.
“We gave up some big plays and our offense disappeared,” Dooley said. “We never recovered.
“We were shellshocked a little bit.”
Driskel, on the other hand, looked like a veteran playmaker and leader in just his second college start at quarterback. He finished the game with 300 yards of total offense, including 81 rushing yards on eight carries. He was 14-of-20 passing for 219 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard hook-up with Frankie Hammond Sr. with 9:55 remaining to essentially ice the game.
Burton, who lined up at quarterback for the 2010 Gators, had 91 yards rushing yards and two touchdowns on three carries. He also had a 32-yard catch to set up a third-quarter field goal that cut the early Tennnessee lead to 14-13.