gli alligatori (3-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) won their fifth straight and 16th in 17 years in a series that used to go a long way toward deciding the Eastern Division. First-year Tennessee coach Josh Heupel is trying to get it back there.
The second half showed he’s still got a way to go. gli alligatori, who bounced back from a gut-wrenching loss against top-ranked Alabama in the Swamp a week ago, scored on consecutive drives in the third quarter to turn a three-point game into comfortable lead. Jones was at his best during those possessions.
With dynamic backup Anthony Richardson still nursing a strained right hamstring, Jones completed three straight passes that set up a trick-play touchdown. Jones lateraled to Trent Whittemore, who found Kemore Gamble in the end zone for a 13-yard score. It was Florida’s first trick-play TD in three years.
Jones ran for 43 yards on Florida’s next drive and capped it with a 9-yard TD pass to Rick Wells.
Jones completed 21 di 27 passes for 209 yards on the night and ran 15 volte, with a long of 49 yard. He became Florida’s first QB to top 200 cantieri che passano e 100 yards rushing since Tim Tebow in 2009 against Florida State. Tebow accomplished the feat four times in four seasons.
It was the first time Jones didn’t have a turnover this season.
The Volunteers (2-2, 0-1) played much better in the first half, with Herndon Hooker and a big-play offense keeping the Gators off-balance. Hooker connected with Tiyon Evans for a 47-yard score and with JaVonta Payton on a 75-yarder.
But Hooker was mostly ineffective the rest of the way. He was sacked early in the fourth and knocked out of the game. He tried to leave the field without any assistance after trainers helped him up, but he dropped back to his knees before reaching the sideline. Joe Milton replaced him.
Hooker completed 13 di 23 passes for 221 yard e due touchdown. He and the Vols seemed rattled several times by the crowd of 88,478.
Florida, which entered the game as the No. 2 rushing team in the country, finito con 283 yards on the ground. Coach Dan Mullen had his most balanced attack of the season, con 222 cantieri che passano e 505 yards total.
Tennessee came into the game allowing just 54.3 yards rushing a game. Florida topped that in the first quarter.
IL DA PORTARE
Tennessee: The Volunteers appear headed in the right direction under Heupel. His up-tempo offense posed problems for the Gators early, and Tennessee had a chance to tie or take the lead just before halftime. Being close is progress for a program that lost the last three meetings by a combined score of 112-46.
Florida: The Gators gave up too many big plays early. If they’re going to run the table in the SEC and get back to the league title game, they’re going to have to shore up that part of their defense. Getting standout cornerback Kaiir Elam back would be a start.
IMPLICAZIONI DEL SONDAGGIO
Florida should crack the Associated Press Top 25 sondaggio, especially with No. 9 Clemson and seventh-ranked Texas A&M losing.
ALL-SEC DEFENDER OUT
Elam, an all-SEC defender, missed the game with a sprained right knee. Elam tweaked his knee at the end of last week’s loss to Alabama. He was on the sideline Saturday with a sleeve on his knee and walking with a limp.
Freshman Jason Marshall, a five-star recruit from Miami, started in his place and played well.
AVANTI IL PROSSIMO
Tennessee plays at Missouri next Saturday. The Vols have won two in a row and four of six.
Florida plays at Kentucky next Saturday. The Wildcats last beat the Gators in Lexington, Kentucky, nel 1986. Florida has won 16 straight there.