Florida ate up the clock the entire first half and it started on their first drive. Using half of the first quarter the Gators came up short on a 46-yd field goal attempt from Adam Mihalek.
The first drive for the Vols ended with a better outcome, Joe Milton capped off a two-minute march downfield with a 11-yd pass to Ramel Keyton in the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
On the response the Gators showed they can play quick when they want to, a little over a minute later Trevor Etienne ran it 62-yds for the Gators score. Omari Thomas got hands on the extra point to maintain the Vols lead, 7-6.
The night was heading in the right direction for Tennessee to start the second quarter, Bryson Eason sending Florida quarterback Graham Mertz to the turf with a sack.
But it quickly started to unravel for the Vols, Florida ate up another seven minutes of the clock, finishing off the drive with a 4-yd touchdown from Montrell Johnson Jr. Tennessee‘s defense halted the 2-point conversion but the Gators still pulled ahead, 12-7.
Still without Center Ollie Lane, Milton was more exposed in the pocket and it proved costly.
Florida proceeded to put a snag in Tennessee’s chances to get the lead. Devin Moore became the first player to intercept Joe Milton since Nov. 14, 2020. The interception came on what would have been Milton’s 249th consecutive pass attempt without being intercepted, a streak that was the second longest in FBS heading into week three.
With Milton’s interception, VFL Hendon Hooker’s program record stays in tack for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception (261), a run that was broken during the Vols win against Alabama last October. Milton’s streak will now sit second to his former teammate.
The Gators didn’t waste the turnover. Capitalizing off having the ball back in their hands, they made sure to tack on another trip to the end zone, Mertz punching in from a yard out to extend the Gators lead.
The first half didn’t stop there for the Gators, Johnson strapped on the jets from 18-yards away to put Florida up 26-7 at the break. The run exposing how detrimental Tennessee’s missed tackled were in the first half.
Tennessee got the ball to start the second, but had to settle for three from Charles Campbell.
The Vols defense stepped up to keep the Gators from increasing their lead in the third quarter. Florida seeing their first scoreboard action of the second half with a Trey Smack field goal in the fourth.
Just when it seemed out of reach, Bru Mccoy reminded everyone that the Vols were still in it with a 55-yd touchdown mid-fourth quarter, a failed two-point conversion left the Vols needing two touchdowns to be back in the lead.
Comeback falls short in the end, the Vols falling in Gainsville, 29-16.