Another year, another loss to Florida. It’s looking more and more like Tennessee Football won a fluke game in 2022 and is just always destined to fall to the Gators. This time UT, took control early with a 7-0 lead after stopping Florida with a missed field goal on the opening drive.
However, right after that, Florida reeled off four straight touchdowns, scoring 26 unanswered thanks to a missed extra point and a failed two-point conversion, to go into halftime up 26-7. UT tried to fight back in the second half, but it was too late. A series of mistakes in that half only made it worse.
There were two fourth down stops, a jump on a 4th and 1 in which Florida clearly was going to punt late, and penalties all night. In the first half, Joe Milton III threw his first interception in his Tennessee Football career after he was hit while trying to take a deep shot.
Missed calls in the second half did hurt the Vols, including two uncalled pass interference penalties, the ref kicking the ball on that 4th and 1, allowing Florida to sub, and a terrible blindside block call on McCallan Castles that wiped out a drive. However, by and large, Tennessee Football made just far too many mistakes.
With the loss, the Vols fall to 2-1 on the year and will host the Austin Peay Governors next week. Florida, meanwhile, improves to 2-1 and will host the Charlotte 49ers next week, so both teams have another non-conference game before they fully dive into SEC play.
In terms of the series, Florida has now won 17 of 19, and they have won 10 straight in The Swamp. They now lead the all-time series 32-21, and while the two schools will play again in 2024, it’s hard to know what will come of this once great rivalry afterward given SEC expansion.