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Tennessee Football turning point in loss at Florida: Trevor Etienne 62-yard TD run

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Early in the game, everything people thought about Tennessee Football in a positive light came true against the Florida Gators. The Vols’ defense held Florida scoreless on their first drive after a missed field goal, and they immediately marched down the field and scored thanks to two perfect passes from Joe Milton III.

Up 7-0, you just felt that the Vols were in line to dominate. They took the wind out of the sails in The Swamp, which is a frontrunner’s stadium, and Milton’s claim that he doesn’t lose in Florida looked legitimate. Florida, though, unlike anything you’d expect from a Billy Napier coached team, came right back on the next drive.

The Gators converted a 3rd and 5 on a Graham Mertz pass, and Trevor Etienne took the next run 62 yards to the house for a score. Etienne shed one tackle and then ran right over Kamal Hadden for the score. After moving the ball on the first drive, Florida made it clear that they weren’t going anywhere, and that psychologically got into the Vols’ heads.

Converting multiple 3rd and longs the next touchdown drives, numerous Tennessee Football mistakes and a bad Milton interception all put Florida in control. They solidified control in the second half with a 4th and 1 stop in the red zone after a ref allowed Florida to sub while accidentally kicking the ball.

However, the key moment came down to Florida’s first touchdown. Even with a missed extra point on that drive, they made it clear they won’t going anywhere, and you could maybe make the case that the history of this series crept in after that, as the Vols seemed to panic.

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It’s pretty obvious this version of the Vols is a frontrunning team, and maybe that comes from Milton, but that means they have to put the foot on opponents’ throats early and often. Florida responding early with a TD drive got the crowd back in it and made sure Tennessee Football wouldn’t do that.

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