Sorry, Vols, third coach is not the charm. Urban remained undefeated against the Vols thanks to a strong defensive effort and some clutch plays.
Florida didn't run away with the game by any means, only piling on points late in the game.
Still, it was a multi-touchdown win on the road against a rival, and I don't care what the Ducks did last week, that qualifies as a big win.
For the second week in a row, the Florida Gators played well enough to warrant giving out game balls.
The team handed out quite a few, although nowhere near the 92,000 that Urban Meyer tried to hand out last week.
Consequently, Steve Addazio was given game ball giving duties this week as Jeremy Foley reportedly fainted upon seeing the pending charge from Urban's game ball give away.
Foley chose the sometimes head coach, because Addazio gives out game balls like he calls the offense, hyper conservatively with little acknowledgment of the irony of running an I–Form spread (seriously, the Florida Gators are for hipsters).
Bleacher Report was given exclusive access to the post game awards presentation (although nobody ogled me like I was Ines Sainz, must have been the cargo shorts I was wearing).
Now we are passing that knowledge onto you, the anonymous Internet reader.
Recipient: John Brantley
Bonus prize: Signed, retro–cool Chad Pennington jersey
John Brantley has had a rough start to his err... starting career as a Gator. He had the misfortune of following the SEC's all-every-record holder, Tim Tebow, instead of a mere mortal like any of UF's other quarterbacks except for Danny Wuerffel.
That's not to say Brantley doesn't deserve some criticism. He's last in the SEC in both yards per completion and yards per attempt.
His big game so far is a 31-pass, 171-yard day against USF. If you consider that a good game, you're a Georgia Tech fan.
Brantley was 14/23 for 167 yards and a touchdown on Saturday. That hardly looks worthy of a game ball, but look closelier.
On third down and more than six, Brantley had completions of 15, 8, 14, 7TD, 12, and 8. All went for first downs, and one was a touchdown.
Basically, the Vols bottled up the Gators and then Brantley bailed them out on long-yardage third-down situations.
If there's a positive way to have a 23 pass–167 yard game, Brantley found it.
Recipient: Florida's run defense
Bonus prize: A DVD of Kentucky's playcalling, filmed by Bill Belichick
South Florida gouged the Brandon Spikes-less Gators defense for 244 yards on the ground. Florida turned around and held the SEC's leading rusher to 23 yards, and the Vols' team to 29.
Other problem areas, take note: when it is broken, this is how you fix it. The Gators defense responded well to criticism they took over failing to contain BJ Daniels.
Granted, nobody on Tennessee was as elusive as BJ Daniels, and that doesn't change the fact that Randall Cobb is very BJ Daniels-ish and Kentucky probably thought "Hey, we could do that! Let's run those plays!", and oh crap, I just realized that Florida is going to have trouble with Kentucky next week HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME.
Recipient: Jon Bostic for his end-zone interception
Bonus Prize: Supple leather, middle linebacker chair now with Auto-cooling seat (never sit in the hot seat again!)
Bostic leads a group of almost consistently satisfying new Gators defenders. For such an inexperienced group, they have stepped up on numerous occasions and come up with big plays.
It all starts with No. 52. He has followed the path that Channing Crowder laid down and continued the Gators' tradition of outstanding middle linebacker play.
Back to the play in question: Tennessee recovered a Janoris Jenkins fumbled punt and on the next play took advantage of a breakdown in coverage by the Gators to get inside the 10-yard line.
The Gators had just gone up 7–3 and a Volunteer touchdown would have killed any Florida momentum.
On third-and-goal from the three-yard line, Bostic sat on a route which Matt Simms failed to notice. Simms threw the ball right at Bostic, who jumped up to make the catch in the end zone.
Had it not been for that play, Tennessee would have gone into the half with the lead. Bostic may have saved more than just a touchdown with his play.
Recipient: Omarius Hines for his 36 yard fake punt rush
Bonus Prize: A custom No. 25 jersey with the name "Scourge"
"Good ole' Rocky Top, Rocky Top TennESOHGODWHY!!!!" Sorry, Tennessee; Brandon James may be gone, but Florida is not done killing you with special teams yet.
We replaced our speedy race car returner with a fullback/receiver who sometimes fields trick punts.
This was the Gators second game changing play of the day, and will likely be the play that is forever linked with the 2010 Gators–Vols game.
Tennessee had just tied the game up 10–10, and was quickly turning the game around.
Facing fourth and medium, Tennessee went with a lazy return leaving an easy hole to blast through.
Whether Meyer knew Tennessee was cheating on returns or he just got lucky with how well the play set up for the Gators, the fact is, Tennessee got burned and never recovered.
Florida outscored Tennessee 21–7 after that play, including a touchdown six plays later.
Recipients: Will Hill, Frankie Hammond Jr.
Bonus prize: A crate of Four Lokos to celebrate with NO WAIT BAD IDEA
Hill got burned deep but came up with a huge hit in the first quarter and was in on six tackles on the day. Hammond Jr., caught John Brantley's only touchdown of the day.
Both players clearly have some rust to run off, so it is good they made it onto the field a couple of games before Alabama.
Recipient: Jeff Demps
Bonus Prize: a 5 gallon cooler of Haterade
Demps followed up his most productive game ever with his most featured game ever. He ended the day with 31 touches for 177 yards, and wasn't good enough in most people's eyes.
Tennessee's defense was not the same unit that sat out in the rain on the 11th. They clogged holes and generally made running the ball difficult.
Demps ended with 73 rushing yards on 26 carries, or roughly 33 percent of his average output based on yards per carry. Outside of blowing up rivals, the thing Gators do more than anything else is set unreasonable expectations.
Just because a guy has a high average, does not mean he's always going to get those yards.
It also doesn't except him from an average game (that's what this was, it wasn't a bad game, it was an average game).
A lot of people wrote Demps off as a feature back based on this game. The smart move is to give him another chance. Up until this year, his usage has been erratic, at best, thanks to the Tebow factor. Let him attempt to find his rhythm before capping his carries.
Recipient: Mike Gillislee
Bonus Prize: A few more touches
Gillislee gets this for scoring the most points. I would have given it to Demps because he did have some very nice contributions, but he couldn't find the end zone on Saturday.
However, Gillislee has become Florida's answer to the "Who's Tim Tebow around the goal line?" question.
He has three touchdowns on 18 carries and 118 yards without a single lost yard on the season.
That last part will become important against the SEC's better teams. Florida may be struggling to find an offensive identity right now, but they've actually found their most elusive answer.
Now all they have to do is find a way to get down near the goal line.