It’s time to assess Coach Meyer’s Plan to Win, which worked on the road in a narrow victory over the Volunteers, 21-20.
Forget the 231 passing yards. That may have been the most dominating run stopping performance against a quality team that I can remember. It was all about consistency. To think that Tennessee’s leading rusher would finish with 17 carries and 14 yards is pretty unbelievable. To realize the longest run from scrimmage for any runner was only five yards, the Gator coaches will take that all day every day. They got burned on the trick play and a couple of penalties really could have cost them, but they were special tonight.
Red Zone Offense (A)
The Gators were 2-2 in the red zone on the night, scoring touchdowns on each chance.
Special Teams (C-)
I could probably go lower, but the special teams are not what they were last season. Two missed field goals, a punt return for a touchdown called back. Eric Wilbur hit a couple of nice punts tonight and I think the Gators found themselves a franchise return specialist in Brandon James.
Time of Possession (A)
With the lack of running game for the Vols, the time of possession was in major favor of the Gators. The Gators had the ball 10 minutes and eight seconds more than Tennessee and used every bit of it to win the game.
Offensive Player of the Game:
DeShawn Wynn – It could go to Chris Leak, Tim Tebow or Dallas Baker, but Wynn deserves a player of the game. His 104 rushing yards were big and the fact that he continued to run hard the entire game had to be quite frustrating for the Tennessee defense.
Defensive Player of the Game:
Reggie Nelson – His only official stats after the game were two interceptions, but he caught Ainge’s first pass of the game and the last. He certainly made a huge difference in the game, even when not making plays.
Special Teams Player of the Game:
Brandon James – This is the first time I have added special teams to the mix, but After a couple of returns it was very apparent the Vols caught on, He became such a worry, he was probably responsible for the kick out of bounds before the Gators last scoring drive.
Here and There…
Chris Leak became the only quarterback in UF history to win in Knoxville, against Georgia (twice), in Tallahassee, in Baton Rouge, and win a bowl game.
Montario Hardesty rushed for five yards on his second carry of the game in the third possession by the Vols. He ran for three yards one other time and less every other rush.
The Gators have won five straight over Tennessee, Georgia, and FSU matching the longest streak over the three in school history (1995-1996).