Tennessee (1-3, 0-1 SEC) fell to No. 9-ranked Florida (4-0, 2-0 SEC) in Gainesville 34-3.
Here are three takeaways from the loss:
Brian Maurer provides a (small) spark
After starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano failed to put together any scoring drives in the first half, true freshman Brian Maurer led the offense to start the second half. Maurer quickly capitalized on the opportunity. On Tennessee’s opening drive of the half, Maurer led the Vols on an 11-play, 52-yard drive that ended with Tennessee’s first (and only) points of the game.
Tennessee’s drive stalled at Florida’s 23-yard line and Brent Cimaglia connected on a 40-yard field goal to get the Vols on the board. While his 4-of-11 passing performance wasn’t exactly impressive, Maurer showed poise and made some difficult throws to keep the drive alive.
Tennessee’s defense starting to generate more turnovers
There weren’t many bright spots in Tennessee’s 31-point loss, but the defense did force three turnovers in the game. However, the Vols didn’t turn those turnovers into points. Also, Tennessee lost the turnover battle 4-3.
Three turnovers is a step in the right direction. However, the Vols need to start winning the turnover battle and turning those turnovers into points if they want to win games.
Penalties, penalties, penalties …
Tennessee was flagged seven times today for 75 yards. It is hard to win games in the SEC. It is even harder when you are consistently behind the chains.
An early personal foul penalty killed Tennessee’s opening drive and any momentum the team had. However, the biggest head scratcher of the game was when Tennessee failed to get off a play to start the second quarter. That miscue resulted in a delay of game penalty and cost the Vols five yards.
Those seemingly small mistakes add up over the course of a game and lead to losses. Going forward, Tennessee needs to minimize the penalties and mental errors to have a chance to win games in conference play.
Featured image courtesy of TNJN archives
Edited by Ciera Noe and Christian Knox