Dobbs Leads #14/12 Vols To 38-28 Comeback Win vs. #19/16 Florida
No. 14/12 Tennessee
scored 38-straight points, Joshua Dobbs was responsible for five
touchdowns and the Vols roared back in the second half to take a 38-28
victory over No. 19/16 Florida on Saturday before 102,455 fans at
(4-0, 1-0 SEC) trailed 21-0 in the second quarter and 21-3 at the half.
After Florida (3-1, 1-1 SEC) had outgained UT in total first-half
yardage 300-162, the Vols dominated the second half with 336 yards to
the Gators' 102. Derek Barnett sparked the defense in the second half
with a pair of sacks on key third downs.
the win, Tennessee snapped an 11-game losing streak against Florida
(3-1, 1-1 SEC). The Vols also earned their first win in their SEC
opener since 2004 when they also defeated the Gators 30-28 to begin the
UT is on a 10-game winning streak, dating back
to 2015, which is the third-longest in the nation and the Vols' longest
since winning 14-straight over the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
completed 16 of 32 passes for 319 yards, four touchdowns and two
interceptions and also rushed for 80 yards and one touchdown on 17
carries. Jalen Hurd gained 95 yards on 26 carries.
Jennings had three receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown. Josh
Malone caught four passes for 91 yards and one touchdown.
quarterback Austin Appleby finished 23-of-29 for 296 yards, three
touchdowns and one interception. The Tennessee defense limited the
Gators' vaunted rushing attack to 106 yards and one touchdown on 31
carries (3.4-yard average).
wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. On the game's opening drive,
the Gators went 75 yards down the field in five plays and scored on a
three-yard pass from Appleby to DeAndre Goolsby.
The Vols punted
after crossing midfield on their opening possession and Dillon Bates
dove on a loose ball on the UF 2-yard line ball following a muff by
Florida's Antonio Callaway. The Gators' goal-line defense prevented UT
from scoring on the ensuing possession.
Tennessee's special teams
controlled field position early as punter Trevor Daniel pinned the
Gators inside the 10-yard line three times in the first quarter.
lead grew to 14-0 in the second quarter when Appleby wrapped an
eight-play, 93-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jordan
Cronkrite down the left side.
With a one-yard touchdown run by Jordan Scarlett with 5:12 left in the second quarter, the Gators extended their lead to 21-0.
Medley capped a nine-play, 65-yard Tennessee drive with a 28-yard field
goal with 2:39 remaining in the first half and the Vols went into
halftime down 21-3.
Halfway through the third quarter, Dobbs hit
Hurd for a 23-yard touchdown pass down the right side to cap a
nine-play, 64-yard drive and pull the Vols to within 21-10.
strong defensive stand in Florida territory late in the third quarter,
Dobbs directed a three-play 51 yard drive that ended with a 20-yard
touchdown pass to Ethan Wolf in the middle of the end zone. After an
extra point, the Vols cut the UF lead to 21-17.
Dobbs ignited the
home crowd when he found Jennings down he right sideline for a 67-yard
touchdown pass with 12:45 remaining and the Vols pulled in front,
24-21. The play tied Dobbs' 67-yard touchdown pass to Josh Malone
against Appalachian State for UT's longest of the year.
After a big
third-down interception by Todd Kelly Jr. gave Tennessee the ball at
Florida's 42-yard line, Dobbs connected with Malone down the right
sideline for a 42-yard touchdown strike to push the Vols' lead to 31-21.
Vols ran the ball four-straight times and Dobbs crossed the goal line
with a five-yard run to give UT a 38-21 advantage with 8:27 remaining.
threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Swain with 4:17 left in the
game for Florida's first points since the 5:12 mark of the second
21-POINT RALLY: Tennessee's win following a 21-0
second-quarter deficit ties for the third-biggest comeback in Tennessee
history. In 2015, the Vols rallied back from a 24-3 deficit in the
second quarter of UT's thrilling 38-31 win over Georgia.
THE PICK: Todd Kelly Jr. came up with a big interception early in the
fourth quarter to halt a Florida drive at the Gators' 42. The
interception was the seventh of Kelly's career, tying him with Cameron
Sutton for most on the active roster.
BARNETT THE SACK MASTER: Derek
Barnett recorded the 21st sack of his career, bringing Appleby down for
a one-yard sack late in the third quarter on a 3rd-and-10.
made the 22nd sack of his career in the fourth quarter on 3rd-and-6 at
the UF 24 to force a punt. He passed Parys Haralson (21, 2002-05), John
Henderson (20.5, 19998-2001) and James Wilson (20.5, 1989-93) to move
to No. 5 on UT's all-time sack list. Barnett is half of a sack back of
Todd Kelly (22.5, 1989-92) and fourth place.
NEYLAND EFFECT: The
boisterous home crowd at Neyland Stadium contributed to five positive
plays for Tennessee, including one delay of game and two early Florida
timeouts in the first half and two false starts in the second half.
NEXT: Tennessee will play its first road contest of the season on Oct.
1 when the Vols take on Georgia at Sanford Stadium. The game will have
a 3:30 p.m. broadcast on CBS. `