GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A grinding Florida offense controlled the ball and wore down the clock as the No. 11/9 Tennessee Volunteers fell to the Gators, 29-16, on Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Florida (2-1, 1-0 SEC) held a 37:34 to 22:17 edge in time of possession as it shortened the game and kept Tennessee’s offense from finding its rhythm.
Quarterback Joe Milton III finished the night 20-of-34 for 287 passing yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception. He found wideout Ramel Keyton in the first stanza for an 11-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring as UT took an early 7-0 lead after going six plays for 71 yards.
The Gators responded by scoring on four consecutive drives in the first half as they built up a 26-7 halftime lead. Florida quarterback Graham Mertz was 19-of-24 with 166 yards through the air and one touchdown pass on the night. He added one score on the ground.
Gator tailback Trevor Etienne played a large role in controlling the ball as he churned up 172 yards on the ground on 23 carries. He found the endzone once on a 62-yard rush in the first quarter. Running back Montrell Johnson Jr. rushed for a score in the second frame before hauling in a touchdown pass late in the quarter. He finished the night with 23 yards on the ground and 18 through the air.