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Tennessee vs Florida Recap: Tennessee Loses Shocker As Time Expires, 26-20

Inefficiency and mistakes cost the Vols a victory in The Swamp.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that's about Tennessee vs Florida as you can get folks.

Tennesse traveled to Gainesville this weekend looking for their first win in The Swamp since 2003 and their second consecutive win against the Gators since the 2003-2004 seasons.

But extremely questionable play calling, an inept offense, and a miraculous last-second play prevented that from happening.

And as usual, Florida's defense carried the team even though the offense was basically a non-factor until the last play of the game.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Florida
Feleipe Franks did enough to keep the Gators in the lead throughout the game.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Vols had several opportunities to tie the game or take the lead, but the miscues and inefficiency that usually occur during matchups with Florida reared their ugly heads once again.

A subpar first half on offense set the Vols behind at halftime 6-3. Both defenses played extremely well, making the needed stops and plays on a consistent basis in order to curtail the offensive game plans for both teams.

The Vols were able to find a pass rush, recording twice as many sacks in the first half than they had recorded all season. The Gators didn't record any sacks, but they were able to get enough consistent pressure to make Vols quarterback Quinten Dormady throw an interception and make several errant throws that derailed drives.

The kickers for both teams were the main story of the first half. Tennessee kicker Brent Cimaglia nailed a 51-yard field goal, but missed a 47-yarder before halftime. Florida's Eddie Pineiro hit both of his attempts, one from 41-yards and the other from 27-yards to give the Gators a 6-3 halftime lead.

Tennessee v Florida
Quinten Dormady struggled mightily against Florida.
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Surprisingly, Florida actually had more passing yards in the first half than Tennessee, something that was not expected at all coming into the game.

Despite the poor performance in the first half by the offense, hopes were still high that the Vols could come out and perform at a high level in the second half.

Those hopes were diminished quickly after UT went three-and-out on their first possession of the third quarter. The Vols forced a huge turnover when Nigel Warrior forced a fumble, but the Vols shot themselves in the foot on the following drive.

This was arguably the turning point of the game. Tennessee managed to drive all the way to the Gators one-yard line. The terrible series that followed was marred by bad play calling, miscues, and a huge turnover on Quinten Dormady's second interception of the game.

The Vols decided to throw a fade route on first and goal from the one yard line that only resulted in a penalty against the Gators. John Kelly had 24 yards on first two carries of the drive, why would you not hand the ball off at this point?

Indiana State v Tennessee
This was arguably the worst coached game of Jones's career.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

It didn't stop there. The Vols then had a false start called against them followed by a dropped pass by wide receiver Jordan Palmer on a good back shoulder throw by Dormady. Kelly finally touched the ball, but only on a swing pass that netted negative one yard.

And to put the icing on the cake, Dormady was intercepted on the following play due to a bad route by the reciever.

Tennessee's defense showed up again, holding Florida to a three-and-out on their next possession.

But questionable play calling on the next drive doomed Tennessee again. A holding call on third and one set the Vols back and the Gators sacked Quinten Dormady to force another missed 51-yard field goal attempt for Cimaglia.

Dormady threw his third interception of the game on the next drive for Tennessee, but this time it resulted in a touchdown for the Florida defense to put the Gators up 13-3.

Another missed field goal from the Vols kept the score at 13-3 and the Gators were about two yards away from putting the game away for good when Florida running back Malik Davis fumbled the ball on his way into the end zone for a Tennessee touchback.

The second turnover of the game for the Gators sparked the first touchdown of the game for the Vols, as Kelly rumbled 34 yards for a touchdown to pull the Vols within three points, 13-10.

Could the defense step up and get a big stop?

It didn't start well, as the Gators returned the opening kick into Tennessee territory. The Vols made a couple stops early, but the Gators were still able to find success on offense and drove down and scored, putting the score at 20-10.

But the Vols weren't finished there. Kelly took a screen pass 52-yards to the Florida 28-yard line. Dormady then hit tight end Ethan Wolf on a beautiful 28-yard pass for a touchdown to bring the Vols within three yet again, 20-17.

The Vols defense stepped up in a huge way, forcing an interception on Florida's following drive.

Back-to-back big plays from Kelly and tight end Austin Pope brought the Vols down to the Gators 16-yard line, but consecutive penalties on the Vols put Tennessee in an awkward position.

Tennessee caught a huge break when defensive end CeCe Jefferson was called for a facemask penalty on Kelly, creating a first down and goal at the Gator 10-yard line.

Kelly dropped a sure touchdown on first and goal - a reflection of the Vols overall offensive performance for the day. The next two plays were questionable calls resulting in no yards for the Vols.

This was the second trip inside the Gator's ten for Tennessee, and they were only able to produce three points after Aaron Medley's 27-yard field goal knotted the game up, 20-20.

And what do you know, Florida found yet another incredible way to win in The Swamp as Feleipe Franks hit wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland for a 63-yard touchdown to win the game.

It was an up and down performance from the Vols that ended in an arguably worse defeat than the 2015 game in Gainesville. The Vols left close to 16 points off the board, made mistakes both on the field and behind the sideline, but in the end they had themselves in a position to possibly win the game.

Tennessee finished with 442 total yards of offense, averaging over six yards per play. They also committed three turnovers, seven penalties, and went 6/16 on third down conversions. Florida finished with 380 total yards and averaged over six yards per play. They committed three turnovers, eight penalties, and went 7/14 on third down.

Players of the Game:

Tennessee Volunteers:

RB, John Kelly - 19 carries, 141 yards, 1 TD, six receptions for 96 yards. Kelly was once again Tennessee's best player and they would be absolutely lost on offense without him.

Florida Gators:

QB, Feleipe Franks - 18/28, 212 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. Franks looked completely different in his second career start and made the game winning play at the end of the game.

WR, Tyrie Cleveland - five receptions, 93 yards, 1 TD - Cleveland didn't do much until the end of the game, but he made the biggest play of the game on his 63-yard touchdown reception.