Add another chapter of heartbreak to the Tennessee-Florida book for the Volunteers. In a game that Tennessee should have won, Tennessee found a way to lose. They were better offensively than the Gators, but didn’t convert when they needed to do so.
Somehow they found themselves back in the game, only to see this happen.
The simple fact is this — Tennessee should have never been in this situation. The Vols missed three field goals, but the game was totally flipped during a goal line sequence in the third quarter.
In what turned about to be the most critical series of the game, Butch Jones and Larry Scott decided to put their best weapon and player on the shelf. John Kelly didn’t get a single touch here, after converting all his goal line chances against Georgia Tech just two weeks ago.
Here’s the full sequence.
You’ve got a struggling quarterback and a running back that averaged seven yards per carry this afternoon. Tennessee proceeded to throw the ball five times, one of which was intercepted.
Tennessee ran 7 plays within Florida's ten yard line. All seven were passes, only one complete (for no gain).— David Wunderlich (@Year2) September 16, 2017
This was still a 6-3 game at the time. Instead of going up 10-6, Tennessee handed the ball back to Florida and got zero points out of the drive.
You can’t do that. That cannot happen.
Hand it to John Kelly every play.— RockyTopTalk (@RockyTopTalk) September 16, 2017
For better or for worse, it's all we have. Atrocious play-calling.
Dormady went on to throw a pick six on his next drive, which I think everyone could feel coming. Tennessee found a way to fight back, which they should absolutely be proud of. But the game was given away on that goal line sequence right there.
I feel terrible for John Kelly. He left everything on the field today, but he should have walked into the endzone to finish off that drive. Instead, it ended in a pick — and ultimately a loss for Tennessee.
To Butch’s credit, he’s already owning this loss.
Butch Jones: I'm proud of our players. It's on me.— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) September 16, 2017
This one is going to sting for a while, though.