September 17, 2011
Florida jumped on Tennessee 16-0 early, but a late touchdown pass by UT quarterback Tyler Bray cut the lead to 16-7 heading into halftime. Here are some first-half notes:
-- Florida was able to move the ball against lesser opponents FAU and UAB by doing nothing more than running the ball and having John Brantley throw passes to the Gators' running backs in the flat. It was a simple strategy that continued to work in the first half against the Volunteers. Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps combined for a combined 70 rushing yards and 58 receiving yards.
-- Rainey once again made his presence felt on special teams, blocking a punt in the second quarter. His blocked punt was the fifth of his career, a new school record, and set up a Caleb Sturgis field goal after the offense took over from the UT 13-yard line. Rainey also logged a 13-yard punt return later in the second quarter, starting UF's drive from the UT 34-yard line and setting up another field goal by Sturgis.
-- Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis connected from 28, 30, and 46 yards out on his three field goal attempts in the first half. Sturgis is now 8-for-8 on the season. His first two field goals came from the red zone, however, an area of concern for offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
-- Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter, who came into Saturday's game with 16 catches for 302 yards and two touchdowns, went down with a leg injury with 9:11 remaining in the first quarter. Hunter had just converted a third-and-10 with a 12-yard reception before going down on the field.
-- UF's defense has now allowed just 10 points in 150 minutes of play to this point in the season. The only other score was a field goal in the season opener by FAU. Tennessee's offense went three-and-out on three of its first four drives.
-- Brantley was sacked for the first time this season for a loss of 10 yards by UT defensive back Art Evans.
-- Fullback Trey Burton scored Florida's lone touchdown of the first half on a play-action pass from Brantely on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
-- Safety Josh Evans gave away 30 yards in penalties in the first half, committing personal foul and pass interference penalties. Cornerback Cody Riggs and linebacker Jelani Jenkins were also flagged for pass interference calls.