Florida at Tennessee

Dobbs rallies No. 14 Vols to 38-28 win over No. 19 Gators

By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer
  •  

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) This time, Tennessee delivered the comeback.

And in the process, the Volunteers took out 11 years' worth of frustration on Florida.

Joshua Dobbs accounted for five second-half touchdowns Saturday and No. 14 Tennessee erased a 21-point deficit to beat No. 19 Florida 38-28 and end their 11-game losing streak in the annual series.

''I didn't see anybody blink,'' Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. ''Nobody flinched. They just kept playing.''

This marks the first time Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 SEC) has beaten Florida (3-1, 1-1) since 2004. The Volunteers had lost to Florida by one point each of the last two years despite leading in the fourth quarter of both games.

Florida was so confident it would continue the streak that Gators cornerback Quincy Wilson boldly said this week that ''nobody has ever seen a duck pull a truck . Florida Gators are going to win, simple as that.''

Tennessee silenced the Gators by reeling off 38 consecutive points.

''I just kept looking at their body language on the sideline, and it was bad,'' said Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett, who recorded two sacks. ''I think they worried about talking too much (rather than) focusing on playing football, and it showed at the end.''

Tennessee safety Todd Kelly Jr. added that ''it just looked like we took their soul, really.''

Dobbs went 16 of 32 for 319 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Trailing 21-0 early against the nation's top-ranked defense, Tennessee stormed back and pulled ahead for good 24-21 with 12:45 left on Dobbs' 67-yard completion to a wide-open Jauan Jennings, who bobbled the ball a few times near the right sideline before making the catch while staying inbounds.

''They came in and took it to us,'' Florida coach Jim McElwain said. ''It's disappointing. We've got a bunch of guys hurting in the locker room. ... These are life lessons. Not every day does everything go just like you wanted. I think the key is what you learn from it and how you're going to respond.''

Florida took an early 21-0 advantage on a pair of Austin Appleby touchdown passes and a 1-yard run by Jordan Scarlett. Both Appleby touchdown passes were set up by long completions from Appleby to Antonio Callaway. The Gators led 21-3 at halftime.

Appleby threw three touchdown passes and one interception while starting in place of Luke Del Rio, who injured his left knee last week in a 32-0 rout of North Texas.

Twice in the first half, Tennessee got inside Florida's 5-yard line and failed to score.

''We came into the locker room and we said, `Don't panic,''' Dobbs said. ''It was simple. We've just got to execute. We've just got to play our brand of football. We were moving the ball on them the whole game.''

THE TAKEAWAY

FLORIDA: Perhaps the Gators' defense isn't quite as good as its statistics suggested. A defense that had been allowing just 4.7 points and 129.7 yards per game couldn't keep Tennessee's offense out of the end zone in the second half. Of course, that defense didn't get any help from an offense that disappeared during Tennessee's comeback.

The Gators' second-half collapse will raise questions about their ability to handle adversity.

TENNESSEE: Dobbs' second-half performance answered questions about his accuracy and Tennessee's downfield passing attack.

After going 7 of 20 for 84 yards with an interception in the first half, Dobbs was 9 of 12 for 235 yards and four touchdowns and an interception the rest of the way. His second-half interception came on Tennessee's first series of the third quarter. After that turnover, Dobbs led Tennessee into the end zone on five of its next six drives.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Tennessee, which was ninth in the preseason poll, should move back into the top-10 this week. Florida likely will sink toward the bottom of the Top 25.

KEY NUMBERS

Tennessee has trailed by double digits in three of its four wins this season. .... This matched the third-biggest comeback in Tennessee history. ... Tennessee outgained Florida 154-8 in the third quarter. ... Tennessee has won 10 straight games over the last two seasons.

UP NEXT

FLORIDA: The Gators visit Vanderbilt.

TENNESSEE: The Volunteers travel to No. 12 Georgia.

---

AP college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Florida #19  (3-1)7140728
Tennessee #14  (4-0) «03142138
Players of the Game
Volunteers

J. Dobbs
Att 32
Comp 16
Yds 319
TD 4
Gators

A. Appleby
Att 39
Comp 23
Yds 296
TD 3
Scoring Summary
FLADeAndre Goolsby 3 yd pass from Austin Appleby (Eddy Pineiro kick)
FLAJordan Cronkrite 15 yd pass from Austin Appleby (Eddy Pineiro kick)
FLAJordan Scarlett 1 yd run (Eddy Pineiro kick)
TENNAaron Medley 28 yd FG
TENNJalen Hurd 23 yd pass from Joshua Dobbs (Aaron Medley kick)
TENNEthan Wolf 20 yd pass from Joshua Dobbs (Aaron Medley kick)
TENNJauan Jennings 67 yd pass from Joshua Dobbs (Aaron Medley kick)
TENNJosh Malone 42 yd pass from Joshua Dobbs (Aaron Medley kick)
TENNJoshua Dobbs 5 yd run (Aaron Medley kick)
FLAFreddie Swain 10 yd pass from Austin Appleby (Eddy Pineiro kick)
 
Team Stats
 FLATENN
First Downs1722
Third Down Efficiency6-167-17
Fourth Down Efficiency1-21-3
Plays-Net Yards70-40279-498
Rushes-Yds31-10646-179
Passing Yds296319
Kick Return Yds1443
Punt Return Yds061
Passes23-39-116-33-2
Punts8-3895-216
Fumbles-Lost1-11-0
Penalties-Yds9-755-40
Time of Poss.29:1430:46
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
FLA: Jordan Scarlett 10-44, Austin Appleby 7-24, Mark Thompson 8-20, Jordan Cronkrite 4-13, Lamical Perine 2-5
TENN: Jalen Hurd 26-95, Joshua Dobbs 17-80, Alvin Kamara 2-6, Team 1--2
PASSING
FLA: Austin Appleby 23-39-296-1
TENN: Joshua Dobbs 16-32-319-2, Jauan Jennings 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING
FLA: Jordan Cronkrite 5-26, DeAndre Goolsby 5-26, Antonio Callaway 4-134, Freddie Swain 2-27, C'yontai Lewis 2-7, Tyrie Cleveland 1-36, C.J. Worton 1-22, Brandon Powell 1-9, Josh Hammond 1-8, Jordan Scarlett 1-1
TENN: Josh Malone 4-91, Jauan Jennings 3-111, Tyler Byrd 3-40, Jalen Hurd 2-25, Ethan Wolf 1-20, Jason Croom 1-15, Alvin Kamara 1-12, Josh Smith 1-5
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Florida1st SEC East6-29-4
Tennessee2nd SEC East4-49-4

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