Three reasons that Florida was able to beat top-ranked Tennessee

The Florida Gators were able to beat top-ranked Tennessee,29-16. What are three reasons that the Gators were able to win this game?

Tennessee v Florida
Tennessee v Florida / James Gilbert/GettyImages

The Florida Gators beat the Tennessee Volunteers, 29-16 in an upset. Joe Milton struggled on the offensive end as the Volunteers couldn't really get their offense going in the first half of the game. Still, the offense's performance for Florida was quite impressive.

3. Gators' defense helped Florida beat Tennessee

Yes, the Tennessee Volunteers probably have some issues that they will need to work out. Still, this is a Gators defense that was able to keep Tennessee from scoring more than 7 points for a quarter. It seemed like Tennessee's offense was able to break through more in the second half of this game but Florida held throughout the entire game.

They got some luck with penalties and a referee mistake that allowed the Gators to get fresh bodies, but still stopping a Tennessee offense is not something that was on many people's bingo cards for the Gators.

2. Playmaking core for the Gators

Graham Mertz did not have amazing game by any means but he was able to support the playmaking core for Florida. Eugune Wilson III and Ricky Pearsall were the two main stars for the Gators in this game as they were both able to get 6 catches for around 40 yards each. These stats are not eye-popping by any means but it is reflective of what the Gators need to do in the passing game.

The passing game wasn't on fire as the team only ended up with 166 passing yards but it did what was needed to support the running game. Still, Mertz was able to get this offense in key YAC situations for their playmakers. Those playmakers delivered on their way to the upset victory.

1. Trevor Etienne

Trevor Etienne had an amazing day of work as he was able to have 172 rushing yards and 1 TD in a game where he was the superstar for this Gators offense. The reason that the Gators were able to score 29 points in this game was due to the running game.

Etienne, who had most of Florida's 183 rushing yards was a star. At the end of the day, the offense for the Gators was always going to come from their rushing attack this season. Montrell Johnson Jr, who is a good running back in his own rights was unable to provide a lot in this game but Etienne picked up the slack on the way to the upset victory.

College football rankings 2023: Projected Week 4 AP Top 25 after Tennessee upset, Alabama, Texas, Georgia struggle. Tennessee's upset loss to Florida proves costly for Vols Alabama falls in rankings despite a win Georgia, Florida State, Texas all stumble into wins. dark. Next