Saturday, September 17, 2011
Halftime: Florida 16, Tennessee 7
By Edward Aschoff
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida led Tennessee 16-7 at the half.
Best player in the half: The Gators moved the ball well on two scoring drives and had good field position on two others, but they've only punched it into the end zone once. Thanks for the leg of kicker Caleb Sturgis, Florida has a nine-point lead. He is a perfect 3-for-3 kicking, including a long of 46 yards, at the half.
Best call: Chris Rainey is one of the fastest, most athletic players in the SEC and special-teams coach D.J. Durkin made a great decision when he moved Rainey from punt returner to a gunner in the middle of Florida's punt block unit on Tennessee's first punt of the game. Rainey shot through the line and blocked Michael Palardy's punt to give Florida the ball at Tennessee's 13.
What Florida needs to do: The Gators had a lot of early success with its running game, but had just 49 yards rushing at the half. Charlie Weis said he wants to have a power running game and for Florida's offense to get back on track in the second half, the running game has to improve. Rainey and Jeff Demps need more touches and the Gators have to score touchdowns in the red zone.
What Tennessee needs to do: The Vols showed toward the end of the half that they can throw on Florida's defense. When Tyler Bray isn't making plays with his arms, Florida's defense is helping with penalties. Its youth is showing and Tennessee needs to exploit that. Tennessee has the matchups it wants, so it needs to air the ball out in the second half.