"I’m proud of the ways our guys fought," said Florida quarterback Austin Appleby on Saturday after the loss to Tennessee. "I wouldn’t want to be out there with anybody else. We’ve got a lot to watch, a lot to fix. We’ll be alright.”
Appleby and company were tossed a few lessons in their 38-28 loss to the Vols. After having one of the best starts to his career and helping the Gators secure a 21-0 lead, the UF offense started to unravel in the second half.
“Tennessee is a great defense and I think they made the adjustments," he said. "Their crowd got back into it when the offense started getting going and I think their defense and their pass rush especially started feeding off of that. We just came up a little bit short.”
After amassing 300 yards in the first half, the Gators only gained eight yards in the third quarter and 102 yards overall in the second half. Florida did not secure its first, first down until there was 7:30 left on the clock.
“Their offense started going, creating a tempo, they were fitting the run on early downs. We were in a lot of third and medium to long situations where they’re able to dial up some of their pressures or use the four man rush with the crowd noise, with the snap counts they were able to get a jump on it," explained Appleby. "Hats off to them. They did a really, really good job. We’ll be OK. We’ll make the corrections. We have a lot to watch. We left a lot out there."
According to Appleby, it was not complacency that led to the downfall.
“I don’t think so at all. We were up; we were keeping the foot on the gas pedal. We didn’t change the plan at all. We were just going to keep coming out there and doing the things that we were doing. I think it’s just hats off to that defense. They came out and they were bringing it.”
The Gators do not have long to dwell on their loss to the Vols, however. On Sunday, UF will watch plenty of film from Saturday's game, but then Florida will turn its sight to Vanderbilt on Monday, making sure
“We’re going to find out what we’re made of.It’s a lot easier to talk about the corrections when you’re winning. Some things kind of slide underneath and don’t get talked about. When you get beat now everything is in the light. We’re going to really be critical of ourselves and make the corrections that maybe we needed to make three weeks ago moving forward.
"We’re going to come together, we’re going to get closer," Appleby added. "There’s never been a Florida team that’s won a National Championship without the one loss. We have a lot of confidence in our group, you won’t see us go into a hole. If anything we’re going to turn it up a little more. We’re going to work as hard as we can possibly work and we’ll be back.”null