Odds and Ends

Florida fans may have felt a little queasy watching their team struggling to put away Tennessee, but part of the reason the game turned into a fireworks free skirmish may have been that several key UF players felt considerably worse.

Urban Meyer revealed after the game that several Gators were dealing with significant illnesses. Tight end Aaron Hernandez was quarantined on Friday because he had the flu, while running back Jeff Demps played against UT with a 101 degree temperature.

On the defensive side of the ball, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham also spent two days in isolation while dealing with the stomach flu. Brandon Spikes didn't have the flu, but has been affected by Achilles tendonitis since midweek. Despite being fitted for orthotics to alleviate the resulting pain, Spikes had to come out of the game for a substantial portion of time.

"There's some tough guys on this team now," said Urban Meyer. "Jeff Demps looked like he saw a ghost. He was pale when I went to see him pregame."

DT ON THE DL

Deonte Thompson wound up not being able to play as a result of the hamstring injury he suffered against Troy. The sophomore came out and attempted to loosen it up enough to go during early warmups, but was not physically ready to contribute. The combined factors of Thompson's absence and Tennessee playing a zone defense aimed at preventing deep passing resulted in UF's longest completion being just 18 yards, and that was on a screen pass.

"It hurt our depth," said wide receiver Brandon James. "We usually rotate guys in and out and we kind of had to stay with three guys staying in the game the whole time."

There's no word on whether Thompson might be available for Florida's visit to Kentucky next week.

STURGIS RALLIES

Florida used Caleb Sturgis as its kicker instead of Jonathan Phillips and the sophomore performed very well. He converted field goals from 29, 35 and 37 yards out as well as both extra points. After the game Meyer said the decision on which of the two kickers will see action will be made weekly for the rest of the season based on their performances in practice.

UF STILL STREAKING, TEBOW ISN'T

Florida and Cal are now tied for the nation's longest active winning streaks at 13 each. Utah was the leader with sixteen, but were defeated by Oregon. UF's streak is also the longest in program history.

Tim Tebow's nation leading string of thirty consecutive games with a touchdown pass was broken in this game. He didn't have a lot of chances, as Florida's offense leaned heavily on the run. For the game, Tebow was 14-of-19 for 115 yards. He was sacked three times and intercepted once. Not everything was bad for Tebow though, as he tied Kevin Faulk for second on the SEC's all-time rushing touchdown list with 46. Herschel Walker's conference record is 49.

TAKING THE LEAD

For the first time in the Florida-Tennessee series, UF now holds the all time advantage. The two schools were tied at 19 wins apiece coming into Saturday's game. It's been a steady climb to achieve the mark, as the Gators have won 18 of the last 24 in the series.

SO LONG, TREEBOW

The popular Tim Tebow statue that was carved into a tree outside of the Ballyhoo restaurant in Gainesville has been painted over with a new number. It now features Danny Wuerffel's number after concerns were raised about possible NCAA issues from the restaurant using Tebow's likeness while he was still a student athlete.

I DO... WANT YOU OFF THE FIELD

A couple of hours after the game was concluded, there was a sudden burst of applause from around two dozen Gator fans in the south end zone. The reason? A marriage proposal was being made and accepted on the block F at midfield. As the happy couple embraced, a yellow shirted security raced over to insist they leave the field immediately. But hey, he didn't have them arrested for trespassing - what a guy!


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