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
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
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.
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
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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