Florida Gators Continue To Defend The Swamp
Heading into this past Saturday’s contest, the Florida Gators have not lost at home to the Tennessee Volunteers since 2003 and that streak continues. The Gators won 29-16 upsetting the at the time, 11th team in the country. They scored 26 unanswered points which helped them deliver the upset.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium otherwise known as the Swamp coined by former head coach Steve Spurrier, is one of the loudest environments in college football and most difficult to play for an away team. At Gators games, it is a tradition to sing the late Tom Petty’s ‘I Won’t Back Down”. The energy was unmatched as thousands of fans were singing the song.
The energetic and passionate Gators fans got involved into the game as the Volunteers had ten penalties for 79 yards. The sold-out crowd of 90,751 was just too much for the Volunteers to overcome.
Joe Milton vs. Gators
This was Volunteers quarterback Joe Milton second game against the Gators but, his first start. In 2021, with them losing 38-14, Milton came in for relief of quarterback Hendon Hooker and went 2-8 for 54 yards. Milton’s arm strength is incredible however, his biggest weakness is his accuracy and he has demonstrated that both times against the Gators. In the loss, Milton went 20-34 for 287 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
That interception was thrown to Devin Moore on a deep ball, as Milton was hit by nose tackle Desmond Watson. Tyreak Sapp the nephew of hall-of-famer Warren Sapp, got in on the fun as he sacked Milton as well.
Milton is 0-2 against the Gators and is also 0-2 against Gators quarterback Graham Mertz. Mertz and Hilton went head-to-head in November of 2020 with Milton at Michigan and Mertz at Wisconsin. Mertz led the Wisconsin Badgers to a 49-11 with two passing touchdowns while Milton had two interceptions.
Trevor Etienne Is A Baller
Trevor Etienne brother of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne, looks to be one of the best running backs in the nation as he continues to have another dominant game and be the main focal point of the offense. He rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown while averaging 7.5 yards a carry.
However, the other running back Montrell Johnson is also a monster as he had a rushing and receiving touchdown. This Gators running back duo has the chance to make the Gators offense special and take a lot of pressure off of Mertz.
Wide Receivers Need More Targets
However, even though the Gators have two solid running backs, they need to get other members of the team involved. Wide receiver Ricky Pearsall is very solid and always delivers when needed. Almost 70% of his catches while as a Florida Gator have been for either a first down or a touchdown.
Also, the Gators may have something special in freshman wide receiver Eugene Wilson III. Like Pearsall, he had six receptions but for one more yard then him at 44.
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Brian Ramos is a contributor on Back Sports Page. Along with receiving his B.A. in Sports Communications, he has over a year of experience in the sports industry and has interviewed a variety of people in the sports industry, such as Mac McClung, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Don La Greca, Adam Schefter, and others. In addition, to writing, Ramos has called women’s lacrosse and baseball on ESPN+. Ramos has a podcast on YouTube called Cut The Nets, along with his co-host Jeremy Gretzer. You can find Brian on Instagram at @Brian.ramos0219 and Twitter at @brianramos0219.
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