The Florida Gators’ last two games were against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Vols.
Florida went 1-1 in those games. The Gators lost to Alabama 31-29 and beat Tennessee 38-14.
If you look at only the final scores, it would appear that Florida narrowly lost to Bama, while crushing Tennessee.
But the final scores don’t tell the whole story.
The Vols played Florida much closer than the final score indicated. And a look at the stats shows that Tennessee played statistically better against Florida than Alabama. The only problem was that trips inside Florida territory didn’t result in touchdowns for the Vols.
Here’s what Bama did against Florida.
And here’s what the Vols did against Florida.
Tennessee had nearly 100 more total yards than Alabama against Florida while running only five more plays than the Crimson Tide did against the Gators.
The Vols rushed for 4.0 yards per carry compared to Alabama’s 3.3 yards per carry.
Tennessee was 5-of-13 on third downs. Alabama was 7-of-13 on third downs.
As for time of possession? The Vols held the ball for just over 24 minutes, while Alabama possessed the ball for just over 28 minutes.
One big area of concern for the Vols has been penalties. Surprisingly, Alabama was penalized more against Florida than Tennessee.
The Crimson Tide had 11 penalties for 75 yards. Tennessee had 10 penalties for 85 yards.
Now, obviously the Vols need to cut down on those penalties regardless of what Alabama did. But it’s not like Tennessee is playing undisciplined football while the defending national champs are playing perfect football.
The Vols aren’t that far away. They need to eliminate dropped passes and they need to play more disciplined. Increased talent level and depth will help in those areas.
Tennessee has a lot of work to do, but the numbers show that the Vols are making vast improvements under Josh Heupel.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports