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Gators Grades: Substitute shines

GAINESVILLE -- Before I re-watch the tape (probably tomorrow or Monday) of No. 19 Florida’s ugly win (31-17) over an undermanned Tennessee team, here are some rapid reaction grades.

ICYMI: My notebook discussing the Gators’ defensive performance, Brian Poole’s ejection and more.

OFFENSE B

Tyler Murphy impressed, filling in admirably for the injured Jeff Driskel. The Gators again dominated the stat sheet -- but this time they didn’t self-destruct in the red zone. UF went 4-of-5 inside Tennessee’s 20-yard line -- with three touchdowns. Florida amassed 256 rushing yards on 56 attempts, but again averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry (3.7). It was a crazy game. The Gators fumbled the ball six times but managed to recover the ball four times. It wasn’t an extraordinary performance, but one worthy of a victory -- especially after losing a starting quarterback.

DEFENSE A-

Tennessee’s halftime line: 5 passing yards, 4 turnovers, 3 first downs. Sheesh. The Vols started a redshirt freshman quarterback -- Nathan Peterman -- in his first-career start in The Swamp, and it predictably did not go well. The Gators forced turnovers on Tennessee’s first three possessions and until injuries finally caught up with the secondary, shut down any semblance of a Vols attack. Dante Fowler Jr. was a monster against two really good tackles. Overall, UF had six takeaways and held UT to 5-of-13 on third down.

SPECIAL TEAMS B

The coverage units were again solid, but UF still hasn’t had a complete special teams performance this season. Austin Hardin was 1-of-2 on field goals, missing a 41-yarder with a chance to ice the game late in the fourth quarter. Kyle Christy whiffed on catching a punt and gift-wrapped the Volunteers with excellent field position (subsequently squandered). Solomon Patton had another nice kickoff return (38-yarder).

Thoughts? Comments?

Have at it.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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