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UFvsUT Retro Diary: Fantastically Flawless (with lots of follies)

What in God's name happened???

There will be no formal rewind this week because why? Saturday’s game first half was too rich for that. Since the two teams actually played something resembling football in the second half, I have little interest in recapping a 30-minute snore fest.

So buckle up, grab a handle (beer won’t suffice), a funnel and a NERF gun because The Swamp is about to get real rowdy, y’all.

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Tennessee coach Butch Jones to CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson in pregame: “It’s like how we practice: controlled chaos.”

A great omen.

FIRST QUARTER

14:40 – Tricky Brent Pease. Gators cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy rushes for 15 yards on a toss. Diminutive wideout Solomon Patton sets the edge with a nice block.

It’s a play that worked. For positive yardage. So we’ll probably never see it again.  

13:00 – A whiff. Kyle Christy just dropped a punt. UT -- led by redshirt freshman quarterback Nathan Peterman -- is setup with excellent field position.

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 7.03.53 PM

No you're not...

12:15 – Peterman switches a run play into a Gators blitz. Brillant. Florida shifts late, allowing Dante Fowler Jr. to explode into the backfield UNBLOCKED. The sophomore destroyed Rajon Neal, forcing and recovering the fumble.

Verne Lundquist going to break: “Well, what a start.”

11:44 – Two carries for Gators tailback Matt Jones and zero yards. Jon Halapio -- torn pectoral and all -- hasn’t blocked a soul on either running play. This seems noteworthy because Florida has run behind him both times.

11:07 – Quarterback Jeff Driskel with an underthrown deep ball to Quinton Dunbar.

Third-and-long. I’ve seen this story before.

But hold on: A completion (well protected by the offensive line) to Patton for a first down. Gators receive a nice spot via Penny Wagers.   

9:48 – The setup: 3rd-and-3 and Florida is just inside Tennessee territory. The Gators run a stacked formation to the right side with Jones and Dunbar alone on the left.

Off the snap, the play is a mess. I’m not sure if Dunbar is supposed to pick Trey Burton’s man -- or visa versa -- but neither occurs. Burton actually ducks to avoid hitting a UT defensive back and......

Cue Gary Danielson: “Uh-ohhhhh.”

Driskel tosses a 62-yard pick-six and the rest is history.

Whatever can be said about Driskel -- a lot has and should -- the dude is one tough SOB to limp off the field with a freakin’ broken leg.

Also: FLORDIA IS NOW ONE PLAY AWAY FROM TREY BURTON AT QB.

7-0 UT

9:23 – The Charlie Murphy era is officially underway.

So it’s here I’d like to point out that a Tennessee defense that was SHREDDED in Eugene last weekend is playing with tons of swagger, energy and poise against a bewildered UF offense. Murphy (with his slippery escapability) engineered a couple first downs, but Florida isn’t getting much push running the ball and two false starts (again, UF’s offense looks shell-shocked) killed the drive.

The Vols -- yes, the 2013 Volunteers -- have gotten three consecutive stops.

So what does Ole Butch Jones do? He puts the ball in the hands of his redshirt freshman quarterback making his first career start in The Swamp. Predictably, disaster ensued.

Seriously, I have no idea what Jones is thinking here.

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The Vols are on their own 11-yard line, but decide: ‘What the hell. Go get ‘em, kid.’

[IN BETWEEN THE CHAOS: Uncle Verne “euphemistically” explains Antonio Morrison’s offseason legal issues. #NeverForget #WoofWoof].

Peterman rushes for one yard on a keeper, nearly throws an interception to UF ballhawk Vernon Hargreaves III and then BOOM.

Fowler Jr. strikes again, forcing a fumble when Peterman stepped up in the pocket. UT tackle Antonio Richardson -- a well-regarded NFL prospect -- straight up got his lunch money stolen.

3:24 – The Gators defense -- ranked No. 3 nationally entering the game -- gift-wraps the offense a freebie and UF promptly GOES BACKWARDS.

Murphy fumbles twice on the same play. He bobbles the snap exchange, drops the ball, gets hit, fumbles again, only to have left guard Max Garcia pounce on the bouncing pigskin.

Danielson: “This has been about as sloppy of a first quarter I’ve seen in a long time.”

[Just wait, Gary. Just wait.]

2:21 – The Gators run a pair of plays totaling six yards and face a 4th-and-goal at the five-yard line.

At this point, I wondered if Coach Will Muschamp would just go for it.

Honestly, did you think the Gators would get this close to the end zone again after the first 15 minutes?

But alas, Austin Hardin hits a chip shot and the Gators are on the board.

7-3 UT

SECOND QUARTER

14:24 – Tennessee manages a pair of first downs, so naturally Butch Jones believes MORE THROWING for his rookie quarterback.

Jones makes Tony Montana look passive.

Peterman, staring down one white shirt surrounded by lots of blue shirts, chucks a pass right through Florida linebacker Michael Taylor’s hands.

Taylor flares in his arms in exasperation only be to elated two seconds later when he realizes… Brian Poole snags the deflection for an interception. 

For those too wasted to keep up: UT has three turnovers on its first three possessions, 20 total yards and a 7-3 lead. Wowzers.

13:50 – CBS shows a sideline photo of a one-eyed, one-armed Jon Halapio. Long hair [really] don’t care, I guess. Florida’s all-conference guard returns to field. Another tough dude.

13:35 – Murphy takes a shotgun snap and whips a short toss right for a bubble screen and WHAT? REALLY? A TOUCHDOWN?

Patton eludes a couple of Willie Martinez dummies Volunteers down the sideline and rumbles for a 52-yard score.

An exasperated Danielson wonders aloud why Tennessee's defenders can’t tackle, run or cover a one-yard pass.

“COME ON. … YOU GOTTA SAVE THIS PLAY. … SHEESH.”

10-7 UF

13:23 – Peterman remains in the game. There’s no joke here. 

Amazingly, UT doesn’t turn the ball over and manages to punt.

12:07 – Gators freshman tailback Kelvin Taylor makes an unexpected cameo, runs for three measly yards and The Swamp ROARS IN ADULATION.

Now I might be drunk, but I’m pretty sure Jeezy’s “Standing Ovation” starts playing.   

11:42 – Murphy gets drilled in the face with the snap. Tennessee recovers “the fumble.”

FACE-FUMBLE1
(Courtesy SB Nation) 

More Danielson: “Jeez. This is as bad as I’ve seen.”

Somebody please get the man whatever Johnny Football is sipping.

11:31Danielson: “Peterman. Still back in the game.”

I’m as surprised as Gary. Tennessee -- with the ball on Florida’s 38-yard line and down just three points -- runs three consecutive downs for 12 yards.

Now in field goal range (UF’s 26-yard line), the Vols’ camp again places the ball in Peterman’s hands.

They lose 21 yards on the next three plays. No more kick.

Oh, and here’s a trick play the Volunteers ran. Pretty sure Jones calls it “The Orange Crush.”

VolsLineStaysPutFlorida
(Courtesy the nosebleeds.com)

That’s some serious rookie hazing.

9:04 – The Gators -- following a Tennessee punt -- take over on their own six-yard line.

5:30 – Murderball engage. Six straight runs -- totaling 26 yards -- but Gators face a 3rd-and-long after a Halapio holding penalty.

5:02 – adfkdhafsdkfhasdkhadfjdasgfjadsjfadfdfadkdfjadfjdlaffadsfdasfd

Danielson: “Safe play, supposedly. Call a play you can’t get a turnover on and you get a turnover.”

On a simple crossing route, Jones fumbles after inexplicably trying to switch hands holding the football.

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4:04 – Peterman. Oy vey.

On a 3rd-and-9 (on UF’s 28-yard line), Tennessee’s quarterback whiffs on a throw and the ball ends up in the lap of Gators nose tackle Darius ‘Bear’ Cummings.

Cummings had an escort service to the end zone, only there was no reservations for six after teammate Dominique Easley accidently tackled him. 

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2:35 – Murphy runs for 12-yards on an easy zone-read.

It’s here Pease probably realized/said, “Wait. That’s right. These guys played Oregon last week and couldn’t stop the zone-read then either. Maybe we should keep doing THAT.”

1:25 – More tricky Pease. Florida successfully runs a double-counter handoff (12-yards) in a Wild Gator formation.

0:47 – 2nd-and-goal at the three-yard line and Mack Brown rumbles into the end zone for the dagger touchdown. Garcia with an excellent pull block to clear the way for Brown.

17-7 UF 

0:37PA Announcer: “NOW IN AT QUARTERBACK FOR TENNESSEE, JUSTIN WORLEY.”

Mercifully, Peterman is benched.

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But hell it took so long I’m guessing the conversation between Jones and Peterman went something like…

JONES

Mr. Peterman, you want to leave?

N. PETERMAN

I’ve already left, coach. I’m in Abaddon.

JONES

Abaddon?

N. PETERMAN

You most likely know it as The Swamp's visiting locker room lavatory, but it was always be Abaddon to me.

HALFTIME

[Danielson and Verne pass out]

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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