KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — What a comeback. What a way to end a historic losing streak.
After 4,389 days since last beating Florida, Tennessee exorcised 11 years of demons in epic fashion on Saturday afternoon in Neyland Stadium, scoring 38 straight points en route to a 38-28.
The postgame celebration was bananas.
This is what exaltation looks like. pic.twitter.com/xsH9s7Lemw
— Jesse Re Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) September 24, 2016
Down 21-3 at halftime, the No. 12 Volunteers roared back for their first win over the Gators since 2004. The defense was nasty in the second half (just 102 yards allowed in the second half) and quarterback Josh Dobbs threw for 4 touchdowns.
Stay tuned for Butch Jones updates.
* “I think it’s pretty obvious, I’m proud of our players. I’m proud of their resolve.”
* “I knew this team was not going to be denied. I knew it this morning in the hotel.”
* “Our throw game stepped up. What can I say about Josh Malone.”
* Jones points, jumps on local media: “I hope you guys understand the resolve and resiliency of this football team. … “We are building something special here.” — Says this wasn’t some “must win”
* “I thought Derek Barnett took the game over. … Our entire team fed off him.”
* When asked what his halftime message was, Jones smiled then said, “That’s between us. .. But they knew. They knew.”
* “What can I say about our conditioning. We knew it was going to be a hot game. … The onus was on them. They did a great job.”
* “They’re hearing the boos at halftime and they could’ve folded but they didn’t. … The crowd was into it. We didn’t give them a whole lot to cheer about in the first half but they stayed.”
* “I’m proud of Vol Nation.”
* On performance without JRM, Cam Sutton, DK: “A lot of defenses don’t recover from that.”
* “We needed (App State) game. To prove we could with without playing our best. We’ve gained confidence in close games.”
* “We had to play together. We stayed together.”
* On failed red zone conversions: “We have to score those. Especially in the low red area.”
* Jones praising Dobbs’ consistency, coolness under pressure.
* “I thought we were too emotional (early). We were living and dying on every snap. … It showed. Whereas in the second half we had played every snap.”
* Asked about short-yardage woes: “I’m not going to let anything take away from this victory tonight.”
* Jones to local media: “You guys enjoy this.” ?