KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Florida coach Jim McElwain showered praise on Tennessee and said he hoped his players learned a lesson after the Vols’ 38-28 win over the Gators on Saturday.
“I hope they take a big lesson, (and) in life, there are a lot of good things in being humble,” said McElwain, who did little to quell his players’ boastful talk in the offseason. “As I said, back it up. They didn’t back it up. There might be a lesson.”
McElwain’s Gators became the first to lose to Tennessee since Ron Zook’s team in 2004, squandering a 21-3 halftime lead en route to the loss.
Tennessee improved to 4-0 and 1-0 in SEC play with the victory against Florida (3-1, 0-1).
The Gators coach tipped his cap to Mike DeBord’s offensive wrinkles, which led to Tennessee scoring 35 consecutive points in the second half.
“There wasn’t a bunch that we hadn’t seen before, but there were some formations and motions that were different from what they had done,” McElwain said. “Josh Dobbs is a great player. He is fun to watch and is ultra-competitive … give him the credit, he was not to be denied tonight. I’m glad he is gone.”
Florida tailback Mark Thompson said, “We were a little lax, (and) we didn’t have the same intensity that we did the first half and it showed.”
The Gators were obviously disappointed leaving the stadium.
“It’s been 11 years,” UF junior linebacker Alex Anzalone said to FloridaGators.com. “To be the team that lost the (streak) really hurts.”