With one of their top rivals already vanquished, Florida Gators' head football coach Billy Napier enjoyed his peak moment of popularity to date following UF's win over the Tennessee Volunteers. Less than 30 days after thousands of fans were declaring Napier to be "on the hot seat", he was posing for pictures with fans who had rushed the field to celebrate the victory.
Without context, Napier could appear to be on a trajectory to ultimately become as respected as the man behind the field's namesake: Steve Spurrier, but Gators fan's shouldn't start making hotel reservations near the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl just yet.
Consider the following stats:
- Florida's offense failed to score a touchdown throughout the entire second half, despite all of the momentum they enjoyed as they entered the locker room of their home field at halftime.
- With the exception of a scoring flury of 20-points in the 2nd quarter, the Gators were outscored in the other three quarters.
- On several pivotal offensive downs for Tennessee, it wasn't the Gators' defensive skill that stopped the Vols, it was Tennessee's self-inflicted loss of yardage via penalties, such as a false start on a 4th and 1. The Vols finished the night with 10 offensive penalties for a combined negative 79 yards.
- Florida kicker Adam Mihalek was way short on a 46-yard field goal early and had an extra point blocked.
A post-Tennessee slump wouldn't be a major surprise for Florida. While they should easily win this weekend vs. Charlotte, they will face two major road tests in the next few weeks, with a trip to Kentucky on Sept. 30 and South Carolina on Oct. 14. South Carolina suprised many with its performance last week, as they led Georgia, the defending national champions, for much of the game.