Sept. 15, 2012
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UT Postgame Notes vs. Florida
#8 Tyler Bray, #37 Brian Randolph, #45 A.J. Johnson, #81 Mychal Rivera.
LEGEND OF THE GAME
Today's Vol For Life Legend of the Game is former UT player and head coach Johnny Majors. His jersey (45) was retired prior to the game, and he became the eighth Vol to have his jersey retired. The others are Peyton Manning (16), Bill Nowling (32), Rudy Klarer (49), Willis Tucker (61), Clyde Fuson (62), Doug Atkins (91) and Reggie White (92).
ESPN GameDay returned to Knoxville for the first time since the UT-Auburn game on Oct. 2, 2004.
UT made its 18th appearance on ESPN GameDay.
This marks the first time these two teams have played when both were ranked since Sept. 15, 2007 (#22 UT vs. #5 UF).
After wearing No. 88 vs. NC State, Alex Bullard has worn No. 89 the past two games while appearing at tight end.
UT all-time record: 796-347-53.
Florida improved its lead in the all-time series to 23-19.
Florida increased its winning streak in the series vs. Tennessee to eight games.
UT is 47-10 at home in September since 1990 and 56-24-2 overall during the month during that time span.
Today's attendance is 102,455, UT's first sellout since the Georgia game on Oct. 8, 2011.
TRENDING ON TWITTER
Many things of Big Orange vintage were trending on Twitter on Saturday night. Those included Tyler Bray, A.J. Johnson and Touchdown Tennessee worldwide and Derek Dooley, PAT, Rocky Top, Tennessee, Vols and Wildcat in the U.S.
BIG ORANGE DEBUTS/POSITION DEBUTS
Wide receiver Alton "Pig" Howard made his first Vol appearance in the second quarter. He is the 10th true freshman to play in 2012.
CHANNELING JOHNNY MAJORS
On the night UT retired Johnny Majors' jersey (No. 45), linebacker A.J. Johnson (who also wears No. 45) lined up at quarterback in the Wildcat package and scored his first career touchdown. His one-yard plunge put the Vols up 20-13 with 7:33 to go in the third quarter.
Earlier in the drive, Johnson bulled his way up the middle for four yards and a first down on his first career rush.
Johnson also finished with 11 tackles and two QB hurries and a tackle for a loss.
Tennessee scored its first 1st quarter touchdown vs. Florida since Jabari Davis' one-yard run vs. the Gators on Sept. 18, 2004.
This marked the first time Tennessee led Florida at the half since the Vols held a 10-7 advantage in 2006. UF went on to win, 21-20.
The 42-yard first-quarter pass play from Tyler Bray to Justin Hunter was Tennessee's sixth offensive play of 40 or more yards this season.
The 16-play drive in the second quarter (76 yards/6:20) that gave UT a 14-7 lead was the longest in terms of plays this season.
Tennessee's passing touchdowns in the first half were the first two surrendered this season by Florida.
Rajion Neal ran for 87 yards on 23 carries, the most by a Vol since Montario Hardesty ran for 96 in 2009.
NOTING TYLER BRAY
Tyler Bray connected for his seventh TD toss of the season and 42nd of his career with a two-yard first-quarter strike to Cordarrelle Patterson.
Bray added No. 8 of 2012 and career TD No. 43 when he hit Mychal Rivera from six yards out in the second stanza.
After completing his first pass of the game to Patterson, Bray saw his consecutive completion streak over the past two games end at 14.
Bray threw his first interception of the 2012 season, surrendering the ball to Gator linebacker Lerentee McCray in the first quarter. It was Bray's first INT in 65 attempts, dating back to his final pass of 2011. He also was picked off by Matt Elam in the third quarter after being hit while throwing.
Bray logged his first career punt, sending a pooch attempt 41 yards to pin Florida at its four-yard-line in the first quarter. Heath Shuler was the last Vol QB to punt, booting one 39 yards vs. LSU on Oct. 3, 1992.
The 16-play drive in the second quarter (76 yards/6:20) that gave UT a 14-7 lead was the longest in terms of plays in Bray's UT career. He previously had three of 14 plays, including twice this season.
The last completion by Bray came in the first drive of the fourth quarter, when he hit Mychal Rivera for an eight-yard gain. Bray finished one for nine passing in the fourth quarter.
This was Tyler Bray's fourth two-interception game. The last one came at Kentucky (also Vanderbilt, Florida) in 2011.
JUSTIN HUNTER MAKING PRESENCE FELT
Justin Hunter hauled in a 42-yard pass from Tyler Bray in the first quarter, marking his longest reception of the season.
Hunter's presence on the field drew a pair of pass interference penalties from Florida, including one in the end zone that set up UT's first touchdown.
On a deep ball from Tyler Bray in the first quarter, Hunter turned from wide receiver to "defensive back" and broke up a would-be Florida interception.
Hunter's evening included five catches for 76 yards.
PATTERSON PROVES IT AGAIN
Cordarrelle Patterson caught his second TD pass of the season, logging a two-yard reception in the first quarter.
Patterson finished with eight receptions for 75 yards.
"CP" drew a pass interference penalty on UF in the first half.
THROWING IT TO THE TIGHT END
Mychal Rivera caught his third career TD reception in the second period, snagging a six-yard toss from Tyler Bray. It was his second this season. He also caught a TD pass last year vs. Florida.
Rivera finished with four receptions for 47 yards.
LATHERS IS BACK
Linebacker Herman Lathers returned to action for Tennessee after being injured in the season opener vs. NC State and missing the Georgia State game.
He had five tackles, four of them solo, and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
Lathers led a huge goal line stand that limited Florida to a field goal at the end of the first half.
The Vols moved to four-of-six on the season on reviews by the officials that have gone in their favor.
Rajion Neal was ruled down before the ball came loose in the second quarter on a pass play. The replay confirmed the call.
UT challenged whether Tyler Bray's pass was tipped in the second quarter, nullifying an interference call. The ball was, in fact, tipped, resulting in UT losing its ability to challenge the rest of the game.
Cordarrelle Patterson was ruled to have fumbled after converting a first down with a reception. The review revealed that Patterson was down before losing the ball, resulting in the officials overturning the call and UT maintaining possession.
Jeff Driskel's touchdown run with 1:18 to go in the game was overturned when a review showed he stepped out of bounds four times.
SPECIAL TEAMS REPORT
Derrick Brodus got the call as UT's placekicker vs. Florida, drilling two PATs in the first half and missing one in the third quarter.
Tennessee utilized three punters in the game: Matt Darr, Tyler Bray and Michael Palardy.
UT got a pair of 50-yard punts by Palardy (2nd/4th quarters) and a 50-yarder by Darr in the fourth quarter. It was Darr's fifth career punt of 50 yards or more, and Palardy now has three of 50 or more.
The Vol punt return team thwarted a fake attempt by UF in the third quarter, with defensive back LaDarrell McNeil making the tackle on Matt Elam.
GATORS IN A RUSH
Trey Burton's 80-yard run to tie the game in the third quarter was the longest rush surrendered by UT's defense since LSU's Jordan Jefferson carried the ball 83 yards to paydirt on Oct. 2, 2010.
Florida rushed for the most yards against the Vols (336) since the Ole Miss game in 2009, when the Rebels amassed 359.