Florida finds balance on offense, defeats No. 11 Tennessee 29-16

The Gators picked up their first Southeastern Conference win of the season in style. 

Unranked Florida defended home field and controlled the pace for most of the game Saturday evening in Gainesville, beating No. 11 Tennessee 29-16. 

Gators running back Trevor Etienne ran for 172 yards and a touchdown, which came as Florida’s first score of the game on a 62-yard run to go up 7-6 over the Volunteers. 

From that point on, it was all Florida.

WATCH: Florida running back Trevor Etienne runs 62 yards for a touchdown

Quarterback Graham Mertz threw for 166 yards and a score while going 19-for-24 in his passes. A near 80-percent completion rate allowed Florida to dominate both through the air and on the ground. 

Florida had those 166 passing yards along with a total of 183 rushing yards, the most balance its had in a game this season after posting 300-plus yards through the air in the season-opener and 300-plus again only this time on the ground last week. 

Six Gators receivers had at least 18 yards led by 44 from Eugene Wilson III and 43 via Ricky Pearsall. 

Tennessee outgained Florida 393 yards to 349. Volunteers quarterback Joe Milton III went 20-for-34 with 287 passing yards and two touchdowns, and he threw an interception after which the Gators scored on the ensuing drive in the second quarter.