Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Colleges

Mike Gillislee powers Florida Gators rushing attack

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — All week, speculation brewed over whether the Gators' running game would be effective if Florida senior RB Mike Gillislee was unable to play at full speed against Tennessee. Gillislee suffered an injury to his groin in last week's win over Texas A&M.

As it turned out, Gillislee was fine — and so was the running game with and without him.

Seven players combined for 336 rushing yards for the Gators — the most since last season's win over Kentucky.

Gillislee didn't start, but finished with 18 carries for 115 yards. Junior Trey Burton had three carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns — including an 80-yarder that jump-started the Gators' come-from-behind win. Burton didn't hold back his feelings about the Gators' rival after the game.

"They are front-runners," Burton said. "They talk a lot. As soon as we got up a little bit, their fans started leaving."

TENNESSEE TRIBUTE: Former Tennessee TB Johnny Majors was honored during a pregame ceremony in which he had his No. 45 jersey retired. Majors played tailback and punter from 1954-56 and is considered one of the greatest single-wing tailbacks in Vols' history.

During the ceremony, highlights of Majors' career were played on the JumboTron at Neyland Stadium as Majors and his family watched from midfield, then Majors was presented with an encased No. 45 jersey.

In 1956, Majors helped lead the Vols to a 10-0 regular season, and finished as runnerup for the Heisman Trophy award to Notre Dame's Paul Hornung. He won back-to-back SEC Player of the year awards in 1955 and 1956.

Majors also served as head coach at Tennessee from 1977-92 where he finished with a 116-62-8 record. He coached Pittsburgh to the 1976 national championship — led by Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett.

JONES STARTS: Former Armwood standout Matt Jones got his first career start with the Gators Saturday night. Jones finished with five carries for 9 yards.

LIMITED SUPPORT: Last Monday, Florida coach Will Muschamp thanked the nearly 7,000 fans who traveled to College Station for the Gators' game against Texas A&M. But a much smaller crowd made the trek to Knoxville.

Florida athletic officials said Saturday a decision was made by the University Athletic Association over the summer to request only 4,500 tickets from UT for the game — about half of what the Gators normally request.

DID YOU KNOW?: When the Vols scored on a 2-yard TD pass in the first quarter, it was the first time Tennessee has scored a touchdown in the first quarter of a game against the Gators since Jabari Davis' 1-yard run on Sept. 1, 2004.

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