Florida Football: What happened last time Joe Milton came to The Swamp?

Florida football takes on Tennessee this Saturday in The Swamp, and the headliner for the Volunteers is sixth-year QB Joe Milton. With Hendon Hooker gone from Knoxville, it is up to Milton to keep the Vols moving forward.

But the Gators are hoping for a repeat of what happened last time Milton took the field in Gainesville.

Florida Football: Is 2nd time the charm?

We have said here at Hail Florida Hail that we have never fully understood the hype train surrounding Milton. He has a cannon of an arm, but he has also lost his job twice, once in Michigan and once in Tennessee.

He started out the 2021 season as the starter for Tennessee, but his timeline gets a little weird as to why he actually lost his job.

He was a disastrous 11/23 passing against Bowling Green and was 7/12 passing for just 50 yards against Pittsburgh before leaving that game with an injury.

Milton did not appear in Tennessee’s game in week three against Tennessee Tech but was deemed healthy enough to play against Florida.

By this point, Milton had lost his job and had to watch the bulk of the game from the sideline while Hendon Hooker floundered in The Swamp. Down 38-14 with less than two minutes left, Milton entered to run one series with the Vols offense.

His effort went like this:

  • Incomplete
  • 6-yard run
  • 37-yard completion
  • Incomplete
  • Incomplete
  • 17-yard completion
  • Incomplete
  • Incomplete

Combined with one pass he got to throw earlier in the game, his final stat line of 2/8 and 54 yards feels like a microcosm of what we have seen out of him to open the 2023 season. He has the ability to get yards in bunches, but he is so erratic with his arm that it is hard to account for any consistency.

As we wrote earlier in the week, if Florida’s defensive tackles can slow down Tennessee’s run game, it is going to force Milton to beat the Gators with his arm. 

And given performances past and present, that’s a gamble Austin Armstrong is probably willing to take.