Playing with almost no depth in the pack, the Gators started out strong in the first half, using their size and strength to dominate the rucks and scrums.
However, fatigue and a lack of available front-row subs took over in the second half as UF was unable to secure its second win of the season.
After the Volunteers jumped out to a 3-0 lead, hooker Rob Roux scored his third try of the season to give the Gators the edge.
UF squandered a few scoring opportunities with knock-ons and penalties in what was a frustrating day.
Tennessee scored three tries between 36 and 51 minutes, although Roux answered with another try at 74 minutes to narrow the deficit to eight.
Time wasn’t on UF’s side as they were shut out in the final six minutes.
The Gators improved their tackling and did a decent job rucking especially with flanker Mike Breske back in the lineup, but are aiming to improve their fitness and support.
Florida hosts Vanderbilt this Saturday before traveling to Lexington to take on Kentucky next week.