Top 4 games in Florida-Tennessee history
The Florida-Tennessee rivalry is one of the most storied in SEC history. The Gators hold a 25-19 advantage in 44 meetings, including a 10-game winning streak dating back to 2005. Here’s a look at the top four games between Florida and Tennessee all-time.
- 2006 – Florida 21, Tennessee 20: Florida trailed 17-7 late in the third quarter before Chris Leak found Dallas Baker for a four-yard touchdown. Tennessee answered with a 51-yard field goal that extended its lead to six points with 10 minutes left in the fourth. Leak responded by leading his team down to the Vols’ 30-yard line before coach Urban Meyer put in then-freshman Tim Tebow to convert on fourth-and-one. Tebow picked up the first down with a 2-yard run, which was followed up by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Leak to Baker for the go-ahead score. The Vols were unsuccessful on their ensuing drive as an intentional grounding penalty called on Erik Ainge put them out of field goal range.
- 2001 – Tennessee 34, Florida 32: Prior to 2001, Tennessee hadn’t won a game in Gainesville since 1971. The Vols entered as a 17.5-point underdog to Florida in a December meeting that was moved back because of the 9/11 attacks. The Vols took a 14-0 lead before the Gators scored 20 consecutive points. Tennessee answered in the second half with touchdown runs from Travis Stephens and Jabari Davis and moved ahead 27-26 in the fourth. Stephens then went 68 yards to set up a goal line run by Davis to put the Vols ahead by eight. Florida responded as Rex Grossman connected on a touchdown pass to Carlos Perez with 1:10 left to play, but failed to convert on the two-point conversion. Tennessee avenged 30 years of failure in The Swamp with a victory that clinched an SEC Championship game berth.
- 2004 – Tennessee 30, Florida 28: Tennessee’s last win against Florida was one of its most memorable. Florida led 28-21 before quarterback Tennessee’s Ainge found Jayson Swain on a 13-yard score to tie the game. But the Vols’ kicker played the hero in their upset of the Gators, as James Wilhoit redeemed an earlier missed PAT with a 50-yard game winner. It was the first time Tennessee won consecutive games against Florida since 1971.
- 1998 – Tennessee 20, Florida 17 (OT): Before the Vols went on to win the first BCS Championship in college football history, they had to escape an overtime victory against the rival Gators at home. Tennessee hadn’t defeated Florida in five years and faced a 17-17 tie at the end of regulation. Jeff Hall put the Vols ahead with 41-yard field goal in overtime. The Vols forced fourth down on Florida’s ensuing possession and earned the victory as Collins Cooper’s field goal attempt went wide left.