published Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Tennessee Vols stuck in a rut against Gators

It's been 3,290 days since Tennessee kicker James Wilhoit's 50-yard game-winning field goal sailed through the uprights of Neyland Stadium's north end zone. The Vols last beat rival Florida in 2004, and the Gators have won two SEC titles and two BCS championships in that time frame. Tennessee is on its fourth head coach since that night.

Here's a look back at the Gators' eight-game win streak against Tennessee.

2005: Un-special Teams

In Urban Meyer's first season coaching at Florida, the Gators won 16-7 thanks to its defense and Tennessee's special-teams miscues, which included a blocked field goal, a muffed punt, an 8-yard punt and, perhaps most memorably, the ill-advised fake-punt pass thrown by Britton Colquitt.

2006: Tebow Time

Eventual Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow was just a freshman in his third game, but he converted a fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter, two plays before Chris Leak threw the winning touchdown pass to Dallas Baker. Tennessee had an interception-return touchdown wiped out by a roughing-the-passer penalty and ran for minus-11 yards.

2007: The Blowout

The Vols rallied from 28-6 down to within a score after freshman Eric Berry's interception-return score, but Erik Ainge and Arian Foster botched a handoff, Florida's Dustin Doe took the fumble back for a touchdown and Tennessee melted down from there in a 59-20 loss.

2008: Brandon James Redux

For the second consecutive meeting, Florida's dynamic return man took a punt back for a touchdown against Tennessee. This one made it 17-0 in the first quarter of the 30-6 win in what was Philip Fulmer's final season as the Vols' coach.

2009: Lane Goes to Gainesville

Lane Kiffin, Tennessee's brash young coach, spoke at his introduction of singing "Rocky Top" after beating Florida, and he barbed Meyer on signing day, but the top-ranked Gators won 23-13.

2010: The Fake Punt

In his final season at Florida, Meyer had one last trick for the Vols. After Tennessee tied the game at 10 in the third quarter, Omarius Hines ran 36 yards on a fake punt and Florida scored the next 14 points and sealed a 31-17 win in the fourth quarter.

2011: Justin Hunter's Injury

Fresh off a 45-23 win against Butch Jones and Cincinnati, Tennessee rolled into Gainesville full of confidence, but it was shattered when star receiver Justin Hunter went down clutching his knee on the fourth offensive play of the game. In a funk, the Vols fell behind 30-7 and lost 33-23.

2012: Trey Burton's Run

Ranked and hosting ESPN's "College GameDay" in Knoxville, Tennessee led 20-13 in the third quarter and stuffed the Gators on the a fake punt. The Vols failed to capitalize, though, and Burton's 80-yard run took all the air out of the balloon and spurred Florida's 24-0 run in the final 20 minutes.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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