By Michele Karl
It was a packed house as the 10th ranked Florida Gators took on the UT Vols this past weekend at Neyland Stadium. Vol fans were hoping that the five year winning streak for the Gators would be broken but to their disappointment it was not to be.
The Gators beat Tennessee with a 31-17 victory. It looked like the Vols might have been able to pull off a win as they took the lead in the first quarter and remained there closing in on half time.
Coach Derek Dooley had recently criticized his team for how they handled adversity in the game against Oregon. But this week his feelings had changed saying he was proud that his team continued to keep swinging until the last possession. As with the Ducks, the Vols came on strong in the first half only to fall short in the last two quarters.
As the second half started so did the footwork of the Vols first half as they trailed by seven before Tennessee ran a 49-yard touchdown pass from Matt Simms to Denarius Moore. The sounds in the stadium were deafening as Vol fans cheered on their team. But Florida rebounded putting 14 more points on the scoreboard to quiet the 100,000 plus fans in the stadium.
In the fourth quarter the Vols Justin Hunter landed a touchdown but it didn’t take long for Florida to attack again taking the Gators to a 31-17 victory.
Vols senior tight-end Luke Stocker led the team in receiving with six catches for 62 yards.
Tennessee’s next home game is next Saturday as they go up against UAB.
Tennessee will then go up against the LSU Tiger’s in Baton Rouge set for 3:30 p.m. eastern time on Oct. 2. The game will be televised on CBS. The game marks UT's second appearance on CBS this season; the other was Saturday's contest against Florida.
The Vols lead 20-7-3 in the series against LSU and won their most recent trip to Baton Rouge five years ago in dramatic fashion. Played on Monday night, Sept. 26, 2005, after threats from Hurricane Rita and in the aftermath of devastating Hurricane Katrina, Tennessee rallied from a 21-0 halftime deficit and 24-7 fourth quarter margin to win 30-27 in overtime. The comeback marked Tennessee's largest margin overcome to win in both the second half and fourth quarter in school history.
Gerald Riggs Jr. provided the winning points when he scored from 1 yard out on UT's overtime possession.
Tickets for the 2010 football season remain available for all four home games left on the schedule. They include this Saturday with tickets priced at $40 and can be purchased via UTtix.com, over the phone at 865/656-1200 or 800/332-VOLS (8657), or at the ticket counter. Other games on this year's home slate are Alabama on Oct. 23, Mississippi for Homecoming on Nov. 13 and Kentucky on Nov. 27. Prices are $60 for Ole Miss and $50 for Kentucky. Single seats with no adjacent seating are all that remain for the Alabama contest, and those tickets cost $70.
Vols unable to break streak
By Michele Karl