No. 24 Florida beat No. 23 Tennessee on a wild, last-second Hail Mary in 2017, 26-20. Feleipe Franks found Tyrie Cleveland to win it from 63 yards away, thanks to some interesting decisions by the Vols.
The reaction from Tennessee fans was pretty much as expected: complete shock and disappointment. Take overalls bro, for starters.
Is he crying? I would be.
Meanwhile, UF’s side was losing its mind:
The thing is, silly endings were already a recent trend in this rivalry.
In 2016, for example, Florida went to Knoxville riding an 11-year win streak over the Vols. Things didn’t look promising for Tennessee to end the streak at halftime, as the Gators went to the locker room with a 21-3 lead. Here’s what Vol fans were looking like:
But then disaster struck for Florida. In the third and fourth quarters, the Vols rattled off five unanswered touchdowns to go up 38-21 with 8:27 left. This was the score that gave the Vols their first lead of the game, which they didn’t let go of.
Florida fans by the end of the game looked a lil something like this:
In 2015, Florida beat the Vols on THE SAME PLAY AS 2017.
Florida, whose offense was led by Will Grier in Jim McElwain’s first season in Gainesville, was trailing 27-21 in the fourth quarter with 1:26 left. On fourth and 14, Grier found Antonio Callaway, who took it 63 yards for a touchdown that ended up being the game-winner.
The touchdown gave Florida its fifth fourth-down conversion of the game, too. Tennessee missed a 55-yard field goal, giving the Gators a victory.
Oh, here’s a sad Tennessee fan after that score, too.
In 2014, Tennessee started chanting “F*ck you Florida” after the Gators won 10-9 in Knoxville.
This is a real thing that happened, and I know because I was standing on the field for this hilarity. This game was extra special, because it was probably the worst game I’ve ever witnessed in person.
Similar to 2017’s edition, neither team could get into the end zone. The Vols’ first nine points of the day came on field goals. In the fourth quarter, Florida’s Treon Harris came in for Jeff Driskel and led two scoring drives, a touchdown and a field goal to win 10-9. Will Muschamp subtly addressed the chanting in the postgame atmosphere.
With two teams who haven’t done too much nationally in recent years, having this series be super exciting but also pretty ugly is fitting.
The Florida-Tennessee series doesn’t have the non-SEC East implications it once did, but the rivalry is still just as important to these fan bases.
Stay golden, Florida and Tennessee fans.