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Gators pickup Hail Mary win over Tennessee, 26-20

Martez Ivey Rashan Gary Malik Zaire

Miracle plays have often been followed by successful seasons in college football. Wolf is still chasing Reggie Harper, who had 1,141 yards as a tight end from 1977 to 1980. Kordell Stewart's walk-off TD pass to Michael Westbrook in 1994 against MI was the highlight in an 11-1 season and final No. 3 ranking for Colorado. The last time they met, Tennessee ended an 11-game losing streak against the Gators with a 38-28 victory at Neyland Stadium. Cleveland hauled in a 63-yard touchdown pass from Feleipe Franks as time expired, and No. 24 Florida stunned 23rd-ranked Tennessee 26-20 in a wild, wacky rivalry game Saturday that Florida led just 6-3 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile for the Gators, this could catapult their much maligned offense and give them some life.

But beating Tennessee was only one step in that regard. Instead, the weird clock management worked out perfectly for the Gators, who didn't score an offensive touchdown in their first seven quarters this season before scoring two in the final 5:13 against the Vols. You can't discuss this matchup without mentioning what has defined it for 30 years: Florida's dominance. Alabama (3-0) dominated early and emphatically answered a comeback attempt before outlasting the Rams (2-2).

After facing United Kingdom and Vandy, the Gators play three games in October: home against LSU and Texas A&M, then the Bulldogs at EverBank Field.

Saturday was a reminder of why UF coach Jim McElwain recruited K Eddy Pineiro so aggressively before last season.

"It's a lot of work to do", he said.

There were questions this past week if Gainesville would be fit to host a football game in the wake of Hurricane Irma. "I like these guys in our locker room".

Still, Tennessee kept coming back and figured it would end up in overtime for the second time in three games.

No. 13 Georgia 42, Samford 14 • Jake Fromm threw for 165 yards and three touchdowns and Nick Chubb ran for 131 yards and two TDs as the Bulldogs (3-0) beat visiting Samford (2-1).

Henderson also came up with a big defensive play, returning an interception 16 yards for a TD to put the Gators up 13-3 early in the fourth quarter. That is what matters most for the time being.

Townsend brought it back up again after the Gators beat the Volunteers.

Quarterback Quinten Dormady went 21-of-39 passing for 259 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, leading an offense that struggled to avoid mistakes and extend drives.

The Florida Gators even their record at 1-1 for the season with today's win. Along with missing teammates, the debacle against MI two weeks ago and the havoc caused by Hurricane Irma, McElwain was pleased with the win for many reasons.

"We are going back to Atlanta", vowed defensive back Chauncey Gardner.