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Friday September 20, 2013 Charting the Gators: Team that runs wins in this series

Updated: 2:35pm, September 20

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- We know the 19th-ranked Florida Gators (1-1) will want to run the football in their Saturday showdown at the “Swamp” against Southeastern Conference East Division rival Tennessee (2-1).

 A physical team with a power ground game; that's the identity Coach Will Muschamp has sought since arriving at UF three years ago. 

 It’s also been the virtual linchpin for success in the Florida-Tennessee rivalry dating to 1990, the first year the two programs started playing annually. 

 In the 21 of the 23 meetings since 1990 -- all but the 2000 and 2002 meetings -- the team that has rushed for the most yards in the game has been victorious, with the most recent example last year’s Gators trampling of the Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. After struggling on offense the first two games of the season, UF ran it 43 times for 336 yards on the way to a statement-making 37-20 road win.   

 Yes, it’s early in the 2013 season, but heading into Week 4 the Volunteers rank fourth in the SEC in rushing offense at 244.3 yards per game, compared to the Gators, who check in 12th at 192.0.  

Defensively, UT has given up 155.3 yards rushing per game (thanks to Oregon’s 216 in last week’s 59-14 debacle), while UF is the nation’s No. 1-ranked defense against the run at just 50.0 yards per game. 

With that, here’s a run back through the last 23 Florida-Tennessee games. 

 

  • 1990 tENNESSEE1990: Tennessee 45, Florida 3 (Knoxville)  
  • Rushing yards: UT 48 carries for 239 yards; UF 28 for 64 
  • Leader: Tony Thompson (UT) - 18 carries, 103 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Unbeaten Gators were down just 7-3 until game turned on Dale Carter’s 91-yard kickoff return to start the second half. Vols dealt Coach Steve Spurrier -- in just his sixth game at UF -- what would be the most lopsided defeat of his Florida tenure.  

 

  • 1991: Florida 35, Tennessee 18  (Gainesville)  
  • Rushing yards: UF 30-114; UT 29-49 
  • Leader: Errict Rhett (UF) - 16 carries, 49 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Gators surrendered more than 400 yards, but forced six UT turnovers, including Larry Kennedy’s 44-yard interception return for a game-clinching touchdown with 3:25 to go. 

 

  • 1992: Tennessee 31, Florida 14 (Knoxville)  
  • Rushing yards: UT 58-250; UF 37-68 
  • Leader: Charlie Garner (UT) - 16 carries, 82 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Gators managed just 278 total yards, the last 55 on a 55-yard cosmeticTD pass from third-team QB Antwan Chiles to third-team TB Dwight Frazier. 

 

  • 1993: Florida 41, Tennessee 34 (Gainesville)
  • Rushing yards: UF 48-156; UT 24-76 
  • Leader: Errict Rhett (UF) - 11 carries, 147 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Redshirt freshman Danny Wuerffel, in his first career start, passed for 281 yards and three touchdowns, to lead No. 9 UF past No. 5 UT despite 355 yards and five TD passes from Heath Shuler. 

 

  • 1994: Florida 31, Tennessee 0 (Knoxville)
  • Rushing yards: UF 31-136; UT 44-68 
  • Leader: Fred Taylor (UF) - 10 carries, 57 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Gators handed the Vols their worst home loss in SEC history and most lopside home defeat since 1924. 

 

  • fred1995: Florida 62, Tennessee 37 (Gainesville) 
  • Rushing yards: UF 36-203; UT 35-124 
  • Leader: Terry Jackson (UF) - 17 carries, 119 yards
  • Noteworthy: Down by 16 in second quarter, Florida scored 48 unanswered points behind Wuerffel’s 381 passing yards and career-high six touchdown passes. 

 

  • 1996: Florida 35, Tennessee 29 (Knoxville)   
  • Rushing yards: UF 48-149; UT 18-9 
  • Leader: Terry Jackson (UF) - 22 carries, 86 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Second-ranked Florida forces six first-half turnovers, including four Peyton Manning interceptions, and raced to 35-0 lead then held off the No. 2 Vols (and Manning’s 492 passing yards) before the largest crowd (more than 108,000) in SEC history.

 

  • 1997: Florida 33, Tennessee 20 (Gainesville)   
  • Rushing yards: UF 36-94; UT 20-45 
  • Leader: Fred Taylor (UF) - 17 carries, 134 yards
  • Noteworthy: Gators safety Tony George returne a first-quarter Manning interception 89 yards for touchdown and tone-setting 14-0 lead. 

 

  • 1998: Overtime - Tennessee 20, Florida 17 (Knoxville)   
  • Rushing yards: UT 34-171; UF 30-(minus-13) 
  • Leader: Jamal Lewis (UT) - 21 carries, 82 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Five turnovers sabotaged a UF offense that passed for more than 400 yards and a defense that held Tennessee to just 235 yards. 

 

  • 1999: Florida 23, Tennessee 21 (Gainesville)   
  • Rushing yards: UF 27-123; UT 40-95  
  • Leader: Jamal Lewis (UT) - 22 carries, 99 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Florida defensive end Alex Brown sacked Tee Martin five times (and intercepted a pass, too) and the Gators won their 30th straight home game by defeating the reigning national champion Vols. 

  

  • *** 2000: Florida 27, Tennessee 23 (Knoxville)  
  • Rushing yards: UT 49-203; UF 21-39 
  • Leader: Travis Henry (UT) - 37 carries, 175 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Jesse Palmer’s controversial 3-yard TD pass to Jabar Gaffney with just 14 seconds to go ended Tennessee’s 23-game home winning streak. 

 

  • Travis Stephens2001: Tennessee 34, Florida 32 (Gainesville)  
  • Rushing yards: UT 31-242; UF 23-36
  • Leader: Travis Stephens (UT) - 19 carries, 226 yards 
  • Noteworthy: One of the most crushing defeats in school history -- on final day of regular season -- cost the Gators a shot at Rose Bowl national championship game in what turned out to be Spurrier's final game on a UF sideline.

 

  • *** 2002: Florida 30, Tennessee 13 (Knoxville)
  • Rushing yards: UF 34-94; UT 33-99 
  • Leader: Ran Carthon (UF) - 9 carries, 51 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Neither team ran the ball very well, but Rex Grossman found Taylor Jacobs  9 times for 141 yards and two TDs. 

 

  • 2003: Tennessee 24, Florida 10 (Gainesville) 
  • Rushing yards: UT 50-139; UF 27-73
  • Leader: Jabari Davis (UT) - 20 carries, 78 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Florida failed to score a touchdown in the first three quarters of a game for the first time since a 30-7 loss at Florida State in 2000. 

 

  • 2004: Tennessee 30, Florida 28 (Knoxville)
  • Rushing yards: UT 44-171; UF 35-135 
  • Leader: Ciatrick Fason (UF) - 15 carries, 81yards  
  • Noteworthy: Dallas Baker’s fourth-quarter punch cost the Gators dearly on 4th-and-3 during what could have been a game-sealing drive. 

 

  • 2005: Florida 16, Tennessee 7 (Gainesville)   
  • Rushing yards: UF 37-68; UT 25-66 
  • Leader: Gerald Riggs Jr. (UT) - 17 carries, 86 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Three second-half field goals from Chris Hetland were the difference in the only game on this list when neither offense reached 300 yards. 

 

  • 2006: Florida 21, Tennessee 20 (Knoxville)  
  • Rushing yards: UF 41-121; UT 23-(minus-11) 
  • Leader: DeShawn Wynn (UF) - 22 carries, 104 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Freshman Tim Tebow carried for 2 yards on 4th-and-1, then two plays later, Chris Leak to Baker for 21-yard TD with 6:30 left for the decisive points. 

 

  • Tebow 2007: Florida 59, Tennessee 20 (Gainesville)  
  • Rushing yards: UF 46-255; UT 21-37  
  • Leader: Percy Harvin (UF) - 9 carries, 75 yards 
  • Noteworthy: UF with 299 yards passing, also, including 4 receptions for 120 yards from Harvin. 

 

  • 2008: Florida 30, Tennessee 6 (Knoxville)   
  • Rushing yards: UF 39-147; UT 31-96 
  • Leader: Emmanuel Moody (UF) - 9 carries, 55 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Gators defense held future NFL superstar Arian Fosters to 37 yards on 14 attempts (after limiting him to just 26 in 11 carries year before). 

 

  • 2009: Florida 23, Tennessee 13 (Gainesville)    
  • Rushing yards: UF 44-208; UT 32-117 
  • Leader: Montario Hardesty (UT) - 20 carries, 96 yards 
  • Noteworthy: The win gave Florida its first lead in the all-time series at 20-19. 

 

  • 2010: Florida 31, Tennessee 17 (Knoxville)   
  • Rushing yards: UF 49-150; UT 23-29  
  • Leader: Jeff Demps (UF) - 26 carries, 73 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Seldom-used sophomore Mike Gillislee ran for a pair of touchdowns, one in each half. 

 

  • Burton2011: Florida 33, Tennessee 23 (Gainesville) 
  • Rushing yards: UF 40-134; UT 21-(minus-9)  
  • Leader: Chris Rainey (UF) - 21 carries, 108 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Rainey became first Gator since Harvin (2007) to have 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in the same game. He caught four passes for 104 yards, including an 84-yard TD. 

 

  • 2012: Florida 37, Tennessee 20 (Knoxville)
  • Rushing yards: UF 43-336; UT 28-83 
  • Leader: Mike Gillislee (UF) - 18 carries, 118 yards 
  • Noteworthy: Trey Burton’s 80-yard touchdown run tied score at 20 in the third quarter as the Gators rolled to the game’s final 27 points. 

 

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