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Jabar Gaffney scores first career touchdown with 14 seconds remaining to lift UF over UT 27-23.

Saturday September 16, 2000The Gators Score in Final Seconds to Beat UT 27-23

Knoxville, TN

Jabar Gaffney scores first career touchdown with 14 seconds remaining to lift UF over UT 27-23.

Jesse Palmer hit Jabar Gaffney with a touchdown pass with 14 seconds to play to lift the sixth ranked Florida Gators over the Tennessee Volunteers 27-23 in Knoxville. Gaffney caught a slant pass in the end zone and held on to it long enough before Tennessee defenders knocked the ball out of his hands.

Gaffney caught six passes for a career-high 91 yards and the game-winning touchdown. The Gators won the game despite failing to get a first down until midway through the second quarter and getting outrushed 203-39 by the Volunteers. Gator coach Steve Spurrier says his team was very fortunate to win the game.

"Tennessee outplayed us, outhit us, outhustled us. They probably deserved it a little bit more", said Spurrier in his postgame radio interview. "They had to kick field goals. Our defensive team was not very good today, to our standards, but we kept them out of the end zone and forced a bunch of field goals."

Alex Walls kicked five field goals for Tennessee. The only Volunteer touchdown came on a one yard run by Travis Henry, who finished with 37 carries for 175 yards. Palmer finished 20-of-43 for 293 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Spurrier said Palmer had a pretty good outing.

"Jesse took his steps and threw the ball very well. He was sharp. He was quick with it. There's alot of things we can do a lot better. There was a couple of guys in the end zone he thought it looked a little sticky and just sort of threw it away. Jesse hung in there."

For the second straight game, cornerback Lito Shepard scored a touchdown. Shepard intercepted an A.J. Suggs pass and returned it for a touchdown on Tennessee's first possession of the third quarter to give the Gators their first lead of the day, 17-12. Florida has now beaten Tennessee in seven of their last eight meetings and they ended the Vols' 23-game home winning streak.

The Gators will host the Kentucky Wildcats next Saturday at 3:30 in the Swamp live on CBS.

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