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Saturday September 20, 2003Football Falls to Tennessee 24-10

Gainesville, FL

Despite controlling the entire first half, No. 17 Florida (2-2) had a few untimely lapses that No. 12 Tennessee (3-0) took advantage of to defeat the Gators 24-10 in front of a record crowd of 90,332 Saturday afternoon at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Matt Leach's 47-yard field goal at 9:26 of the first quarter gave the Gators a 3-0 lead. Florida would hold that lead until the closing seconds of the first half when Casey Clausen connected with James Banks in the end zone on a 46-yard Hail Mary pass. The Gators defense appeared to break up the play in the right corner of the end zone, but the deflected pass fell into the hands of Banks to give the Volunteers' a 7-3 lead at the half.

Tennessee stretched its lead to seven when James Wilhoit took advantage of the stiff wind at his back to drill a 51-yard field goal at 9:27 of the third quarter to put the Vols up 10-3. Two drives later, Tennessee went up 17-3 as Clausen led the Volunteers on a seven-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a one-yard Jubari Davis score.

The Gators quickly responded, however, with a touchdown of their own. DeShawn Wynn scored on a five-yard run to end a 77-yard drive and bring the Gator within seven, 17-10.

But the Volunteers put the game out of reach when they drove 76 yards and took a 24-10 advantage off a nine-yard rush from Davis at 8:38 in the fourth quarter.

The Gators look to claim their first road win on Sept. 27 at Kentucky. The game is set for 12:30 p.m. and will be televised live by Jefferson-Pilot.

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