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Florida 26, Tennessee 20: The Second Stunner in The Swamp

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Florida made an all-time error. Then the Gators made a play for the ages.

Tennessee v Florida Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

I don’t know what the purpose of a recap of Florida 26, Tennessee 20 really serves.

You watched it, right? I hope you did.

I hope you saw the Gators go up 6-0 in the first half on a pair of field goals and then nearly give back that lead before the half was over, on the first huge play John Kelly would make.

I hope you gritted your teeth when the lead narrowed to 6-3, and when Tennessee was three feet away from 9-6 or 10-6, and then threw your arms up in joy when Duke Dawson snuffed out that attempt.

I hope you jumped off the couch when C.J. Henderson pick-sixed a second team in his second game, racing in to stake Florida to a 13-3 advantage.

I hope you frowned when it took Tennessee two plays to strike back and make it 13-10, and when Kelly Gator Chomped in the end zone and got called for taunting.

I hope you smiled when Florida responded to that penalty with another touchdown.

I hope you frowned again when Tennessee answered again, with the sort of decisiveness that could really have helped over the first three quarters — when the Vols frittered away chances and failed on field goals.

I hope you had something ready — alcohol, a pillow to throw, a bitter tweet to get a little bitterness out of your heart, maybe all three — when Feleipe Franks made his worst throw of the day, one behind and above C’yontai Lewis that turned into a pick which set Tennessee up in Florida territory with mere minutes left and only three points separating the teams.

I hope you exhaled when Florida held the Vols to three points on that drive, and maintained a tie.

I hope you hyperventilated when Florida took forever to decide it wanted just one last shot before overtime; I hope you feared overtime about as badly as I did, what with Florida’s gassed defense getting gashed once again and the Florida offense sputtering all day.

I hope the last play took your breath away.

I hope you saw The Second Stunner in The Swamp, this one coming 10 days short of two years after the first one, and I hope you will remember it forever.

I hope I do, too.