5 craziest plays that helped Gators keep 11-game streak alive against Volunteers
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida has a chance to extend its winning streak against Tennessee to 12 games Saturday. The 11-game streak has had its share of unbelievable moments, particularly some crazy plays that have worked in the Gators’ favor.
Here are five, well maybe six, of the craziest plays that have kept the UF streak alive:
5. Brandon James’ punt return wizardry
If Antonio Callaway is 100 percent healthy Saturday, he’ll give the Gators’ punt return game a significant boost. Long before there was Callaway, however, Florida had one of its best returners in school history, Brandon James.
James helped set the tone with the first-quarter scores in 2007 and 2008.
James was certainly a joy to watch, but the real drama and craziness in the rivalry has truly come from the past two years, which have produced a pair of nail-biters.
4. Hardin hits it
There weren’t many instances in Hardin’s career in which he would be considered the hero. He certainly was in 2014, however. In Neyland Stadium, Hardin made a 49-yard field goal that ended up being the difference in a 10-9 victory.
The kick can be watched at the 12:15 mark in the video below:
3. A surprise strip
The video above features a cameo at the 9:45 mark from none other than the cornerback formerly known as Jalen Tabor. A lot is made of Tabor’s suspension for the UT game in 2015, and his trash talk leading up to Saturday’s meeting, but his highlight play serves as a reminder that he’s already made an impact against Tennessee with his forced fumble on Vols QB Justin Worley.
After the fumble, coach Will Muschamp decided to go with backup QB Treon Harris, who led the team on a scoring drive.
2. Repeat after me
With the clock showing 0:03, Tennessee kicker Aaron Medley missed a 55-yard field goal attempt a mile wide. But wait, the game wasn’t over.
Edit: As pointed out by reader theboyfromoldflorida, this was not a timeout to intentionally ice Medley as is stated in many recaps from the game (because the timeout is called right before the snap). McElwain was concerned about a potential penalty for too many men on the field. It’s unclear if the refs would have noticed, as the ball was snapped and everyone treated Medley’s first attempt as if it was going to count. If Medley had made the second attempt, McElwain would have had a legitimate excuse for any blame.
1. Brandon Powell’s block that clears the path for Antonio Callaway
We all know Will Grier’s pass to Callaway on 4th-and-14 and how it resulted in a 63-yard touchdown reception that gave the Gators a late 28-27 lead last year in Gainesville.
One part of the play that doesn’t get the attention it deserves is Powell’s block. The wideout launches himself and takes out two Volunteers just as Callaway is getting ready to hit top speed. If Powell doesn’t clear the path, it’s doubtful that Callaway scores.
If Callaway doesn’t score then and is tackled at the 40, it’s more than fair to wonder whether the Gators go on to score the winning touchdown.
Will Grier to Antonio Callaway for 64 yards on 4th and 14. Florida 28, Tennessee 27. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/4BcCskXBvy
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 26, 2015