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Gainesville, FL

Florida rallies to beat Tennessee 28-27

2921 days ago
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Freshman Antonio Callaway cemented his name in Tennessee-Florida series lore Saturday.

Aaron Medley just missed a chance to do the same.

Callaway's 63-yard touchdown reception with 1:26 remaining gave the Gators an 11th consecutive win against the Southeastern Conference rival Volunteers, 28-27.

Callaway ran a deep curl on a fourth-and-14 play, caught the pass from Will Grier, turned outside and beat three defenders to the end zone. Fellow receiver Demarcus Robinson threw a key block down the field that allowed Callaway to score.

The Gators (4-0, 2-0 SEC) started celebrating wildly. The Volunteers (2-2, 0-1) were stunned.

"Our guys didn't panic," Florida coach Jim McElwain said. "That was good to see."

Still, Tennessee had one final chance.

Josh Dobbs, who led the Vols in passing, rushing and receiving, moved them into field-goal range. But Medley missed twice from 55 yards, once just after McElwain called timeout and then again -- this time just barely wide right.

His second kick missed the upright by less than a foot, another shocking loss for the Vols.

According to STATS, LLC, there have been six games in which a team lost after leading by double digits in fourth quarter. Tennessee has two of them. The Vols also blew a double-digit lead to Oklahoma earlier this month.

This one allowed the Gators to extend the streak to its longest in series history.

Florida's Kelvin Taylor ran for 102 yards and two scores. Grier completed 23 of 42 passes for 283 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.

Grier, who started and played the entire game for the second straight week, was 11 of 17 for 141 yards and two scores in the final two drives, which helped Florida overcome a 27-14 deficit.

The Vols contributed to Florida's furious rally.

Leading 20-7, Jones mysteriously called timeout on a fourth-and-6 play with about 5 minutes remaining. Instead of settling for a field goal, the Gators sent Grier back out and he completed a 21-yard pass to Brandon Powell. Taylor followed with his second rushing touchdown.

Tennessee answered, extending the lead back to 13.

But Grier drove Florida back down the field, capping it with a 5-yard TD pass to Powell.

The Vols tried to run out the clock from there, but Dobbs rolling out and running on a third-down play seemed like an odd decision. That gave the ball back to the Gators, who then hit the huge fourth-down play.

Callaway finished with five catches for 112 yards. Powell added five receptions for 64 yards.

For much of the game, Dobbs was the best player on the field.

He ran for 136 yards, completed 10 of 17 passes for 82 yards, and had a 58-yard reception on one of two trick plays.

Freshman Jauan Jennings, who enrolled at Tennessee as a quarterback and worked out at the position in spring practice, caught a lateral and heaved a pass across the field to Dobbs for the long score.

The Vols set up another touchdown with Alvin Kamara's jump pass. Kamara took the handoff, stepped toward the line and then pulled up and tossed a pass to tight end Ethan Wolf.

Those plays will end up getting lost in the shuffle after Callaway's memorable catch and run.