Tennessee Does It to Florida Again : SEC: Shuler leads Volunteers to 31-14 victory over No. 4 Gators, only second conference loss for Spurrier.
Saturday was a repeat of an episode that Florida’s Steve Spurrier hated the first time he saw it.
On his last visit to Knoxville, Spurrier watched as Tennessee thrashed Florida by six touchdowns. On this rainy Saturday, the fourth-ranked Gators were upset, 31-14, by No. 14 Tennessee.
Spurrier’s only Southeastern Conference coaching losses in 16 games have come at Knoxville.
“It was just like two years ago,” Spurrier said. “We were beaten in every aspect of the game.”
Quarterback Heath Shuler ran for two touchdowns and passed for another, but it was Tennessee’s defense that made the difference. The 14 points matched the low by Florida since the 45-3 Tennessee victory two years ago.
The Volunteers (3-0 overall, 2-0 in the SEC) got scoring runs of 11 and eight yards from Shuler, one of 15 yards from James (Little Man) Stewart, and a 66-yard touchdown pass play from Shuler to Mose Phillips to end the Gators’ 11-game SEC winning streak.
Florida’s Fun ‘n Gun offense was effective mostly for shooting itself in the foot most of the day. The Gators were penalized 12 times, punted nine times and managed only 278 yards of offense.
The crowd of 97,137 was the third-largest in Neyland Stadium history.
Shuler tossed a swing pass to Phillips, who ran 66 yards to put the Volunteers ahead, 24-7, with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
The Gators 1-1, 1-1), who managed only one first down in the second half up to that point, ran a fake punt on fourth and one from their 19 on the ensuing series. Michael Gilmore was stopped for no gain and Tennessee took over.
Five plays later, Shuler scored his second touchdown.