Quinten Dormady threw three interceptions, including a game-sealing pick-six in the fourth quarter, as the No. 23 Tennessee Vols fell to the No. 24 Florida Gators in Gainesville by a score of 26-20.
Tennessee's defensive backs conceded yards to the Florida receivers during a seven minute, 21-second opening drive that resulted in a Gators field goal.
Freshman kicker Brent Cimaglia made his Tennessee debut Saturday, kicking a 51-yard field goal to put the Vols on the board late in the second quarter. However, Cimaglia would whiff on his next two kicks, including a pivotal 47-yard attempt before halftime and another 51-yard attempt.
Kicker Aaron Medley attempted a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but missed wide right.
Momentum swung back Tennessee's way after Justin Martin forced a fumble into the end zone on a potential Gators touchdown, which was ruled a touchback and gave the ball back to the Vols.
"I think it was a remarkable play by Justin," said head coach Butch Jones. "I can’t say enough about that great individual effort. It gave us a chance to win the football game."
Tennessee would then drive into Florida territory for a touchdown, capped by a John Kelly run for 34 yards.
"He ran behind his pads, he ran with great passion and energy," said Jones on Kelly. "Make no mistake about it, he's our heart and soul of the football team. I think our players feed off him and just can't say enough about his effort tonight."
Saturday's game extended a school-record streak of 31 games in which the Vols recorded a rushing touchdown, which started in 2014.
Later in the fourth, a two-play, 30-second drive saw the Vols pull within three points, with Dormady connecting with Ethan Wolf for a 28-yard touchdown.
Tennessee gained even more momentum on a late fourth quarter Florida drive, when Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks threw a high pass that was tipped and caught by Rashaan Gaulden for an interception.
Franks would throw a Hail Mary pass to Tyrie Cleveland with time running out for a touchdown that would clinch the win.
The Vols have not won a game at The Swamp since Casey Clausen led the team at quarterback in 2003.
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