KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — No. 11 Tennessee chomped down on No. 20 Florida 38-33 at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, giving the Vols their first win against the rival Gators for the first time since 2016.
The Vols remain undefeated after improving to 4-0.
The first quarter was filled with missed chances by both teams.
Florida turned it over on downs after dialing to convert on a fourth down. After driving down the field, Vols tight end Princeton Fant lost a fumble. The Gators marched down the field but would end up missing a field goal.
Tennessee would score on its final possession of the first stanza with a field goal from kicker Chase McGrath to give UT a 3-0 lead.
The Gators took a lead in the second quarter when quarterback Anthony Richardson found Keon Zipperer for a 44-yard touchdown, which was aided by a couple of missed tackles by Vols players. That made the score 7-3.
The Vols retook the lead on a four-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Hendon Hooker to put Tennessee back up 10-7.
The back and forth continued when Richardson responded with a rushing touchdown of his own to make it 14-10.
The Vols got the last laugh of the first half when Hooker found wide receiver Bru McCoy in the final seconds to take a 17-14 lead into halftime.
The Vols got the ball to start the third quarter and made quick work of another scoring drive. Hooker found running back Jabari Small for a touchdown pass to give UT a 24-140lead. Small had a 39-yard run on the drive.
Richardson scored on another for Florida rushing touchdown to trim the lead back down to three.
The Vols would stretch it back out to as high as 17 points after a couple of touchdowns, leading 38-21.
Florida made it interesting in the end though. They scored two touchdowns after trailing by 17 and trailed 38-33 with less than half a minute left in the game.
They would then recover an onside kick and then start marching down the field.
However, Tennessee closed it out as defensive back Kamal Hadden came up with an interception as time expired and the Vols held on to win.
It's the first time since 2016 since Tennessee had beaten the Gators and had also lost 16 of the last 17 matchups.