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One after another, the Tennessee players were hit with the same question about the streak.
Jacques Smith didn't need any prompting.
The Vols defensive end is well aware of the specifics from the six-game losing skid against rival Florida that his program is taking with it down to Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 3:30 p.m.). And similarly, Smith knows exactly what is traditionally on the line for the Vols when they hook up with the Gators.
"Well, it means a chance to go the SEC championship, obviously," Smith said during UT's weekly media event on Monday. "The last time we beat Florida (in 2004), isn't that where Tennessee ended up?
"That's something that I've been wanting to do ever since I stepped foot on campus, and hopefully we can make that happen this year. Everybody kind of knows the statistics of Tennessee and where we were back then, where we are now and where we were in between that. All we can do is focus on the future and the opportunity that we have at hand, and that's to go into Florida and beat them and go 3-0."
Not entirely by coincidence, the Vols haven't been able to start a season that way since knocking off the Gators (2-0) at home in 2004.
Since then, a series that UT coach Derek Dooley has been regularly calling "big-boy ball" has been dominated by Florida, which has assumed the role of the bully as the Vols have slipped out of SEC contention in the last handful of years.
And while Dooley has only been with the Vols one year and his roster leans heavily on freshmen and sophomores who are largely new to the rivalry, they're all embracing the chance to end the drought. The team is mainly focusing on what a win over the Gators will mean for this season.
But some of the Vols also have history on their minds.
"I mean, I always think about it," defensive tackle Daniel Hood said. "To me, Florida-Tennessee is everything. I grew up watching it during the (Steve) Spurrier and (Phillip) Fulmer days, and I think the last time we won was 2004. To me, that's way too long.
"I mean, it's too long. It would be great for this program right now, but it's not something that we can just wish to happen. Our defense is going to have to step up a lot this week, make a big improvement from last week to this week and the offense has to keep doing what they're doing."
There aren't many offenses in the country throwing the ball better than the Vols are through two weeks, and the defense showed marked improvement up front in a 45-23 win over Cincinnati. Even the special teams got involved with an onside kick that was perfectly executed and sparked a go-ahead drive for a touchdown.
But those teams weren't members of the SEC, and both games were at Neyland Stadium. The Gators are the early measuring stick for the Vols and where they might stand in the league.
And in recent years, there's no doubt about which program stood taller.
"I don't really look at it like we haven't beaten them in six years," senior Austin Johnson said. "I look at it like we haven't beat them since I've been here. I know I haven't beaten them, and I want to beat them.
"I've been here for a while, and I can tell all those guys I've never beaten Florida. I want them to leave this program saying they beat Florida while I was here."