John Adams: The Streak has been one long chomp

John Adams

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As soon as Tennessee's game with Georgia State game ended, The Streak came to mind.

Why wouldn't it?

The Tennessee-Florida rivalry, which will resume Saturday at Neyland Stadium, has become more of a streak than a series — a seven-game succession of Florida chomps and UT blunders.

Florida was streaking in the 1990s, too, when it beat the Vols five consecutive times (1993-97). But the Gators were dominating the SEC in those days. They're an also-ran in the East now.

Florida has lost 11 games the previous two seasons. It has lost to Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia in succession. It has lost back-to-back games to South Carolina. It has lost to Mississippi State. It has almost lost to Vanderbilt.

It still hasn't lost to the Vols since 2004.

Depending on your side of The Streak, different names come to mind. Florida fans remember Tim Tebow converting on fourth-and-short or Brandon James going long. They remember Dustin Doe scooping up a fumble and running for a touchdown or Tony Joiner breaking up an ill-advised fourth-down pass from a freshman punter. They remember Janoris Jenkins intercepting in a crowd and Chris Rainey running free in the secondary.

Florida fans remember who scored. UT fans remember who fumbled.

Doe couldn't have altered the course of Florida's 59-20 victory in 2007 if UT running back Arian Foster hadn't fumbled the ball his way when the Vols were only eight points down in the third quarter.

Britton Colquitt had to choose a pass over a punt before Joiner could become a fourth-down hero in 2005. And some coach had to sign off on kicking or punting the ball in James' direction (pick any season between 2006 and 2009).

Obscured in those highlights and low-lights is my signature play of The Streak. It occurred in the last minute of the first half in 2008.

The Gators already had a 20-0 lead as UT lined up a yard away from their goal line. A third-down pass was incomplete. A fourth-down pass was intercepted by Jenkins.

Did I mention that the Vols had two downs to make 1 yard? You think someone with play-calling clout might have lobbied for at least one run?

Then again, maybe not. Two things the Vols haven't done in The Streak: run the ball, or hold onto it as well as the Gators.

The rushing statistics are staggering in The Streak. The Gators rushed for 255 yards in the 2007 game. That's only 80 yards fewer than the Vols have totaled rushing in the seven lost games. UT had -9 yards rushing against the Gators last season. They had -11 yards in 2006. Only once during what qualifies as the Dark Ages of the series have they rushed for more than 100 yards (117 in 2009).

Nor have the Gators had more turnovers than the Vols in any of the seven games. Florida has thrown just three interceptions in The Streak. UT might have thrown five last season if the Gators hadn't dropped a handful of opportunities.

The Streak began with a drop.

The Vols were going for a third consecutive victory in the series in 2005 and looked capable of pulling it off at halftime. Then, early in the third quarter of a 7-7 game, Eric Wilbur punted the ball to UT's Jonathan Hefney. He fumbled the ball back to the Gators, who took the lead on a field goal moments later en route to a 16-7 victory.

The series hasn't been the same since.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns

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Comments » 67

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I haven't read this yet

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I haven't read this yet

YEAH first and second. Now to the article for reading.

thevoice writes:

I bet CBS regrets dissing the UF-UT series in favor of Arky-Bama!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Welp after reading the article I can see why I'm first and second....probably third too. JA didn't appeal to UT fans here.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

YEAH first and second. Now to the article for reading.

Don't do it Stokes

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to thevoice:

I bet CBS regrets dissing the UF-UT series in favor of Arky-Bama!

Hey. It's all ESPdarnN. I'm just glad I'll not have to just listen this time. I may even turn the volume down.hehe

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to gc_scvol:

Don't do it Stokes

you're correct but late with the warning.

Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother writes:

You guys are looking at it all wrong. Adams is helping out here. He's providing some bulletin board material for the Vols.

I think the more they are reminded of the streak, the bigger the chip on their shoulders.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I may be crazy, but if UF spots UT a 2 TD lead they will get their arses handed to them..UT 38, UF 20..HBTV!!!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Welp after reading the article I can see why I'm first and second....probably third too. JA didn't appeal to UT fans here.

Sorry 44
I think John told it just the way it has been. There isn't a single Vol fan that can't see what he is saying is true. You included. None of us are happy about this streak, it started with Steve getting CPF goat and keeping it. I think Fl and the rest of the SEC in in for a surprise if they think Dooley isn't real, and he is way to bright too intimidated with trash talk. The streak ends this Sat. Yes John is appealing to Vol Fans he is telling us to wake up.
Vols 10 -2 Plus a bowl
Vols 41 Fl 17

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

Let's not lose this top 25 ranking after one week. Have to play better than we did against GA State to beat Florida. Go Vols!

10Vol85 writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Sorry 44
I think John told it just the way it has been. There isn't a single Vol fan that can't see what he is saying is true. You included. None of us are happy about this streak, it started with Steve getting CPF goat and keeping it. I think Fl and the rest of the SEC in in for a surprise if they think Dooley isn't real, and he is way to bright too intimidated with trash talk. The streak ends this Sat. Yes John is appealing to Vol Fans he is telling us to wake up.
Vols 10 -2 Plus a bowl
Vols 41 Fl 17

"it started with Steve getting CPF goat and keeping it."

Spurrier was certainly a thorn in Fulmer's side through most of the 90s but not at the end and not on this streak. 2001 was their last FL-TN matchup and Fulmer got that one. If the streak is at 7, it started in 2005 with Meyer.

mdvol writes:

VOLS hang 40 on the Gators.

Pandemonium Reigns - Sept 15th
Seriously...get ready.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to mdvol:

VOLS hang 40 on the Gators.

Pandemonium Reigns - Sept 15th
Seriously...get ready.

I agree. I dont know about the final score, but I am expecting at least a 2-TD victory over the Gators.

laraccoon writes:

im watching the replay for the first time , this team does seem different. i see now why Dooley said the conference is not going to have them to push around anymore . they arent trying to dodge people this year but running atraight at them . looks like the Gators better be ready , this vol team looks mean AND HUNGRY ,

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

I agree. I dont know about the final score, but I am expecting at least a 2-TD victory over the Gators.

We have said this the last seven years playing them. I'll take a one point win.

IN_Volfan writes:

We have to have at least a respectable running game and solid secondary to end the streak. I think passing attack and front 7 on defense will be fine, but cannot have another -9 yard rushing performance.

kjneel#238751 writes:

We can outscore them. Turnovers will be the key stat. If we lose and I have to see one more D-BAG doing a Gator chomp I will puke. Lets shut em up already!

MCVOL67 writes:

The streak ends now. Watching the UF-A&M game, gators were pretty banged up after playing the tough Aggies. They can't protect their QB and 2 tough road games = a great day for the Vols....

Orangeblood13 writes:

Have to say

I won't pick us till we win

Just any other team , just go out and play men

kman29 writes:

amazing how every year UT getting victories over an average at best team and a horrible team continually brings out predictions of beating UF by 2 or more TDs. Same stuff was said last year after UT beat Cinncy. Yes the Vols have a good strong passing game. But fact remains their running game is average at best. If UT can't have better success running the ball, then UF will simply be able use their dline to stop the run and play more nickle and dime coverage, just as they did last year and the UT juggernaut offense couldn't do anything most of the game.

At the end of the day, Florida has been road tested mentally and physically this year and past that test. But hey, we will see come saturday.

frblalack writes:

Thanks John! I hope Coach Dooley enlarges your article & places it on the wall in LARGE LETTERS!

You are a motivator.

All Vols - My beloved Big Orange - Thanks Team & Coaches!!! Bleed Orange for Life! Believe!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to 10Vol85:

"it started with Steve getting CPF goat and keeping it."

Spurrier was certainly a thorn in Fulmer's side through most of the 90s but not at the end and not on this streak. 2001 was their last FL-TN matchup and Fulmer got that one. If the streak is at 7, it started in 2005 with Meyer.

I'm a Vol thou and thou. One can call this a 7 year streak if they want to but it started with Steve coaching Fl. they own the games from the time he arrived. I know we won some but not near 50%. It is time to change that; we are better against Bama during this same time period.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Sears_Woods_Return:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Jeffy,

Dropped another of your roadside bombs, then running away again?

What a pathetic coward and fraud. Speaking of streaks.........you are streaking along as no doubt the biggest embarrassment to the U of Tennessee. A legitimate embarrassment.

One thing's for certain however. You are as big a troll as any on this site.
A question for you actually........how much are you getting paid for your garbage and roadside bombs?

The big winner is CDD. He owns your feeble mind. No, the loser is clearly you.......troll.

foosballer writes:

I am so ready to finally beat this team. PLEASE!!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to Sears_Woods_Return:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You have it all wrong Poo Poo. Dooley started negative with a team, not Saban or Les could have done better. Meyers with Tebow would have still fell on his back side. Dooley will soon replace Saban as the coach in the SEC. So mouth off while you can.

Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother writes:

in response to kman29:

amazing how every year UT getting victories over an average at best team and a horrible team continually brings out predictions of beating UF by 2 or more TDs. Same stuff was said last year after UT beat Cinncy. Yes the Vols have a good strong passing game. But fact remains their running game is average at best. If UT can't have better success running the ball, then UF will simply be able use their dline to stop the run and play more nickle and dime coverage, just as they did last year and the UT juggernaut offense couldn't do anything most of the game.

At the end of the day, Florida has been road tested mentally and physically this year and past that test. But hey, we will see come saturday.

"At the end of the day, Florida has been road tested mentally and physically this year and past that test. But hey, we will see come saturday."

Your implication is that they've been tested and we haven't. How do you figure?

Looking at the AP and Coaches' polls, and at the ESPN Power Rankings, I don't see much difference between NC State and TX A&M. Sometimes one got a few more votes in the "others receiving votes" sections, and sometimes the other. I can say that NC State is lead by an experienced QB who's going to be playing on Sundays, and TX A&M has a totally untested freshman who was starting his first game, and it was A&M's first game too.

Maybe you meant they were tested by Bowling Green? I would certainly agree with that! In fact, Bowling Green had them beaten if not for missing two chipshot FGs.

Saying Florida's been tested and we haven't is absurd. I think Florida's been exposed and we haven't. They've been mentally and physically tested by two teams they should have dominated. We've dominated both our opponents.

You really think Florida's four down linemen will be able to physically handle our five, who have more experience and out-weigh them by 30-40 pounds/man? You're forgetting one very important point about last season. The Vols moved the ball pretty easily on that first drive until Hunter went down. They didn't have to use nickle and dime defense. They could stack the box. We didn't have multiple downfield threats. We do now, even if one of them gets hurt. Hunter, Patterson and Z Rogers have all proven that already, against a far better secondary than Florida can muster.

The only thing you're right about is that we'll see come Saturday.

VOLKING writes:

1. Stay healthy.
2. Win the turnover game.....or at least hang on to the ball and don't give them a short field.
3. Do what you do best...meaning...don't run the ball because you feel you have to or you need to prove you can.
4. Stop UF's run game. Make them beat you with the passing game.
5. Score touchdowns because the kicking game is questionable. Don't let it come down to a field goal late.

VolO writes:

in response to VOLKING:

1. Stay healthy.
2. Win the turnover game.....or at least hang on to the ball and don't give them a short field.
3. Do what you do best...meaning...don't run the ball because you feel you have to or you need to prove you can.
4. Stop UF's run game. Make them beat you with the passing game.
5. Score touchdowns because the kicking game is questionable. Don't let it come down to a field goal late.

6. If you take an early 2 touchdown lead, do not take your foot off the gas.

VOLKING I agree, if we have a sub-par running game then so be it. We can win by airing it out.

Go Vols!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to VOLKING:

1. Stay healthy.
2. Win the turnover game.....or at least hang on to the ball and don't give them a short field.
3. Do what you do best...meaning...don't run the ball because you feel you have to or you need to prove you can.
4. Stop UF's run game. Make them beat you with the passing game.
5. Score touchdowns because the kicking game is questionable. Don't let it come down to a field goal late.

#3 I could not agree more..The run will not be there so light their arse up with the pass..So what if they only average single digits rushing, it should only be used as play-action set up anyway..GBO!!

6972 writes:

Let's hope the game doesn't come down to the kicking game. I saw where there is a GIRL playing for a high school team as their kicker. I think she kicked a 35 yard one. Come on Palardy, get your act together and DO IT!

allvol8 writes:

in response to Sears_Woods_Return:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Clang..clang....clang...SOS different name...Let them play the game and you shut up..

CrankE writes:

Florida comes in with confidence that they can win on the road and overcome a halftime deficit. They toughed it out through injuries and that's impressive to me. There's a lot to be said for knowing that you can do this. UF can beat UT.

Their recipe hasn't changed in 20 years. Why should it? Jump on top early and keep the intensity up. Force UT to play catchup using low percentage plays. Force a turnover or two, capitalize. Then lean on their running game to run the clock and shorten the game.

UT has to flip this to match Florida's intensity and score out of the gate. 2 minute offense anyone? Also, A&M registered 6 sacks. That seems like something UT might want to exploit. UT needs to manufacture enough rushing to keep the defense honest and to control the tempo when needed.

I'm not thinking blowout for UT like I was last week. But I don't think UF can blow UT out either.

If not this year, when?

brod writes:

for once this is an accurate article. tennessee blew the 05 and 06 games. since then, they really have not had a team capable of beating florida.

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

The way I see it is----There is no team
that can stop Tennessee completely.Too
much Quarterback--and too many good receivers--and they only have to keep people honest --while running every now and again.Vols defense is getting better and will be after their quarterback.

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheVolSnake writes:

QB, Vol’s have Bray which is #5 in the nation has a QB rating of 194.6: Driskel is at #35 and a QB rating of 154.6. Bray 45 out of 61 a 73.8% 643 yards and 6 TD’s: Driskel 23 out of 32 a 71.9% 276 Yards 1 TD. QB Big edge Vols.

RB’s: Fla Gillislee 231 yards 4 TD’s, TN running back by committee. But when you look at team rushing both teams Vol’s are at #37 375 yard’s and the Gator are at #42 362 yards. If the Vols had a established RB I would give the edge to the Vol’s but with Fla having a established RB is give the edge to the Gators in the run game.

Offensive line: both teams have e opposite of each other line, the Vols still have issues opening holes for the running game but is out standing in the pass blocking, (one sack), the Gators are good at run blocking and terrible at pass blocking (9 Sacks), I call this even whichever team makes the biggest improvement in their weakness will go a long way in determining the outcome of this game.

WR’s No contest Vols have established WR across the board, the Gators have yet to have an established WR. The leading receiver for the Gators is their TE. Big edge to the Vols

Defense: Both teams have 4 sacks the deference is Yards lost on the sacks Vol’s had 45 yards and the Gators had 21, interceptions Gators 1 Vol’s 5

Kick/punt return: Vols’ ranked #25 Gators # 94. Edge Vols

Kicking: Gators at #12 and the Vol’s #28 Big edge to the Gators in the kicking games so if the game comes down to FG the Vol’s should worry.

Stats from: http://espn.go.com/college-football/s...

Team over all rankings:
Passing Yards: Vol’s #9, Gators #114
Rushing yards: Vol’s #43, Gator’s #49
Passing For: Vol’s #15 Gator’s # 87
Points Against: Vols #38th, #34th

So all said and done Vol’s by 14

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

in response to Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother:

"At the end of the day, Florida has been road tested mentally and physically this year and past that test. But hey, we will see come saturday."

Your implication is that they've been tested and we haven't. How do you figure?

Looking at the AP and Coaches' polls, and at the ESPN Power Rankings, I don't see much difference between NC State and TX A&M. Sometimes one got a few more votes in the "others receiving votes" sections, and sometimes the other. I can say that NC State is lead by an experienced QB who's going to be playing on Sundays, and TX A&M has a totally untested freshman who was starting his first game, and it was A&M's first game too.

Maybe you meant they were tested by Bowling Green? I would certainly agree with that! In fact, Bowling Green had them beaten if not for missing two chipshot FGs.

Saying Florida's been tested and we haven't is absurd. I think Florida's been exposed and we haven't. They've been mentally and physically tested by two teams they should have dominated. We've dominated both our opponents.

You really think Florida's four down linemen will be able to physically handle our five, who have more experience and out-weigh them by 30-40 pounds/man? You're forgetting one very important point about last season. The Vols moved the ball pretty easily on that first drive until Hunter went down. They didn't have to use nickle and dime defense. They could stack the box. We didn't have multiple downfield threats. We do now, even if one of them gets hurt. Hunter, Patterson and Z Rogers have all proven that already, against a far better secondary than Florida can muster.

The only thing you're right about is that we'll see come Saturday.

I totally agree.We will see how they defend Bray and his posse
on Sat.

GreeneVol writes:

Monkey is squarely on our backs, Vols. I really think our coaches will have the schemes necessary & the monkey won't go away until the players make the plays. Kicker could be huge Saturday.

I was impressed by Florida's second half adjustments against A&M. But as I'm sure Florida fans will agree, the Aggies don't have the down-field passing game UT does.

When this Gator-monkey is finally off our backs, the relief will be incredible.

laraccoon writes:

has anyone seen the list of recruits that are supposed to be in town this week for the game ? an impressive list to say the least. this game is huge , H U G E from a recruiting standpoint .

Shake_Bake writes:

Remember at one time Bama had like 8 or 9 wins in a row on the Vols. That streak finnally ended! A guy named Manning had something to say about that!

All streaks come to an end sooner or later ( remember Ky last year ); this one will end Saturday!!

Go Vols!!!

ThirdWeekNOct writes:

in response to Sears_Woods_Return:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Okay, Negative Nancy- shut it! We don't need your bad juju this week. Pass the Dool-Aid.

RockVegas writes:

in response to IN_Volfan:

We have to have at least a respectable running game and solid secondary to end the streak. I think passing attack and front 7 on defense will be fine, but cannot have another -9 yard rushing performance.

I agree with you 100%,we can throw the ball all over the field.We need our backs to run fast and hard north and south,and stop tipping threw up the field.Our O-line needs to knock some folks down on their butts,and win the battle up front for most of the game.I really feel good about this game,but I always felt good about our chances even when Big Phill was coaching.So you guys know where I'm going with this,We need to run the ball for at least 80 yards or more for us to beat the lizards,I think....GBO.

Obligatory_Hendrix_Perm writes:

Its my opinion that our obvious weaknesses in the running and kicking game are not going to significantly improve over the course of the season and it will cost us several games. Defensively the teams that scare me are the ones capable of running right at us and being at least average in the passing game. That means ala, uga, usc and possibly msu.

Uf doesnt fit that mode. Unless someone pulls an alex brown game then uf loses this saturday.

TheVolSnake writes:

New development

Mike Gillislee RB 09/10/2012 is doubtful for Saturday's game against Tennessee Doubtful groin

http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/ts...

I see this as false, I expect him to play but regardless he will be slowed down and this will limit his practice this week.

Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

New development

Mike Gillislee RB 09/10/2012 is doubtful for Saturday's game against Tennessee Doubtful groin

http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/ts...

I see this as false, I expect him to play but regardless he will be slowed down and this will limit his practice this week.

This news is not unexpected. Gillislee pulled his groin on that great 12 yard TD run. His balancing act on the sideline was amazing, but he traded that TD for a pulled groin and never returned to the game. That's a tough injury for a RB to play with. If he plays Saturday, he won't be 100%.

A_Voice_ofReason writes:

The key to winning this game is very simple, if the Vols can run the ball, they win. For those of you who say we can outscore them, you have to look at the pros and cons of scoring. Throwing the ball all day will result in a lot of quick scores, but what benefit does that do if your defense is coming right back on the field????

The Vols are going to have to get some good play from their 2's and 3's if they are going to score at a fast pace (which is what the offense does). Running the football not only wears your opponents D down, but it also allows for the Vols D to get their much needed rest on the sidelines.

I don't want to get into a battle of outscoring florida. That bodes badly for the Vols. If Tennessee can come out and establish some long drives as well as some quick scores, they will end up with the victory at the end of the day.

Vol43 writes:

It may be that Bray and Hunter are looking at this as a case of unfinished business from last year. I suspect this has come up in their conversations. Unfinished business. Go Vols!

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to 6972:

Let's hope the game doesn't come down to the kicking game. I saw where there is a GIRL playing for a high school team as their kicker. I think she kicked a 35 yard one. Come on Palardy, get your act together and DO IT!

If she keeps it up, recruit her. She can't be any worse than Palardy.

GBO, end this Florida nonsense on Saturday.

BristolTnVol writes:

VOLS 45
Gators 10

Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother writes:

Folks. We have to out-score the Gators. That's how you win a game. Remember?

So far, the Vols have run the ball 81 times and passed it 69. I think CCD is still commited to running the ball. You have to do that to keep the defense honest and keep them guessing. We've averaged 4.63 yards per carry so far, and that's not bad.

BTW, 81 rushing attempts in the first two games is exactly the same as last season vs Montana and Cincy. Our per carry average against those two last year was just 3.1 yards, so we seem to be a bit better at it this year. Also, Florida is only averaging 4.0 yards per carry so far this season.

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