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(313) 1992 Georgia - 20
(185) 1996 Colorado - 22
(72) 2001 Tennessee - 25
The Vols powerful front held Rick Neuheisel's potent offense (QB Koy Detmer, WR Rae Carruth) in check. Neuheisel didn't call any fake punts in this one.
(57) 1997 Florida - 27
(72) 2001 Tennessee - 22
A classic Steve Spurrier vs Phil Fulmer matchup ended with a familiar result (Fulmer lost 9 out of 14 against Spurrier) as the '97 Gators claimed a spot in the Bracket of Champions.
It took two quarterbacks, a little Fred Taylor, and a lot of defense, but the Gators got the job done. It's a well known fact that the team that runs the ball better in the recent Florida/Tennessee series usually wins the game. So when Fred Taylor manages to pile up 89 yards against a UT front that included beasts like John Henderson, Albert Haynesworth, and Will Overstreet, you know the Gators are going to have a great shot to win the game.
Spurrier was clearly not happy with his quarterbacks as he freely rotated between Doug Johnson and Jesse Palmer - often several times during a single drive. The Gator quarterbacks combined to complete 18-of-39 passes, throw 2 interceptions, and take 4 sacks.
For Tennessee it was even rougher offensively. Travis Stephens ran tough, but defensive tackles Reggie McGrew and Ed Chester often blew up the play before it had a chance to develop. Stephens finished with a hard-earned 63 yards rushing on 19 carries.
The biggest problem for the Vols came in the passing game. Florida's DBs, led by All American Fred Weary locked down on Casey Clausen's talented targets (WRs Kelley Washington & Donte Stallworth, and TE Jason Witten) and made it very difficult for him to find open receivers. Clausen threw three interceptions, the last of which was returned by Tony George 88 yards for a touchdown.
1997 Florida (#57 overall seed) advances to the Bracket of Champions. The Gators will face the winner of Bracket 8 in the first round.