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When 175 yards isn't enough

By BOB HARIG and DEBI JONES

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 17, 2000


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Travis Henry had his way for most of the day. But on a play that could have put the game away, the daylight turned to darkness. Suddenly, there was no room to run.

Henry, Tennessee's senior tailback from Frostproof, rushed for 175 yards. But he needed two more.

One of the key plays in Florida's 27-23 victory over Tennessee was Henry's third-down rushing attempt late in the fourth quarter. With the Vols clinging to a 23-20 lead and 2:30 remaining, they faced third and 1 at the Florida 47. A first down might not put the game away, but it certainly would have made it much more difficult for Florida to come back.

When Henry took a pitch, however, he was swarmed by Gators and dropped for a 1-yard loss.

"It was a pitch play, and we didn't get a block off the line," said Henry, who averaged 4.7 yards a carry and scored a touchdown. "They came up and made the stop. That was big."

The Vols punted, and the Gators drove 91 yards for the winning touchdown.

Henry, who broke Emmitt Smith's Florida high school rushing records and scored 42 touchdowns as a senior, posted his 10th career 100-yard game. It was just his eighth regular season start in three seasons.

Late in the fourth quarter last season in Gainesville, Tennessee called for a run to the left on fourth-and-3. Jamal Lewis was stopped for no gain. HENRY MOVES UP: With 64 yards rushing during the first half, Henry advanced to ninth on the Vols' all-time list. He finished the game in eighth place with 2,074 career yards. Cedric Wilson also moved to No. 8, though in receptions. He is tied with Carl Pickens at 109.

LINEUP SHUFFLE: Florida receiver Taylor Jacobs made his first career start. Jacobs started in favor of fellow sophomore Reche Caldwell, who started the first two games. In addition, defensive end Tron LaFavor started in his first game, replacing Thaddeus Bullard.

WITHOUT A FIRST: The Gators made their opening first down with 7 minutes, 24 second remaining in the second quarter but finished with 17. Florida's game low under coach Steve Spurrier is six against Alabama in the SEC title game last season.

RECORD CROWD: The Tennessee attendance record of 108,064 fell when 108,768 attended Saturday. The old record was set Sept. 2 against Southern Mississippi.

THE KICK IS GOOD: Before the game, Kris Moody of Gray, Tenn., made a 35-yard field goal to win $100,000.

FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS: Kicker Alex Walls tied Tennessee's record for field goals in a game with five.

SHEPPARD'S FIRST TD: Cornerback Lito Sheppard's interception for a touchdown was his first defensive touchdown and second interception.

On Sept. 9, Sheppard returned a 54-yard punt for a touchdown against Middle Tennessee State.

"Lito's a ball player," Spurrier said. "He can make big plays."

ETC: Tennessee's 23-game home winning streak, the third-longest in the nation, was snapped. The Vols had not lost at Neyland Stadium since a 35-29 defeat to Florida in 1996. ... UF's 21 rushing attempts tied for the fourth-lowest in the Spurrier era. UF's 39 rushing yards were the eighth-fewest under Spurrier. ... UF quarterback Jesse Palmer's 20 completions and 43 attempts are the second-highest totals in his career.

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