25 Best Moments in The Swamp: No. 16 — Stuffed Volunteers

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Florida's Alex Brown gets by Tennessee's Josh Tucker during the second half of the Sept. 18, 1999 game at Florida Field. Brown sacked Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin five times in the game. (Alan Campbell/The Gainesville Sun)

It was June of 1992 when Steve Spurrier, fresh off Florida’s first official SEC title, called The Sun columnist Mike Bianchi with a new name for the stadium that would eventually bear his name.

The Swamp. 

In the years that followed, there have been some unbelievable games and players. Sun writers Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu came up with their rankings of the 25 best moments since 1992 when Spurrier gave it that moniker. 

No. 16 — Sept. 18, 1999

Stuffed Volunteers

The set-up: Tennessee was coming off a national title the year before and the Vols were ranked No. 2 in the nation behind Florida State. The Gators were ranked No. 4 after scoring 113 points in their first two games. Florida had a nice lead at 23-7 three minutes into the second half. But key turnovers allowed the Vols to climb back into the game 23-21 (even with Alex Brown recording five sacks). Doug Johnson threw an interception that gave the Vols one more chance with good field position.

The moment: Florida’s young defense was faced with a third-and-3 at UF’s 42, but Jamal Lewis was stuffed for no gain. On fourth down, the Vols decided to pitch it wide to the left and Florida swarmed the play led by linebacker Keith Kelsey and Brown, who finished off the play.

The result: Robert Gillespie broke off a big run on third down to effectively end the game. Florida would see it’s 30-game home winning streak come to an end two weeks later against Alabama, but made it to Atlanta as champs of the East. The Gators lost to Alabama again (with Johnson injured) and then to Michigan State in the Citrus Bowl to finish 9-4 with three straight losses to close the season.

The quote: “We weren’t supposed to win that game because we lost so much on defense. But our defense played great the whole game. On that play, I didn’t think they would run it so I was going to get up the field. They had run a sweep earlier twice and I screwed up both times. So I was going to make sure I contained him this time. 

“I saw (Tee Martin) check away from my side and knew I had to go after it (on the other side). Keith made a great play. I was just cleaning up. We had a lot of guys who played great that night and I got too much of the attention. We just wanted to make a name for ourselves (on defense).” — Alex Brown.

Editor’s note: You have one Swamp game moment that comes to mind? Tell us what it is.Maybe it’s already on our Top 25 list. We’ll update readers on top moments from fans as the countdown proceeds.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The best individual game by a Gator defender in the last 25 years. Brown was an absolute beast this night. The interception, the sacks, to go along with the tackles for loss.He was close on several pressures too and was being held on many other plays.

  2. I was there. Before I left Orlando at noon to head up to the game, Lee Corso picked Florida (only ESPN analyst to do so) by three. That night, after the game, My wife and I went to the Steak n Shake on 13th. We sat at a table with jubilant Gator strangers. Low and behold, who walks in but Lee Corso. We invited him to sit with us and he acquiesced. He was a nice guy, but definitely was looking at the girls. Remember he ate his fries with a fork. Great time. We were underdogs, and beat UToothless. Good times!

      • Yah, this was immediately after the game, which was a night game. The Steak and Shake was packed. Corso came in alone and there were no tables. My wife and I actually could not find a table, but the two Gators (both girls) invited us to sit with them, as everyone was jubilant after the upset of UToothless. When Corso came in, I asked them if they would mind if I invited Lee over and of course they didn’t, so I walked over, and asked if he wanted to sit with us. I don’t think it hurt that there were three girls at the table (one being my wife). Really nice guy, and we all clapped him on the back for his correct pick picking the Gators. My wife and I had ordered ours to go, so I didn’t stay long at the table with Lee and the two nice Gator Gals. Fond memories as we wait for the season to get here.