25 Best Moments in The Swamp: No. 6 — Vanquishing the Vols

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UF receiver Antonio Callaway. [Brad McClenny/Staff photographer]

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. 6 — Sept. 26, 2015

Vanquishing the Vols

The set-up: Tennessee came to The Swamp for this late September showdown determined to end the Gators’ 10-game winning streak in the rivalry, and late in the third quarter, it looked almost like a sure thing. UT quarterback Joshua Dobbs was killing the UF defense with his arm and his legs, and the UF offense was sputtering against a fast and aggressive UT defense for most of the first three quarters. As a result, with less than five minutes remaining in the game, the Gators found themselves down 13 points, 27-14. But, with a great sense of urgency, quarterback Will Grier and the UF offense finally started making things happen, even though it was far from easy. The Gators cut the deficit to 27-21 with 4:09 remaining with a 5-yard TD pass from Grier to Brandon Powell. The play culminated an 86-yard drive that featured two clutch fourth-down conversions by Grier. The UF defense then forced the Vols to punt, giving the Gators one last chance to pull out the win.

The moment: UF’s final drive did not start well. After a screen pass lost yardage, Grier had back-to-back incompletions. Suddenly, the Gators were facing a must conversion on fourth-and-13 from their own 37-yard line against a hard-charging UT defensive front. Grier dropped back to pass in a clean pocket and found wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who had found an opening in the middle of the UT secondary. Callaway made the catch past the first-down marker, spun away from two defenders, received a great block from Powell and streaked down the sideline for the 63-yard TD that put the Gators up 28-27 with 1:26 to play.

The result: The Swamp erupted with the stunning score. But the game wasn’t over. The Vols had a chance to win the game on the final play, but Aaron Medley’s 55-yard field goal attempt missed wide right by just inches, sending the Gators to their 11th consecutive victory over the Vols.

The quote: “What I still remember most about Grier’s fourth-and-13 pass to Callaway and what happened next is the look on the faces of Tennessee fans after Callaway found the end zone and insanity ensued. The Gators were about to beat the Vols for the 11th consecutive time and those Vols fans who made the trip to The Swamp looked ready to vomit. Down 13 points with less than five minutes remaining, the Gators created the kind of magic the home fans craved following a pair of very difficult seasons. Little did we know at the time another rough patch was ahead, but if you were in The Swamp that day Grier found Callaway, you’ll never forget it.” — Scott Carter, Floridagators.com

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.

15 COMMENTS

  1. It was a great victory indeed and showed a lot of character on that Gator team. I was saddened to be reminded of Will Grier’s stutter steps initially on the final drive, however — I was always taught that everything he touched immediately turned to gold.

    • Hey Neel – I remember that game well as I was cussing like I had turrets syndrome. It was yet another miracle that we seem to be on the right side of quite a bit. The cardiac kids as I recall someone referring to them as – not necessarily this team but several of our teams…lol. Is the season here yet??? GO GATORS!!!

      • I just received a “Blocked from this site notice.” What was that all about? I had to put my email and a remark, but it allowed me on immediately. The only thing I can think of is a new yurk mutts fan complained about my remarks on a different entry. I haven’t used any bad language in a very long time and that is difficult trying to get the SSG out of me. LOL. GO GATORS!!!

          • Maybe that’s what happened to old Leland, a die hard Gator with two PhDs from Florida? Except he didn’t bother to come back like Ed did. Sure do miss him, he was a good guy.

          • Thank you for the explanation Arnold F. I knew I hadn’t deserved it, so I did what was required of me to continue on this site. And Neal – you didn’t even mention that I spelled your name wrong…lol. There have been several peeps on here that have come and gone and many of them had great opinions and insight. I imagine I will be a part of this discussion board as long as it is active and I am above the grass. Well I have trees to cut down after all of the storms from 2 weeks ago, so I won’t be on as much until I am through. Take it easy everyone and remember – GO GATORS!!!

        • Don’t worry, Ed. It happens to me on a fairly regular basis. My ISP is Windstream, and they get frequently accused of allowing spam, so it often affects the delivery of my emails. Hadn’t thought of that as my problem on this forum until Arnold mentioned spam. This site also deletes my profile photo on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I just had to upload it again this morning. If not for the fact that it’s so “cool”, I’d probably just stick with the generic, inverted shadow.

          • Joe, the sun would cast a brittle pallor were you to ever stop using that profile photo! (I’m not sure what that means, but my wife — the lovely Gator-3 — said it once and I thought it was cool)

            Come to think of it, Sly has a pretty cool photo too, but we haven’t seen it in a while. Maybe he got tired of re-uploading it all the time.

          • Man, 6, I don’t know what it means either, but it does indeed sound extremely cool. Sly did have very cool photo, but I imagine he did get tired of continually having to load it again. Now California Gator has a great photo, but I can’t pull that one off any more. I have too many abs now!