Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FLORIDA 55, UL-MONROE 6 Gators Can Expect to Catch Vols on Run

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FLORIDA 55, UL-MONROE 6 Gators Can Expect to Catch Vols on Run

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, Times-Union sports writer

GAINESVILLE -- When Steve Spurrier remembers last season's 27-23 victory over Tennessee at Neyland Stadium, the first thing that pops into his head isn't Jabar Gaffney's game-winning catch in the final seconds.

And it's not Lito Sheppard's 19-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter, either.

Rather, Spurrier remembers Tennessee running backs running, free and often, through his defense for 203 yards. And it's something he doesn't want to see again on Saturday when the teams meet again at Florida Field.

"Hopefully we'll get a bunch of guys up there better than we did last year," Spurrier said.

The emotion surrounding Gaffney's game-winning catch seems to make Gators fans forget that fact. The Vols, in a precursor to what would happen against Mississippi State two weeks later, ran at will against UF's defense, led by Travis Henry's 175 yards on 37 carries.

It appears the Gators may be in for more of the same. Travis Stephens carried the ball 41 times for 206 yards in Tennessee's 13-3 victory at Arkansas on Saturday night. Vols coach Phil Fulmer said he didn't know Stephens had that many carries until after the game, but he kept using the freshman because of the wet field conditions and because he was running well.

Stephens may not get 40 carries on Saturday, but he will be a big part of the Vols' offense.

"When you get in a rainstorm like [Saturday] night in Arkansas you can give it to a back 40, 41 times," Spurrier said. "I remember Errict Rhett ran 40 times against Georgia in 1993 and we were able to win."

Tennessee will be the first big test for UF's new defensive front. Tackles Ian Scott and Bryan Savelio made their first collegiate starts in the past two weeks, and Spurrier praised Scott for his play against Louisiana-Monroe. The sophomore from Gainesville had three tackles, including two for loss. …

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