Florida Gators: Tennessee football

Gators-Vols ESPN's most-watched game

September, 18, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Here's some proof that the Florida-Tennessee rivalry is getting close to its status in the mid 1990s as one of the top games of the season: The Gators' 37-20 victory over the Vols was ESPN's most-viewed college football game of the week.

According to ESPN, 5,076,000 total viewers watched the broadcast, which began at 6 p.m.

It was the first time both teams came into the game ranked since 2007. The game was close into the fourth quarter until the Gators scored 10 points and pulled away to finish with the school's most points in Knoxville since they scored 43 in 1984. It was also UF's eighth consecutive victory in the series.
Bragging rights will certainly be on the line Saturday when Tennessee hosts Florida at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. However, there could be even more at stake.

While the Volunteers and Gators don't regularly square off in recruiting battles, it does happen -- sometimes with huge consequences. Here are some of the biggest battles between the two SEC East rivals:

Gator Gets

QB Steve Spurrier (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill): Over the past 50 years, Spurrier and Tim Tebow are easily the most recognizable names associated with Florida football. Spurrier decided to leave his home state of Tennessee because the Volunteers ran a single wing offense, and Spurrier, as everyone knows by now, wanted to throw the ball. Spurrier, who was a two-time All-American and Heisman Trophy winner, finished his three-year career at Florida with close to 5,000 passing yards and 37 touchdown passes. After playing in the NFL for the 49ers and Buccaneers, he went on to coach Florida to a national championship and six SEC titles.

High-profile visitors head to Knoxville 

September, 12, 2012
Tennessee will host several visitors for Saturday's game against Florida. Most will be unofficial visits. One of the headliners is clearly Derrick Green, the four-star tailback from Richmond (Va.) Hermitage High School, who'll be taking his first official visit.

Green is scheduled to visit Michigan in October. He has also said he'll visit Auburn and is considering Oregon, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech.

Here are some other prospects scheduled to be in Knoxville this weekend:

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida’s come-from-behind victory over Texas A&M made this Saturday’s matchup against Tennessee one of the country’s more intriguing games, so ESPN’s College GameDay will be making the trip to Knoxville.

It will be Florida’s nation-leading 34th appearance on GameDay. It’s also the second week in a row in which the GameDay has broadcast from the site of a game involving the Gators. The show was in College Station, Texas, this past weekend for the Aggies’ first Southeastern Conference game. Florida is 22-11 in games in which GameDay has been on site, which includes a 15-7 record in games away from Gainesville.

GameDay has been at a Florida-Tennessee game six times and the Gators are 5-1 in those games, which includes victories in Knoxville in 1996, 2000 and 2002.

Ohio State has made the second-most appearances on GameDay (29). Tennessee has made 18.

No. 18 Florida (2-0, 1-0 SEC) and Tennessee (2-0, 0-0) will kick off at 6 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.

2014 DB Blanding humble in spotlight 

July, 29, 2012
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Defensive back Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside) was one of only two 2014 prospects to compete at the Champion Gridiron Kings this weekend at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports, and the talented safety more than held his own.

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Derek Dooley apparently just needed some time to think about it.

Tennessee's head coach called and offered a scholarship to Davidson Day (N.C.) quarterback Will Grier as the quarterback was driving home after Tuesday's camp on the Vols' campus. Dooley and Grier met after Wednesday's camp but the Vols' head man didn't offer immediately. Now, with a Tennessee offer, Grier has five scholarship offers to consider.

“The thing that stands out is the amazing facilities and they’re building new ones,” the 2014 prospect said when asked what he liked about the visit. “They are building a brand new facility that we got to see the plans for. It's amazing.”

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2014 S Jalen Tabor talks Tennessee 

July, 17, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The first school to offer Jalen Tabor a scholarship was duly impressive.

“It's perfect,” the 2014 safety prospect from Washington (D.C.) Friendship said of Tennessee's campus after visiting for a camp Tuesday. “It's perfect for what I would like to do.”

Tabor also appreciated the fact that the Vols extended him his first scholarship offer. He now has several. He also said he likes Tennessee's coaches and that their energy even reminds him of his high school head coach, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Shaq Wiggins couldn't help but wonder what might have been.

Had Tennessee not had a mass exodus of coaches following the 2011 season, the nation's 36th overall prospect could easily see himself draped in orange one day.

“It was Tennessee, Virginia and Michigan,” he said of his leaders earlier this year. “If Coach (Lance) Thompson had stayed here, I'd probably be committed right now.”

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McElwain discusses new Florida football
SEC Network's Greg McElory and Booger McFarland sit down to discuss the future of Florida football with head coach Jim McElwain.