Tennessee football: Top 5 Vols individual performances vs. Florida

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 24: Joshua Dobbs /
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Tennessee football has plenty of heroes in its rivalry with the Florida Gators. Here are five Volunteers with the most memorable performances in the series.

Ever since the rivalry exploded in 1990, Tennessee football has had some standout heroes when it comes to beating the Florida Gators. Most of the time win they win, it’s due to an individual performer who stepped his game up like never before. Sometimes, it was a breakout game. Other times, it was a climactic performance for them.

This is the type of game that could get you a street-name in Knoxville. It could get you honored before a game. Simply put, it’s the game where heroes are made for the Vols. The game once had such implications on the season that the hero becomes a lasting legend.

Could another player be added to the list this Saturday? That may be necessary for a win. So let’s send a shoutout to some of the people who gave Vol Nation the best memories in the Florida series. These are the five most memorable individual performances by a Tennessee football player in their series history with Florida.

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images /

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Defensive back. Dale Carter. 5. 1990. player. 839

Tennessee beats Florida 45-3

Two years before divisional play began, Tennessee and Florida were already being set up for a rivalry. That’s because the scheduling just happened to have the two face each other in 1990 and 1991. It was too perfect since the rivalry exploded in the 1990s. The 1990 game was the one that started it all.

Dale Carter was the catalyst for this game being a blowout. A junior college transfer, it was his breakout game en route to back to back All-American seasons with the Vols. UT led 7-3 at halftime, but Carter broke it open in the third quarter. He fielded a kickoff destined to go out of bounds, a huge mistake, but returned it for a touchdown.

After that, Carter pulled down two interceptions, forcing Steve Spurrier to run through three quarterbacks to find something that would work. Nothing did, and Tennessee football got out of their with an easy win. The Vols dominated 45-3, and it all started with Carter’s kickoff return.