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GAME 3: FLORIDA 35, TENNESSEE 29 // UF's first-half scoring blitz holds off Vols once again

You might have thought it was safe to catch a quick second-half nap during the Florida-Tennessee game. Sure, it was 35-6 when you dozed off.

But where else can one team build a five-touchdown lead, get shut out in the second half, give up nearly 500 passing yards and still pull out a 35-29 squeaker in front of an NCAA record crowd?

It wasn't anything near pretty, but when No.

4 Florida left Neyland Stadium it had a victory over No.

2 Tennessee _ a particularly big victory.

"Hey, let's put it this way," defensive back Lawrence Wright said. "A win's a win."

Riding on the much-ballyhooed outcome was a berth in the SEC title game and a possible shot at the national championship, not to mention plenty of Heisman Trophy votes for one of the game's golden boy quarterbacks: Tennessee's Peyton Manning or Florida's Danny Wuerffel.

The Gators left with the whole caboodle.

Florida silenced a crowd of 107,608 at Neyland Stadium by converting a startling fourth and 11 from the Tennessee 35 for its first score, a pass from Wuerffel to Reidel Anthony on a post pattern. After free safety Teako Brown intercepted Manning's first pass, a 10-yard completion from Wuerffel to Terry Jackson made it 14-0. Three more touchdowns came in a two-minute span in the second quarter to make it 35-0.

Tennessee rallied for a late first-half touchdown, then found an offensive groove with three touchdown passes in the second half. Manning, who got off to a horrific start with four interceptions and a fumble, finished with four touchdown passes.

"They got some momentum," said Wuerffel, 11-of-22 for 155 yards, but with no interceptions to his four touchdowns. "We were also trying to run out the clock, which we did in the fourth quarter."

Florida's win, coupled with Arizona State's 19-0 upset of top-ranked Nebraska, propelled the Gators to No. 1.