Franks stuns Tennessee with Hail Mary touchdown for a Gators win

When it looked like the Gators were going into overtime, Felipe Franks delivered a huge touchdown

With nine seconds left after a grueling defensive contest, it looked clear that the game between Florida and Tennessee was going into overtime. Felipe Franks, the red shirt freshman who has been under a lot of criticism for not being able to score, took the final snap of the game. After taking a few looks downfield and realizing that the result of the game was on his shoulders, he launched the ball 63 yards. A great pass is one accomplishment itself, but a great pass is nothing without an equally great catch. Number 89 Tyrie Cleveland slipped behind Tennessee’s coverage and caught the game winning touchdown.

Pure eruption let out in The Swamp as 90,000 strong stood on their feet and cheered for their Gators getting the first victory of the season. The chants of “It’s great to be a Florida Gator” echoed throughout the arena.

Scenes from the #Gators' 26-20 win against the Volunteers. / UAA Communications photo by Matt Stamey #GoGators #Swamp17 #WeCHOMP #TENNvsUF

Posted by Florida Gators Football on Saturday, September 16, 2017

This game was so crucial especially because the Gators had lost their first game to Michigan in an unsettling fashion. It didn’t help that the following week the massive Hurricane Irma caused the “pick-me-up” game against Northern Colorado to be cancelled. Today was a must win for the Gators, and thankfully, they delivered.

The first three quarters were a knock-down, drag-out, defensive struggle between two of the nations top 25 ranked teams. Throughout the first 3 quarters of play there were only field goals. At the start of the 4th quarter a touchdown that looked to have been scored ended up resulting in a fumble and a turnover giving the ball to Tennessee. With 14 minutes and 23 seconds left in the game the Gators scored their first touchdown off an interception by C.J. Henderson. Following the first touchdown of the game came a string of three back to back to back touchdowns. The first being from Tennessee’s John Kelly with a 34 yard run, the next a reception from Brandon Powell of the Gators, and the third coming from a reception by Ethan Wolf of Tennessee.

In the final two minutes, the Gators held Tennessee to a field goal and with 50 seconds left in the game they drove down the field. With 9 seconds left Coach McElwain called a timeout. The following play was pure magic as Felipe Franks delivered an incredible pass to Tyrie Cleveland.

The Gators next game will be against the Kentucky Wildcats next Saturday, September 23rd. Hope to see some more magic in that game!


University of Florida: UF