The Magic Returns for Florida

| September 27, 2015

Florida Football

GAINESVILLE – They call the play Train Right, Jill, Big Ben In.

The Gators run it each week in practice in case they ever need it. They needed it Saturday on fourth-and-13 against Tennessee.

Grier-UT-TH“Just part of the offense,” head coach Jim McElwain said.

Quarterback Will Grier made a good throw, receiver Antonio Callaway made a good catch, and receiver Brandon Powell made a great block.

Callaway’s legs did the rest on his 63-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 1:26 left to give the Gators a stirring 28-27 comeback victory against the Vols.

“You’ve just got to find the open guy, get it to him and convert the first down,’’ Grier said. “The young kid, my little brother, he just made a hell of a play. He turned that first down into a touchdown.”

A freshman from Miami, Callaway’s electrifying score capped his five-catch, 112-yard game as he became the first true Gators freshman receiver with a 100-yard receiving game since Reidel Anthony had two in 1994.

But it was Grier’s play in the fourth quarter that allowed the Gators to be in position to win their 11th consecutive game against their SEC East rivals.

A redshirt freshman making his third consecutive start, Grier had the kind of see-saw game Saturday that may have prompted head coach Jim McElwain to summon Treon Harris from the bench if Harris was available. However, with Harris serving a one-game suspension, it was all on Grier if the Gators were going to overcome a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit.

That possibility seemed remote for most of the game.

Grier was 12 of 24 for 142 yards and one interception entering the final 15 minutes. He was also sacked three times as Florida’s offense struggled to find any rhythm. The Gators punted six times on their first nine drives and had one end with an interception and another result in the end of the first half.

Florida’s only scoring drive over that span was a four-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by Kelvin Taylor in the first quarter. Taylor’s 47-yard run was the big play.

After Tennessee scored 20 unanswered points, the Gators finally found the end zone late in the third quarter on Taylor’s 4-yard run. The drive started at Tennessee’s 29 after a fumble recovery by Bryan Cox Jr.

And then Grier and the offense took off in the final quarter.

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