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Football flashback: Did Gators’ Jabar Gaffney catch the ball?

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The Tennessee Vols and Florida Gators have a lot to talk about this week before their game on Saturday.

They can discuss the proposed “funeral” for Gators’ quarterback Austin Appleby. They can decide what Florida defensive back Quincy Wilson mean when he said that “no one has ever seen a duck pull a truck.” They can talk about Florida’s 11-game winning streak, including two straight wins of one point each.

Or, they can go to the old standby.

They can argue whether Jabar Gaffney caught the ball.

This week’s Football Flashback centers around the 2000 game between the Vols and the Gators. Florida won, 27-23, with 14 seconds left in the match. Jesse Palmer found Gaffney two yards deep in the end zone. Gaffney caught the ball, then lost it when the Vols’ Willie Miles knocked it away.

“I had it long enough for it to be a touchdown,” Gaffney said at the time.

For almost two decades now, Tennessee fans insist it was incomplete. Florida fans just laugh.

No question, God was smiling on us because the other team outplayed us,” Gators coach Steve Spurrier said. “And somehow we got more points.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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