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Florida's Hail Mary vs. Tennessee elicits excitement, defeat on Twitter

College Football, Florida Gators, Tennessee Volunteers

Saturday's SEC East battle between the No. 24 Florida Gators and No. 23 Tennessee Volunteers started off as somewhat of a snoozefest, but it sure ended with a statement. 

Feleipe Franks' 63-yard Hail Mary pass to Tyrie Cleveland on the final play gave the Gators a 26-20 win as time expired and elicited across-the-board reactions on Twitter. 

Florida shared its joy, as did Gators coach Jim McElwain, players and one of the school's mascots. Punter Johnny Townsend used the opportunity to troll Tennessee coach Butch Jones for his "Champions of life" remark last year, said after Florida defeated LSU to spoil the Volunteers' chances of playing in the SEC Championship. 

Meanwhile, Tennessee acknowledged the crushing loss. 

Current and former NFL players tweeted their thoughts on the game. Among them were Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton and retired Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, who both played at Florida, and Tennessee alums Joshua Dobbs of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Robert Ayers of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Free agent Marlon Brown, who played wide receiver for the division rival Georgia Bulldogs, also offered his opinion.  

 

ESPN basketball analyst Jay Williams and SEC Network's Peter Burns chimed in, too. 

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Florida has won its past two meetings at home against Tennessee (on Saturday and in 2015) on 63-yard, game-winning touchdown passes. Last year, the Gators lost 38-28 to the Volunteers in Knoxville.

-- Alex Tekip 

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