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IU football falls to Tennessee in Gator Bowl


IU tackles University of Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano Jan. 2 in the first quarter of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. IU was down at half during the game in Jacksonville, Florida. Anna Tiplick

IU football lost to the University of Tennessee 23-22 Thursday night in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, just barely failing to reach this season's coveted nine-win mark.

The Hoosiers got off to a slow start and didn’t score their first points until the end of the first half. IU took a second half lead over Tennessee but couldn't hold on in the fourth quarter. Tennessee scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter after IU held a 13-point lead.

In the first half, both the offensive and defensive lines for IU struggled against the size of Tennessee, and IU only mustered 69 yards while giving up 202 yards to the Volunteers. IU eventually took a 13-point lead in the second half after a rushing touchdown by junior quarterback Peyton Ramsey and an interception returned for a touchdown by sophomore defensive back Jamar Johnson.

But fifth-year kicker Logan Justus missed the extra point attempt after the touchdown by Ramsey. It proved to be the only point separating the teams at the end.

The Hoosiers haven't won a bowl game since 1991. But this was the first winning season for IU since 2007.

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