The Gator Bowl would feature its 3rd match-up of intraconference foes, this time pairing Florida (8-1-1) against SEC champion Tennessee (9-1) in the first match-up between the 2 schools since 1955. The game was expected to be an offensive shootout; however, the defenses would shine on this day as the Gators would stop the Volunteers on a late goal-line stand to hold on for a 1-point win. To add insult to injury, Florida would hire away Tennessee head coach Doug Dickey after the game. Stat line for Gator MVP Mike Kelley: 17 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, TD via blocked punt return.
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The Gator Bowl at the conclusion of the 1970 season would see another postseason match-up between Auburn (8-2) and Ole Miss (7-3), the 1st meeting between the schools since the 1965 Liberty Bowl. The game was the end of an era for the Rebels, as it was the final game of QB Archie Manning and the end of Johnny Vaught’s tenure as head coach (Vaught would return a couple years later to finish a season as interim HC). Both Vaught and Auburn coach Ralph Jordan didn’t coach from the sidelines this game due to health reasons. The Tigers jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the 1st half. The Rebels would pull within 7 by halftime, but were unable to draw closer or overcome the deficit as the teams traded 2nd half touchdowns.
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