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Florida vs. Georgia Football Classic
FLGA-2009.jpg
First contested November 6, 1915
37–0, UGA
Number of meetings 87
Most recent meeting October 31, 2009
41–17, UF
All-time series 46–39–2, UGA
Largest victory November 7, 1942
75–0, UGA

The Florida vs. Georgia Football Classic or Georgia vs. Florida Football Classic is an annual college football game held between the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs every year since 1915. The name rotates each year depending on which team is the designated home team.[1] It is one of the great rivalry games in college football, and since 1933 it has nearly always been held in Jacksonville, Florida, making it one of the few remaining neutral-site rivalries. The game attracts huge crowds to Jacksonville, and the associated tailgating and other events earned it the nickname of the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party". The game is usually held on the last Saturday in October at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Beginning with the 2009 contest, the winning team is awarded a trophy known as the "Okefenokee Oar".

Contents

History

The first game was held in Jacksonville in 1915. From 1916-1933, the game rotated sites, being played at times in Georgia (Athens and Savannah), and other years in Florida (Tampa, Gainesville, and Jacksonville). The game has been held in Jacksonville, a neutral site located 73 miles from Gainesville and 342 miles from Athens, every year since 1933, except for 1994 and 1995, when the contest was held on the respective schools' campus stadiums due to the rebuilding of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

The designated home team alternates from year to year, with ticket distribution split evenly between the two schools. In past years, fans from Florida and Georgia were assigned seats grouped in alternating sections of the stadium, and the contrasting colors worn by the fans created a "beach ball" visual effect in the stands. Recently the seating arrangement has split the stadium lengthwise and fans sit on the side corresponding to the sideline their team occupies. Before the game, much tailgating takes place on the Jacksonville Landing, a riverfront plaza facing the St. Johns River.

Following the 2009 contest, Georgia held a 46-39-2 advantage in the all-time series. However, Florida has gone 17-3 in the game since 1990 (Georgia winning in 1997, 2004 and 2007) to follow a 15-5 domination by Georgia through the 70s and 80s. There is a disagreement in regard to the overall series record. University of Florida records indicate the series record with Georgia stands at 46-39-2 in UGA's favor. Georgia's records indicate a 47-39-2 lead, which includes a 52-0 Bulldog win in a game played in Macon, Ga., in 1904. However, Florida did not field an official team until 1906.

Due to sensitivity about the overconsumption of alcohol by students and other attendees, the nickname "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" has been dropped from most official usage.

Site of game

Recently University of Georgia officials expressed interest in moving the site of the game to its home campus or the Georgia Dome sporadically.[2] The main reason is Jacksonville's 342 mile travel distance from Athens, compared to its 73-mile distance from Gainesville. Georgia's football team charters an airplane flight to the city while Florida's players are able to travel by bus.

Additionally, in 2000 the University of Georgia changed its fall break to coincide with the date of the game. Purportedly this change was intended to reduce class absences and alarming traffic fatality trends related to students traveling to Jacksonville for the game that would, without the break, need to be completed in one night. There have been two subsequent attempts, in 2003 and 2004, to change fall break to a different weekend. Both were withdrawn after overwhelming opposition from the University of Georgia student body.

In 2005, UGA provost Arnett Mace, concerned about the widespread canceling of classes on the Wednesday prior to the Thursday-Friday break, asked all deans and department heads to report to him on how many classes had been canceled in violation of University policy. While it has led to ridicule by some, such as one dean's comparing Mace to Dean Wormer from Animal House, the move will likely lead to a renewed examination of the future of fall break.[3] Starting in the fall of 2008, a newly accepted compromise between UGA Student Government members and faculty in the University Council will go into effect which will shorten fall break to just the Friday before the game off, but increase Thanksgiving break from three days to an entire week.[4]

Florida officials maintain it makes economic sense to keep the game in Jacksonville as the Georgia Dome holds fewer spectators. In 2009, the University of Georgia's athletic board agreed to extend the series in Jacksonville through 2016.[5]

Memorable games

As with most rivalries, there have been a number of close games over the years, often generating controversy and anguish over how the game ended for one of the teams involved. Like the series itself, most of the early memorable games favored the Bulldogs, with more recent ones favoring the Gators. Among the most memorable:

1942: Blowout

Having lost many players to service in World War II, Florida brought an inexperienced 3-4 squad into Jacksonville for the 1942 contest with Georgia. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, still had many star players on the team thanks to the University of Georgia's ROTC program, and brought a 7-0 record and #1 ranking to Jacksonville[6].

Georgia backs Charley Trippi and 1942 Heisman Trophy-winner Frank Sinkwich were the brightest stars on the afternoon, combining to score 7 TDs as Georgia blew out Florida 75-0, the largest margin in series history. They would go on to make their only Rose Bowl appearance at the end of the season[7], defeating UCLA 9-0, and were named National Champions.

1966: Heisman curse?

The 1966 Florida Gators entered the game possessing a 7-0 on and the opportunity to clinch for their first ever SEC title. Gator quarterback Steve Spurrier had just locked up the Heisman trophy the previous week after a stellar performance vs Auburn and now had a chance to beat the Bulldogs. But it was not to be. The outcome was never in doubt, as Spurrier threw three interceptions in a 27-10 Gator loss.

1970: The Rip, Strip, and Grip

The 1970 Florida Gators featured All-American DE Jack Youngblood. They pulled off one of the greatest plays in Florida history in a 24-17 Florida victory. With Georgia ahead 17-10, and the ball at the Gator two-yard line, Youngblood stood up Georgia back Ricky Lake short of the goal, forced a fumble and fell on the football. "They ran a lead play to my side, and I cut it off," Youngblood said "I'm standing there holding the ballcarrier and I take the ball away from him, and gave it back to our offense." John Reaves and Carlos Alvarez took it from there, connecting for two touchdown passes in the final 5:13 to rally the Florida Gators to victory.[8]

1975: Appleby to Washington

The 1975 Florida Gators came into the game ranked #7 with a 6-1 record, while Georgia was 5-2 and ranked #19. The Gators' offense was led by RB Tony Green, who ran in for an early one yard touchdown to put the Gators ahead 7-0. Georgia was able to get on the board with a field goal, and the score was Florida 7, Georgia 3 as time was winding down in the fourth quarter. Georgia's "Junkyard Dawgs" defense allowed yards between the 20s but nothing in the red zone. The Bulldogs set up at their own 25 with 3:10 remaining, and head coach Vince Dooley did something he rarely did: he called a trick play. Richard Appleby took a reverse to the right, but instead of running it as he did earlier in the game, he threw it downfield to a wide open Gene Washington for an improbable 75 yard touchdown. The Gators' final field goal attempt never had a chance, as the snap was rolled to the holder. Georgia won 10-7.

1976: Fourth and Dumb

The 1976 Florida Gators were 6-1 and ranked #10 coming into the game and seeking to secure their first SEC title.[9] Florida jumped out to a 27-13 halftime advantage and seemed to have the game in hand until the Bulldogs scored early in the 3rd quarter to cut the lead to 27-20.

Then, faced with 4th and 1 at his own 29 yard line, Florida coach Doug Dickey decided to go for the first down. Gator running back Earl Carr was stopped short by the Bulldog's Johnny Henderson. The Bulldogs seized the momentum and never looked back: they would go on to score three touchdowns and roll to a 41-27 win.

1980: Run, Lindsay, Run

Trailing the underdog Gators with their perfect season and their #2 ranking in jeopardy, the Bulldogs pulled off one of the most famous plays in college football history.

Georgia was down 21-20 with time running out, facing a 3rd and long from their own 8 yard line. After scrambling around in his own endzone, Bulldog quarterback Buck Belue found wide receiver Lindsay Scott open in the middle of the field near the Georgia 25-yard-line. Scott darted through Florida's secondary and outran everyone down the sideline, scoring the game-winning touchdown with only seconds left on the clock.[10]

Long-time Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson's legendary call of the play (which still gives old fans of both schools the shivers, though for opposite reasons) gave the game its name:[11]

Florida in a stand-up five, they may or may not blitz. Buck back, third down on the eight. In trouble, he got a block behind him. Gotta throw on the run. Complete to the 25. To the 30, Lindsay Scott 35, 40, Lindsay Scott 45, 50, 45, 40. …. Run Lindsay, 25, 20, 15, 10, Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott.

The improbable 26-21 victory kept Georgia's title hopes alive: they would go on to win the 1980 National Title.

1984: Bell to Nattiel

After suffering many a heartbreaking defeat to the Bulldogs with a conference championship at stake, the 1984 Florida Gators entered the contest undefeated in the SEC.

The Gators dominated early, building a 17-0 lead by early in the 2nd half. But the Bulldogs seemed to come alive in the 3rd quarter, mounting a long drive that reminded uneasy Florida fans of many infamous chokes against the 'Dawgs in the past. However, Georgia's drive died in the shadow of the Florida goal line when they were stuffed on 4th down, checking the Bulldogs momentarily but pinning Florida back deep in their own territory.

On the third play following the change of possession, Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell dropped back into his own end zone and lofted a long pass to streaking receiver Ricky Nattiel, who went 96 yards for a touchdown. The Bulldog momentum was snuffed out and the Gators went on to a convincing 27-0 victory, eventually completing an undefeated conference schedule for the first time in school history.

1985: A Return to Form

The 1985 Gators entered the contest on a roll: coming off an emotional win at Auburn, undefeated, and ranked #1 in the nation for the first time in school history.

However, this would not be a repeat of the 1984 game. As they had done so many times in the past, the Bulldogs spoiled Florida's season, running all over the Gators 24-3 with freshmen Keith Henderson and Tim Worley, who each rushed for over 100 yards.[12]

1993: The Timeout

The 1993 Gators led by a touchdown on a rainy day in Jacksonville, but Georgia mounted a late drive deep into Florida territory. Bulldog quarterback Eric Zeier completed what appeared to be the game-tying touchdown to Jerry Jerman with 5 seconds remaining. However, Florida cornerback Anthone Lott had called a timeout just before the ball was snapped, forcing the Bulldogs to play the down again. Lott was called for pass interference on the ensuing play, giving Georgia one last (untimed) chance to score. Zeier's final pass fell incomplete, and the Gators won a hard fought 33-26 win.

1995: Half a Hundred Between the Hedges

With renovations to Jacksonville's old Gator Bowl Stadium underway, this traditional neutral-site showdown was held on the schools' campuses for the first time in over 60 years in 1994 and 1995. After winning big at "The Swamp" the previous season, the undefeated 1995 Gators hoped to repeat the feat at Sanford Stadium against a struggling Bulldogs led by soon-to-be fired coach Ray Goff.

The Gators did win again in relatively easy fashion. However, the contest was made memorable by Florida's Steve Spurrier, who often sought retribution as the Gator head coach for the many frustrating defeats he'd suffered against Georgia as the Gator QB (see 1966 UF-UGA game).

The Gators led 45-17 with 5 minutes to go in the 4th quarter when Spurrier called a flea-flicker pass for a touchdown. After the game, Spurrier admitted that he had wanted to be the first opponent to hang "half a hundred" on the Bulldogs in their own stadium because "we heard no one had ever done that before."[13] The record of 52 points scored on Georgia between the hedges still stands.

2002: Role Reversal

Steve Spurrier had coached the Gators to an 11-1 record against the Bulldogs, so his departure to the NFL following the 2001 season gave Georgia fans reason to cheer. Also encouraging was the perfect 8-0 record and #4 ranking that 2002 Georgia Bulldogs brought to the annual grudge match in Jacksonville. Florida, meanwhile, limped into the game at 5-3 and unranked for the first time in over a decade, struggling under new head coach Ron Zook. Unsurprisingly, Georgia entered the game as heavy favorites.[14]

Trailing 7-6, the Gators took the lead in this defensive struggle with a big play on defense. Georgia head coach Mark Richt had inserted freshman QB DJ Shockley to run the offense for a series or two each game during the season. Upon entering the contest in the 2nd quarter, Shockley was intercepted by Florida safety Gus Scott, who ran it back for a touchdown, giving his team a 12-7 lead after a failed two-point conversion attempt. The Bulldogs moved the ball but could not punch it into the endzone, settling for two field goals to take a 13-12 lead into intermission.

Defense continued to dominate the game in the 2nd half with the exception of an early 4th-quarter Gator drive that ended with a touchdown pass from QB Rex Grossman and gave Florida a 20-13 advantage. There would be no more scoring on the day, as the Georgia offense finished 0-13 in 3rd down conversions and Florida held on for the upset victory.

The loss proved to be the only blemish on Georgia's record that season. Although they finished 13-1 and went on to win the SEC championship, the defeat at the hands of their hated rival almost certainly cost the Bulldogs a shot to play for a national title.

2007: The "Gator Stomp"

In a move that served to rally the underdog Bulldogs and add fuel to the rivalry, the 2007 game will be remembered for "The Gator Stomp", in which the entire Georgia team left the sideline for a mass-celebration in the Gator endzone after their first touchdown. Although this did prove to pump the team up, Georgia was given two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and was forced to kick off from their own 8 yard line.[15] Georgia coach Mark Richt admitted that he ordered his team to draw an excessive celebration penalty after their first touchdown or they would be subject to extra conditioning drills, but he intended that only the players on the field would celebrate, not the entire team.[16] The risky move paid off for Richt, as Knowshon Moreno ran for 188 yards and Georgia's defense sacked Florida quarterback Tim Tebow six times in a 42-30 victory. This game could also be known for big plays and a lot of points, as it was the first time in series history that both teams have ever scored 30 or more in the same game.

2008: The Revenge

Before the 2008 Florida-Georgia game, both coaches repeatedly stated that the previous year's incident would have no bearing on the contest. Florida coach Urban Meyer went so far as to issue a gag order on his players, instructing them to not talk about the 2007 game with the media.[17]

However, Meyer's authorized biography, which had been published after the season, had this to say about the "Gator Stomp":

"That wasn't right. It was a bad deal. It will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. We'll handle it, and it's going to be a big deal." [18]

Even without the revenge factor, the game was an important one. Coming into the game, the Bulldogs and Gators were both ranked in the top-10, and the winner would have the inside track in the SEC-East race and a possible shot at a national title.[19] Some went so far as to call it the biggest matchup in the history of the series[20], or at least the previous 20 years.[21]

After the Bulldogs missed two field goals and failed to recover an onside kick after their first score, the Gators took a 14-3 lead into halftime. In the second half, Florida was aided by 4 Georgia turnovers to end the game in a 49-10 rout. The loss was the worst of Coach Richt's career at Georgia and the 2nd worst loss that the Bulldogs had ever suffered against the Gators (Georgia lost 47-7 to the national champion 1996 Gators).[22]

In a move widely assumed to be a response to the previous year's endzone celebration, Meyer used both of his remaining timeouts with less than one minute to play, giving his team and their fans more time to celebrate the victory and dragging out the painful loss for a long as possible for Georgia.[22] After the game, he broke his pre-game silence on the 2007 celebration. "Was it motivation for our players? Yeah, it was. Losing doesn't sit well with our players, and it was the only rivalry game we lost last year."[23]

Results

Florida-Georgia Game Hall of Fame members

Through 2008.

Florida: Carlos Alvarez, Reidel Anthony, Kerwin Bell, Howell Boney, Joe Brodsky, Norm Carlson, Rick Casares, Wes Chandler, Chris Doering, Jimmy Dunn, Larry Dupree, Jeremy Foley, Don Gaffney, Ray Graves, Galen Hall, Ike Hilliard, Chuck Hunsinger, Willie Jackson, Jr. Doug Johnson, Charlie LaPradd, Buford Long, Shane Matthews, Lee McGriff, Ricky Nattiel, John Reaves, Errict Rhett, Steve Spurrier, Fred Taylor, Richard Trapp, Danny Wuerffel, Jack Youngblood.

Georgia: Richard Appleby, Buck Belue, Charley Britt, Kevin Butler, Wally Butts, Mike Cavan, Vince Dooley, Robert Edwards, Bob Etter, Ray Goff, Cy Grant, Rodney Hampton, Terry Hoage, Dan Magill, Kevin McLee, Willie McClendon, Larry Munson, George Patton, John Rauch, Matt Robinson, Erk Russell, Jake Scott, Lindsay Scott, Frank Sinkwich, Bill Stanfill, Tommy Thurson, Charley Trippi, Herschel Walker, Tim Worley, Shawn Savage, Gene Washington, Eric Zeier.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.coj.net/Departments/Recreation+and+Community+Services/Special+Events/FlaGa/default.htm
  2. ^ UGA weighs moving Florida game … but where?
  3. ^ http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/1105/03fallbreak.html Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  4. ^ Student Government Report - UGA
  5. ^ UGA-UF game to stay in Jacksonville
  6. ^ http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2006/10/27/its-still-important-to-hate-georgia-a-history-lesson/
  7. ^ http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/103008/foo_349984953.shtml
  8. ^ Gatorzone website: Ring of Honor
  9. ^ 1970s: Memorable Moments And Players
  10. ^ YouTube - Georgia vs. Florida: 1980 Classic
  11. ^ Sarasota Herald-Tribune: October 28, 2005-This one steeped in history by Mic Huber
  12. ^ OnlineAthens.com | DogBytes | Football | Magill: Rivalry ripe with great memories 10/26/06
  13. ^ Florida Times-Union: September 9, 2005-SEC EXTRA: Payback's for the 'Dogs
  14. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/sports/scores102/102306/20021102NCAAFFLORIDA---0.htm
  15. ^ "Celebration fitting prelude to outcome for Georgia". knoxnews.com. October 27, 2007. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2007/Oct/27/celebration-fitting-prelude-to-outcome-for/. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  16. ^ Jones, Bryan (October 30, 2007). "Rivalry back alive after Bulldogs' raucous celebration". Independent Florida Alligator. http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/news;_ylt=AuAVH2xd3CPlgGwGdTijSCA5nYcB?slug=uwire-commentaryrivalrybackalive&prov=uwire&type=lgns. 
  17. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3665398
  18. ^ http://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/article872965.ece
  19. ^ http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/15333/week-10-georgia-vs-florida
  20. ^ http://www.gainesville.com/article/20081027/COLUMNISTS/810270924/1044/SPORTS?Title=Biggest_Florida_Georgia_game_ever
  21. ^ http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/cfb/entries/2008/10/28/why_this_is_geo.html?cxntfid=blogs_mr_college_football
  22. ^ a b http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/sports/ncaafootball/02florida.html
  23. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3677325&type=story

The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
First meeting November 6, 1915
37–0, UGA
Most recent meeting November 1, 2008
49–10, UF
Next meeting October 31, 2009
Georgia at Florida (Jacksonville, FL)
Number of meetings 86
All-time series 46–38–2, UGA
Largest victory November 7, 1942
75–0, UGA

"The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" is the nickname for the annual college football game between the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs, one of the great rivalries in college football; it is officially known as the "Florida–Georgia/Georgia–Florida Game" (switching every year, with the "home" team listed first [1]). The game is held annually at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, usually on the last Saturday in October. The designated home team alternates from year to year, with ticket distribution split evenly between the two schools. In past years, fans from Florida and Georgia were assigned seats grouped in alternating sections of the stadium, and the contrasting colors worn by the fans created a "beach ball" visual effect in the stands. Recently the seating arrangement has split the stadium lengthwise and fans sit on the side corresponding to the sideline their team occupies.

The first game was held in Jacksonville in 1915. From 1916-1933, the game rotated sites, being played at times in Georgia (Athens and Savannah), and other years in Florida (Tampa, Gainesville, and Jacksonville). The game has been held in Jacksonville every year since 1933, except for 1994 and 1995, when the contest was held on the respective schools' campus stadiums due to the rebuilding of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

While Jacksonville is technically a neutral site, it is located only 73 miles from Gainesville, home of the Gators. Athens, Georgia, home of the Bulldogs, is 342 miles to the north. The crowd in the stadium is generally split 50-50 between the two schools' fans. The majority of the tailgating takes place on the Jacksonville Landing, a riverfront plaza facing the St. Johns River. The Landing is packed with thousands of revelers each year, making it a great but crowded nightspot.

Following the 2008 contest, Georgia held a 46-38-2 advantage in the all-time series. However, Florida has gone 16-3 in the game since 1990 (Georgia winning in 1997, 2004 and 2007) to follow a lesser 15-5 domination by Georgia through the 70s and 80s. There is a disagreement in regard to the overall series record. University of Florida records indicate the series record with Georgia stands at 46-38-2 in UGA's favor. Georgia's records indicate a 47-38-2 lead, which includes a 52-0 Bulldog win in a game played in Macon, Ga., in 1904. However, Florida did not field an official team until 1906.

Due to sensitivity about consumption of alcohol by college students, the game is no longer called "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," and is now officially known as the Florida-Georgia/Georgia-Florida game. Additionally, in May 2006, the Southeastern Conference asked the three networks which broadcast SEC football games not to use the moniker "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," as it conveys a message regarding consumption of alcohol that the schools do not desire. Despite these efforts, 3 people have died in UF/UGA related partying downtown since the 2004 game.

Contents

Memorable games

As with most rivalries, there have been a number of close games over the years, often generating controversy and anguish over how the game ended for one of the teams involved. Like the series itself, most of the early memorable games favored the Bulldogs, with more recent ones favoring the Gators. Among the most memorable:

1942: The Beatdown

The Bulldogs were 7-0 comming into the game and looking for a second national title. The Gators had lost most of their players to service in World War II, which left a few very inexperienced players coming into the game. Charley Trippi and Frank Sinkwich were the tailbacks for Georgia at the time and Frank Sinkwich was looking to win the Heisman Trophy which he would win later on. Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi had a great day beating down the Gators in the biggest blow out in the series history. Georgia 75 Florida 0

1966: Heisman curse?

The Gators entered the game 7-0 on the season and vying for their first ever SEC title. The Gators' quarterback, Steve Spurrier, had just locked up the Heisman trophy the previous week after a stellar performance vs Auburn and now had a chance to beat the Bulldogs for the first time in his playing career. But it was not to be. The outcome was never in doubt, as Spurrier threw three interceptions in a 27-10 Gator loss.

1970: The Rip, Strip, and Grip

All-American DE Jack Youngblood made a big difference pulling off one of the greatest plays in Florida history in a 24-17 Florida victory. With Georgia ahead 17-10, and the ball at the Gator two-yard line, Youngblood stood up Georgia back Ricky Lake short of the goal, forced a fumble and fell on the football. "They ran a lead play to my side, and I cut it off," Youngblood said "I'm standing there holding the ballcarrier and I take the ball away from him, and gave it back to our offense." John Reaves and Carlos Alvarez took it from there, connecting for two touchdown passes in the final 5:13 to rally the Florida Gators to victory.[2]

1975: Appleby to Washington

Florida came into the game ranked #7 with a 6-1 record, while Georgia was 5-2 and ranked #19. The Gators' offense was led by RB Tony Green, who ran in for an early one yard touchdown to put the Gators ahead 7-0. Georgia was able to get on the board with a field goal, and the score was Florida 7, Georgia 3 as time was winding down in the fourth quarter. Georgia's "Junkyard Dawgs" defense allowed yards between the 20s but nothing in the red zone. The Bulldogs set up at their own 25 with 3:10 remaining, and Coach Vince Dooley did something he rarely did: He called a trick play. Richard Appleby took a reverse to the right, but instead of running it as he did earlier in the game, he threw it downfield to a wide open Gene Washington for an improbable 75 yard touchdown. The Gators' final field goal attempt never had a chance, as the snap was rolled to the holder. Georgia won 10-7.

1976: Fourth and Dumb

The #10 Gators were 6-1 and once again came into the Georgia game seeking to secure their elusive first SEC title.[3] Florida jumped out to a 27-13 halftime advantage and seemed to have the game in hand until the Bulldogs scored early in the 3rd quarter to cut the lead to 27-20.

Then, faced with 4th and 1 at his own 29 yard line, Florida coach Doug Dickey decided to go for the first down. Gator running back Earl Carr was stopped short. The Bulldogs seized the momentum and never looked back: they would go on to score three touchdowns and roll to a 41-27 win.

1980: Run, Lindsay, Run

Losing to the underdog Gators with their perfect season and #2 ranking in jeopardy, the Bulldogs pulled off one of the most famous plays in college football history.

Georgia was down 21-20 with time running out, facing a 3rd and long from their own 8 yard line. After scrambling around in his own endzone, Bulldog quarterback Buck Belue found wide receiver Lindsay Scott open in the middle of the field near the Georgia 25-yard-line. Scott darted through Florida's secondary and outran everyone down the sideline, scoring the game-winning touchdown with only seconds left on the clock.[4]

Long-time Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson's legendary call of the play (which still gives old fans of both schools the shivers, though for opposite reasons) gave the game its name:[5]

Florida in a stand-up five, they may or may not blitz. Buck back, third down on the eight. In trouble, he got a block behind him. Gotta throw on the run. Complete to the 25. To the 30, Lindsay Scott 35, 40, Lindsay Scott 45, 50, 45, 40. …. Run Lindsay, 25, 20, 15, 10, Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott.

The improbable 26-21 victory kept alive Georgia's successful quest for a national title.

1984: Bell to Nattiel

After suffering many a heartbreaking defeat to the Bulldogs with a conference championship at stake, Florida again entered the contest undefeated in the SEC.

The Gators dominated early, building a 17-0 lead by early in the 2nd half. But the Bulldogs seemed to come alive in the 3rd quarter, mounting a long drive that reminded uneasy Florida fans of many infamous chokes against the 'Dawgs in the past. However, Georgia's drive died in the shadow of the Florida goal line when they were stuffed on 4th down, checking the Bulldogs momentarily but pinning Florida back deep in their own territory.

On the second play following the change of possession, Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell dropped back into his own end zone and lofted a long pass to streaking receiver Ricky Nattiel, who went 96 yards for a touchdown. The Bulldog momentum was snuffed out and the Gators went on to a convincing 27-0 victory, eventually completing an undefeated conference schedule for the first time in school history.

1985: A Return to Form

For the 2nd year in a row, the Gators entered the contest on a roll, coming off an emotional win at Auburn and ranked #1 in the nation for the first time ever.

However, this was not 1984 all over again. As they had done so many times in the past, the Bulldogs spoiled Florida's season, trouncing the Gators 24-3 behind the running of freshmen Keith Henderson and Tim Worley, who each rushed for well over 100 yards.[6]

1993: The Timeout

The Gators led by a touchdown on a rainy day in Jacksonville, but Georgia mounted a late drive deep into Florida territory. Bulldog quarterback Eric Zeier completed what appeared to be the game-tying touchdown to Jerry Jerman with 5 seconds remaining. However, officials ruled that Florida cornerback Anthone Lott had called a timeout just before the ball was snapped, forcing the Bulldogs to play the down again. Lott was called for pass interference on the ensuing play, giving Georgia one last (untimed) chance to score. Zeier's final pass fell incomplete, and the Gators escaped with a 33-26 win.

1995: Half a Hundred Between the Hedges

With renovations to Jacksonville's old Gator Bowl Stadium underway, this traditional neutral-site showdown was held on the schools' campuses for the first time in over 60 years in 1994 and 1995. After winning big in Gainesville the previous season, the undefeated Gators hoped to repeat the feat in Athens against a struggling Bulldog team led by soon-to-be fired coach Ray Goff.

The Gators did win again in relatively easy fashion. However, the contest was made memorable by Florida's Steve Spurrier, who often sought retribution as the Gator head coach for the many frustrating defeats he'd suffered against Georgia as the Gator QB (see 1966 UF-UGA game).

The Gators led 45-17 with 5 minutes to go in the 4th quarter when Spurrier called a flea-flicker pass for a touchdown. After the game, Spurrier admitted that he had wanted to be the first opponent to hang "half a hundred" on the Bulldogs in their own stadium because "we heard no one had ever done that before."[7] The record of 52 points scored on Georgia between the hedges still stands.

2002: Role Reversal

With the departure of Steve Spurrier from Florida to the NFL after the 2001 season, many Georgia fans were thrilled to see the "Ol' Ball Coach" go, as he had posted an 11-1 record against their Bulldogs during his tenure.

Georgia was a heavy favorite entering the contest with a perfect 8-0 record and a were ranked number 4 in the country. Florida, meanwhile, limped into the game at 5-3 and unranked for the first time in over a decade, struggling under new head coach Ron Zook. In a game that Florida desperately needed, Rex Grossman led the Gators to victory.

Georgia scored first on a TD reception by JT Wall. It looked all good for the Dogs until Rex Grossman connected with Tight End Arron Walker. However Florida missed the PAT. But the play of the day belonged to Safety Gus Scott. Freshman DJ Shockley entered the game at QB, while starter David Greene, who was 5-5 with a TD throw watched from the sidelines. Shockley threw a pass intended for WR Terrence Edwards, but Scott read the play beautifully and took the interception for a touchdown. In the 4th quarter, the score was 13-12 in favor of UGA. Grossman led the Gators on a drive that would ultimately win the game. He hit TE Ben Troupe for a touchdown on a critical 3rd and goal play. He then ran the ball in himself for the 2-Point conversion giving the Gators a 20-13 lead. Georgia could never convert on third downs, and Florida prevailed in a huge upset victory.

The loss was the only blemish on Georgia's record that season. Although they went on to win the SEC championship, the defeat at the hands of their hated rival almost certainly cost the Bulldogs a shot to play for a national title.

2007: The "Gator Stomp"

In a move that served to rally the underdog Bulldogs and add fuel to the rivalry, the 2007 game will be remembered for "The Gator Stomp", in which the entire Georgia team left the sideline for a mass-celebration in the Gator endzone after their first touchdown. Although this did prove to pump the team up, Georgia was given two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and was forced to kick off from their own 8 yard line.[8] Georgia coach Mark Richt admitted that he ordered his team to draw an excessive celebration penalty after their first touchdown or they would be subject to extra conditioning drills, but he intended that only the players on the field would celebrate, not the entire team.[9] The risky move paid off for Richt, whose team fed off the pre-planned shot in the arm and Knowshon Moreno's 188 yards rushing in a 42-30 victory. This game could also be known for big plays and a lot of points, as it was the first time in series history that both teams have ever scored 30 or more in the same game.

2008: The Revenge

[[File:|right|400px|thumb|Official logo for the 2008 contest]] Before the 2008 Florida-Georgia game, both coaches repeatedly stated that the previous year's incident would have no bearing on the contest. Florida Coach Urban Meyer went so far as to issue a gag order on his players, instructing them to not talk about the 2007 game with the media.[10]

However, Meyer's authorized biography, which had been published after the season, had this to say about the "Gator Stomp":

"That wasn't right. It was a bad deal. It will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. We'll handle it, and it's going to be a big deal." [11]

Even without the revenge factor, the game was an important one. Both teams were ranked in the top-10, and the winner would have the inside track at a berth in the SEC Championship Game and a possible shot at a national title.[12] Some went so far as to call it the biggest matchup in the history of the series[13], or at least the previous 20 years.[14]

On the field, the Gators, aided by four Bulldog turnovers, turned a 14-3 halftime lead into a 49-10 rout. The loss was the worst of Coach Richt's career at Georgia and the 2nd worst loss that the Bulldogs had ever suffered against the Gators (Florida won 47-7 in 1996). [15]

In a move widely guessed to be a response to the previous year's endzone celebration, Meyer called two timeouts with less than one minute to play, giving his team and their fans more time to celebrate the victory. [16] After the game, he broke his pre-game silence on the 2007 celebration. "Was it motivation for our players? Yeah, it was. Losing doesn't sit well with our players, and it was the only rivalry game we lost last year."[17]

Game-By-Game Results

Florida (38) Georgia (46)
1928 1929
1937 1940
1949 1952
1953 1955
1956 1957
1958 1960
1961 1962
1963 1965
1967 1970
1973 1977
1984 1986
1990 1991
1992 1993
1994 1995
1996 1998
1999 2000
2001 2002
2003 2005
2006 2008
1915 1916
1919 1920
1926 1927
1931 1932
1933 1934
1935 1936
1938 1939
1941 1942
1944 1945
1946 1947
1948 1950
1951 1954
1959 1964
1966 1968
1971 1972
1974 1975
1976 1978
1979 1980
1981 1982
1983 1985
1987 1988
1989 1997
2004 2007
Ties (2)
1930 1969

Florida victories are shaded ██ blue. Georgia victories shaded in ██ red.

Year Florida Georgia Location Series
1915 Florida 0 Georgia 37 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 1–0–0
1916 Florida 0 Georgia 21 Athens, Georgia UGA 2–0–0
1919 Florida 0 Georgia 16 Tampa, Florida UGA 3–0–0
1920 Florida 0 Georgia 56 Athens, Georgia UGA 4–0–0
1926 Florida 9 Georgia 32 Athens, Georgia UGA 5–0–0
1927 Florida 0 Georgia 28 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 6–0–0
1928 Florida 26 Georgia 6 Savannah, Georgia UGA 6–1–0
1929 Florida 18 Georgia 6 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 6–2–0
1930 Florida 0 Georgia 0 Savannah, Georgia UGA 6–2–1
1931 Florida 6 Georgia 33 Gainesville, Florida UGA 7–2–1
1932 Florida 12 Georgia 33 Gainesville, Florida UGA 8–2–1
1933 Florida 0 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 9–2–1
1934 Florida 0 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 10–2–1
1935 Florida 0 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 11–2–1
1936 Florida 8 Georgia 26 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 12–2–1
1937 Florida 6 Georgia 0 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 12–3–1
1938 Florida 6 Georgia 19 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 13–3–1
1939 Florida 2 Georgia 6 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 14–3–1
1940 Florida 18 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 14–4–1
1941 Florida 3 Georgia 19 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 15–4–1
1942 Florida 0 Georgia 75 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 16–4–1
1944 Florida 12 Georgia 38 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 17–4–1
1945 Florida 0 Georgia 34 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 18–4–1
1946 Florida 14 Georgia 33 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 19–4–1
1947 Florida 6 Georgia 34 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 20–4–1
1948 Florida 12 Georgia 20 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 21–4–1
1949 Florida 28 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 21–5–1
1950 Florida 0 Georgia 6 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 22–5–1
1951 Florida 6 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 23–5–1
1952 Florida 30 Georgia 0 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 23–6–1
1953 Florida 21 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 23–7–1
1954 Florida 13 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 24–7–1
1955 Florida 19 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 24–8–1
1956 Florida 28 Georgia 0 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 24–9–1
1957 Florida 22 Georgia 0 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 24–10–1
1958 Florida 7 Georgia 6 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 24–11–1
1959 Florida 10 Georgia 21 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 25–11–1
1960 Florida 22 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 25–12–1
1961 Florida 21 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 25–13–1
1962 Florida 23 Georgia 15 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 25–14–1
1963 Florida 21 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 25–15–1
1964 Florida 7 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 26–15–1
1965 Florida 14 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 26–16–1
1966 Florida 10 Georgia 27 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 27–16–1
1967 Florida 17 Georgia 16 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 27–17–1
1968 Florida 0 Georgia 51 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 28–17–1
1969 Florida 13 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 28–17–2
1970 Florida 24 Georgia 17 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 28–18–2
1971 Florida 7 Georgia 49 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 29–18–2
1972 Florida 7 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 30–18–2
1973 Florida 11 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 30–19–2
1974 Florida 16 Georgia 17 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 31–19–2
1975 Florida 7 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 32–19–2
1976 Florida 27 Georgia 41 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 33–19–2
1977 Florida 22 Georgia 17 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 33–20–2
1978 Florida 22 Georgia 24 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 34–20–2
1979 Florida 10 Georgia 33 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 35–20–2
1980 Florida 21 Georgia 26 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 36–20–2
1981 Florida 21 Georgia 26 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 37–20–2
1982 Florida 0 Georgia 44 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 38–20–2
1983 Florida 9 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 39–20–2
1984 Florida 27 Georgia 0 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 39–21–2
1985 Florida 3 Georgia 24 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 40–21–2
1986 Florida 31 Georgia 19 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 40–22–2
1987 Florida 10 Georgia 23 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 41–22–2
1988 Florida 3 Georgia 26 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 42–22–2
1989 Florida 10 Georgia 17 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–22–2
1990 Florida 38 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–23–2
1991 Florida 45 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–24–2
1992 Florida 26 Georgia 24 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–25–2
1993 Florida 33 Georgia 26 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–26–2
1994 Florida 52 Georgia 14 Gainesville, Florida UGA 43–27–2
1995 Florida 52 Georgia 17 Athens, Georgia UGA 43–28–2
1996 Florida 47 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–29–2
1997 Florida 17 Georgia 37 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–29–2
1998 Florida 38 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–30–2
1999 Florida 30 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–31–2
2000 Florida 34 Georgia 23 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–32–2
2001 Florida 24 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–33–2
2002 Florida 20 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–34–2
2003 Florida 16 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–35–2
2004 Florida 24 Georgia 31 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 45–36–2
2005 Florida 14 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 45–36–2
2006 Florida 21 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 45–37–2
2007 Florida 30 Georgia 42 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 46–37–2
2008 Florida 49 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 46–38–2
Florida 1,388 Georgia 1,664 UGA 46–38–2



Florida-Georgia Game Hall of Fame Members (through 2008)

FLORIDA: Carlos Alvarez, Reidel Anthony, Kerwin Bell, Howell Boney, Joe Brodsky, Norm Carlson, Rick Casares, Wes Chandler, Chris Doering, Jimmy Dunn, Larry Dupree, Jeremy Foley, Don Gaffney, Ray Graves, Galen Hall, Ike Hilliard, Chuck Hunsinger, Willie Jackson, Jr. Doug Johnson, Charlie LaPradd, Buford Long, Shane Matthews, Lee McGriff, Ricky Nattiel, John Reaves, Errict Rhett, Steve Spurrier, Fred Taylor, Richard Trapp, Danny Wuerffel, Jack Youngblood.

GEORGIA: Richard Appleby, Buck Belue, Charley Britt, Kevin Butler, Wally Butts, Mike Cavan, Vince Dooley, Robert Edwards, Bob Etter, Ray Goff, Cy Grant, Rodney Hampton, Terry Hoage, Dan Magill, Kevin McLee, Willie McClendon, Larry Munson, George Patton, John Rauch, Matt Robinson, Erk Russell, Jake Scott, Lindsay Scott, Frank Sinkwich, Bill Stanfill, Tommy Thurson, Charley Trippi, Herschel Walker, Tim Worley, Shawn Savage, Gene Washington, Eric Zeier.

University of Georgia fall break controversy

In 2000, the University of Georgia changed its fall break to coincide with the date of the game. Reportedly, this was intended to reduce absences and alarming traffic fatality trends related to students traveling to Jacksonville for the game, a 342-mile trip that would, without the break, need to be made in one night. There have been two subsequent attempts, in 2003 and 2004, to change fall break to a different weekend. Both were withdrawn after overwhelming complaints from the student body.

In 2005, UGA provost Arnett Mace, upset over the widespread cancelling of classes on the Wednesday prior to the Thursday-Friday break, asked all deans and department heads to report to him on how many classes had been cancelled in violation of University policy. While it has led to ridicule by some, such as one dean's comparing Mace to Dean Wormer from Animal House, the move will likely lead to a renewed examination of the future of fall break. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Starting in the fall of 2008, a newly accepted compromise between UGA Student Government members and faculty in the University Council will go into effect which will shorten fall break to just the Friday before the game off, but increase Thanksgiving break from three days to an entire week. (Student Government Report - UGA)

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.coj.net/Departments/Recreation+and+Community+Services/Special+Events/FlaGa/default.htm
  2. ^ Gatorzone website: Ring of Honor
  3. ^ 1970s: Memorable Moments And Players
  4. ^ YouTube - Georgia vs. Florida: 1980 Classic
  5. ^ Sarasota Herald-Tribune: October 28, 2005-This one steeped in history by Mic Huber
  6. ^ OnlineAthens.com | DogBytes | Football | Magill: Rivalry ripe with great memories 10/26/06
  7. ^ Florida Times-Union: September 9, 2005-SEC EXTRA: Payback's for the 'Dogs
  8. ^ "Celebration fitting prelude to outcome for Georgia". knoxnews.com. October 27, 2007. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2007/Oct/27/celebration-fitting-prelude-to-outcome-for/. Retrieved on 2008-10-12. 
  9. ^ Jones, Bryan (October 30 2007). "Rivalry back alive after Bulldogs' raucous celebration". Independent Florida Alligator. http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/news;_ylt=AuAVH2xd3CPlgGwGdTijSCA5nYcB?slug=uwire-commentaryrivalrybackalive&prov=uwire&type=lgns. 
  10. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3665398
  11. ^ http://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/article872965.ece
  12. ^ http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/15333/week-10-georgia-vs-florida
  13. ^ http://www.gainesville.com/article/20081027/COLUMNISTS/810270924/1044/SPORTS?Title=Biggest_Florida_Georgia_game_ever
  14. ^ http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/cfb/entries/2008/10/28/why_this_is_geo.html?cxntfid=blogs_mr_college_football
  15. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/sports/ncaafootball/02florida.html
  16. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/sports/ncaafootball/02florida.html
  17. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3677325&type=story







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