Open Modal
On Air
12:00 PM - 03:00 PM
App-Store-Badge
Google-Play-Badge

Ten most memorable moments

It's the SEC's most unique rivalry.

And over the years, it has turned nasty at times, too, one of those emotionally charged college football games that's hashed and rehashed off the field for the next year until it rolls around again.

The thing that sets it apart, other than the fact that Bulldogs and Gators don't mix, is that it's played every year at a neutral site in Jacksonville, Florida. The old Gator Bowl has since given way to the newly renovated EverBank Field on the banks of the St. Johns River, and half the stadium is red and black and the other half orange and blue.

Georgia has won three of the past four games in the series, although Florida has dominated it over the past quarter century. The Gators have won 19 of the past 25 meetings between the schools and can all but lock up the SEC Eastern Division title with a win Saturday.

Here's a look back at 10 of the most memorable moments in the series:

Run, Lindsay, Run 
Florida fans are probably weary of reliving it, but no play in this series is more famous than Lindsay Scott's 93-yard catch and run for a touchdown in 1980, preserving Georgia's unbeaten, national championship season. The Dawgs were backed up on their own 7 with a minute to play and facing third-and-11 when quarterback Buck Belue dropped back to throw from his own end zone. He was flushed right, picked up a key block from tackle Nat Hudson and hit Scott over the middle. Scott turned on the afterburners and left a vapor trail down the left sideline, giving the Bulldogs an improbable 26-21 victory. Larry Munson's call of the play is almost as legendary as the play itself. Munson roared, "45, 50, 45, 40 … Run, Lindsay." And as Scott crossed the goal line, Munson just started screaming, "Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott!" over and over again, and got a little too excited. "I broke my chair. I came right through a chair, a metal, steel chair," Munson exclaimed. Amazingly enough, that's the only touchdown pass Scott caught all season, but one that will live forever in the hearts of Dawg fans.

Timely timeout
Never has a more important (or controversial) timeout been called in this series than the one Florida freshman cornerback Anthone Lott called in 1993. Lott signaled for timeout just as Georgia was about to snap the ball, and Eric Zeier threw what the Bulldogs thought was the tying touchdown pass to Jerry Jarmon with five seconds left. The officials, though, had granted Florida the timeout. On the next play, Lott was called for pass interference in the corner of the end zone, and the Dawgs had one last shot from the 2. Zeier's pass to Jeff Thomas was incomplete, and Florida held on to win, 33-26. Steve Spurrier let out a huge sigh of relief as he ran across the muddy field and pointed to the heavens. The Gators went on to win the first of four straight SEC titles.

Spurrier hangs half a hundred 
The Gator Bowl renovation forced the game to move to the two campuses in 1994 and 1995. Florida rolled, 52-14, in 1994 in Gainesville and then came back that next year and put another "half a hundred" on the Bulldogs in Athens in a 52-17 romp. Danny Wuerffel threw five touchdown passes in that 1995 game, and in vintage Spurrier fashion, he had backup Eric Kresser throwing into the end zone in the final minutes to reach the 50-point plateau. Turns out Spurrier had been told nobody had ever scored 50 on the Bulldogs in Sanford Stadium. "We wanted to try and make it a memorable game for the Gators, and it was," Spurrier said. As Spurrier left the field, a Georgia fan tossed a cup of tobacco spit at him that just narrowly missed the Head Ball Coach.

Appleby to Washington 
One of Georgia's greatest upsets of Florida was sparked by one of the more memorable plays. The Bulldogs were unranked in the 1975 game and hadn't been able to do much of anything offensively against the No. 11 Gators. Trailing 7-3 with 3:24 left, Georgia called a reverse pass. Tight end Richard Appleby took a handoff from quarterback Matt Robinson, stopped and heaved an 80-yard touchdown pass to Gene Washington. Appleby threw the ball more than 50 yards in the air. As the Georgia fans celebrated wildly, Munson bellowed, "The [Gator Bowl] girders are bending." Florida still had two more possessions, but the Georgia defense held for a 10-7 win. Appleby also has another claim to fame: He was one of the first five black players to sign with Georgia in 1971.

 

 

Fourth and dumb 
Doug Dickey is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, but the 1976 game wasn't one of the Florida coach's finest moments. Florida was leading 27-20 in the third quarter when Dickey decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Gators' own 29. Georgia's Johnny Henderson stuffed the play, completely changing the complexion of the game. The Bulldogs, with Ray Goff accounting for five touchdowns, went on to win, 41-27. Dickey, who played for the Gators, had been the star of the 1953 game when he ran for a touchdown, passed for a touchdown and had a key pass breakup in the end zone on fourth down. He's also the one who gave Spurrier his first coaching job as Florida's quarterbacks coach in 1978. Dickey resigned at the end of that season and went on to become one of the country's most respected athletic directors at Tennessee.

Bell to Nattiel 
The 1984 season was a lost one for Florida, which won the SEC championship only to have it stripped months later because of widespread NCAA violations. Still, there's a defining play from that season that warms the hearts of Gators everywhere. Freshman walk-on quarterback Kerwin Bell dropped back into his own end zone and hit Ricky Nattiel in stride for a 96-yard touchdown pass, punctuating a 27-0 beatdown of No. 8 Georgia. Nattiel high-stepped the final 20 yards to the end zone, and Florida fans basked in the win afterward. They ripped down the goal posts and dug up chunks of the turf for souvenirs. Who could blame them? Coach Charley Pell had been fired three games into the season for his role in the NCAA improprieties and replaced by Galen Hall. Georgia had won six in a row in the series entering the game, and only 18 days earlier, the NCAA had placed Florida on three years of probation.

Dawg Stomp 
Mark Richt wanted to pump a little life into his 2007 team, so he told his players he wanted to see a penalty for excessive celebration after the first touchdown against Florida. But even Richt didn't know what was coming. The Bulldogs scored on a short Knowshon Moreno touchdown run in the first quarter, and the entire Georgia sideline emptied, a swarm of Bulldogs jumping up and down in the end zone and celebrating like they'd just won the national championship. It's a miracle there wasn't an all-out brawl. Georgia was penalized 15 yards, but went on to win the game 42-30, only its third win over Florida in the previous 18 meetings. Needless to say, Florida coach Urban Meyer wasn't a big fan of the "Dawg Stomp." That next year, Florida thrashed Georgia 49-10, and just to make sure he got his point across, Meyer called two timeouts in the last 44 seconds of the game to add to the Dawgs' misery. "The rules say you get three timeouts a half, and they only used two," Richt said after the game.

Picking off Spurrier 
Spurrier was just 1-2 against Georgia as a player, and one of his darkest hours during his 1966 Heisman Trophy season came against the Bulldogs. He threw a second-half interception that was returned 39 yards by Lynn Hughes for the go-ahead touchdown. Georgia owned the second half against the previously unbeaten Gators and won, 27-10, paving the way for Vince Dooley to win his first SEC championship at Georgia. Spurrier was held to only 27 passing yards in the second half, and Florida managed only one first down. As he left the field, Spurrier was taunted by Georgia fans, something he would never forget.

 

No more cocktails
Every marquee rivalry needs a catchy nickname, and the Florida-Georgia game was known forever as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." Bill Kastelz, a former Florida Times-Union sports columnist, came up with the nickname in the 1950s when he saw a drunk fan offer a policeman a drink. Anybody who has ever been to the game knows what a party it truly is. But in 2006, then-Georgia president Michael Adams led a movement asking CBS and others in the media to quit using the nickname, fearing that it glorified the overindulgence of alcohol. Many fans, of course, still use the nickname when referring to the game.

Youngblood's strip 
Before he went on to greatness in the NFL, Jack Youngblood was terrorizing quarterbacks and ball carriers in the SEC. He single-handedly turned the 1970 game around when he stripped Georgia's Ricky Lake at the goal line. The Bulldogs led 17-10 in the fourth quarter and looked as if they were about to put the game away, but Youngblood managed to reach into the pile and pry the ball loose. He also recovered the fumble. Florida quarterback John Reaves then hit Carlos Alvarez with a pair of touchdown passes in the final five minutes to lead the Gators to a stunning 24-17 victory. Youngblood said after the game he didn't even know who had the ball. "I just snatched it away from them. Heck, they do it all the time in the pros," he said.

Related Posts

Loading...
On Air
12:00 PM - 03:00 PM
App-Store-Badge
Google-Play-Badge