Wednesday October 11, 2006Rivalries and Series: Florida-Auburn
As part of the celebration of the 100th season of
During preseason practice, readers can learn about
Once the season is underway, the look back in time will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays with “Rivalries and Series” and “Great Games” entries relevant to the week’s opponent. Occasionally, additional stories will be unveiled on Wednesday of game weeks when the opportunity arises.
Each of the features is being reprinted in a way that
mirrors the original as much as possible. While records, figures and statistics
have been updated, all references to people who helped shape
As the 2006 football season approaches, take some time to sit back and reflect on the teams, players and moments that all lead up to this, the 100th season of Florida Gator football.
By Norm Carlson
There are games you remember, games you wish you could forget.
No true Gator will ever forget the Steve Spurrier field goal 30 years ago for a 30-27 win at Homecoming in Gainesville, or the fourth-quarter comeback from a 17-0 deficit in 1986 when gimpy-legged Kerwin Bell hobbled into the end zone for a two-point conversion following his TD pass to Ricky Nattiel in a 18-17 victory.
Auburn fans no doubt recall the 1983 game at Jordan-Hare Stadium when Bo Jackson's 80-yard run helped hold off a furious comeback in a 28-21 win, and they certainly remember the 1993 and 1994 upsets of highly-ranked Gator teams.
Some odd happenings took place in games most fans have probably forgotten.
In 1913 the Gators opened
their season by blanking
In 1928 Carl Brumbaugh made "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" by scoring three touchdowns within two minutes of each other - the first on a 19-yard run, the second on a 30-yard following an Auburn fumble, and the third on a 36-yard interception return. He also kicked the extra point after his final score in the 27-0 victory for the Gators.
The series has continued
through the years, producing memorable game after memorable game. The Tigers
lead the series, 40-38-2, but the Gators have the edge since 1950, 28-25, and
won eight out of 10 tilts in the 1990s. Since the turn of the century, the
Gators are 3-1 against
1948 - One
of the biggest wins of the Golden Era (well, any win was a big win). The Gators
broke a three-year SEC losing streak by knocking off the Tigers before 18,000
fans at Phillips Field in
1954 - The Gators broke open a tight game with a 16-yard scoring pass from Fred Robinson to Bob Smith with only seconds remaining in the first half and an 84-yard TD run by Bobby Lance on the first play of the second half. Final was 19-13.
Conservative coach Bob Woodruff shocked the favored Tigers at another UF
Homecoming contest with a halfback pass from Jackie Simpson to Jim Rountree for
a second-quarter TD. On the next Gator series, 137-pound quarterback Jimmy Dunn
ran 58 yards for another
1961 - Big
1962 - Unbeaten,
1964 - The Gators forced seven turnovers before a record Florida Field crowd of 47,200, scoring on an 84-yard return of a pass interception by Dick Kirk and a five-yard run by quarterback Steve Spurrier. End Lynn Matthews was a defensive hero for the Gators in a 14-0 win.
1969 - Running
backs coach John Reaves has bribed me not to write anything about his nine
interceptions in this contest at
1973 - Obviously
one of the biggest wins in the series for
1976 - One
of the most exciting games in the series took place at Florida Field with the
Gators winning 24-19. Wide receiver Wes Chandler turned a short pass into a 52-yard
TD with a brilliant broken-field run. Catching the ball near the west sideline,
1982 - The
Gators came from behind in front of a record Florida Field crowd of 73,532 to
post a 19-17 victory on Jim Gainey's 42-yard field goal with five seconds
remaining in the game. Gainey kicked a 31-yard field goal with 2:51 left to
bring the Gators within one at 17-16.
1984 - Another
1985 - One
of the greatest games in the history of the series.
1986 - Kerwin
Bell, who had missed nearly a month of action with a knee injury, came off the
bench to rally the Gators from a 17-0 deficit in the fourth quarter. He drove
the Gators 79 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a one-yard sneak with 12:09
remaining in the game, then took them to the Tiger 34 where Robert McGinty hit
a 51-yard field goal to make it 17-10 with 7:10 left in the contest. The final
drive was a masterful 7-play, 66-yard effort. Using the two-minute drill
offense to perfection,
Gator fans are sure to remember the 48-7 smashing of unbeaten, fourth-ranked
1999 - Defensive
backs Bennie Alexander and Marquand Manuel both intercepted passes, leading to
10 Gator points, and the defense yielded just one rushing yard as
2003 – Bobby McCray blocked a Damon Duval field goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Rex Grossman then hit Taylor Jacobs on a third-down 25-yard TD pass in OT on UF’s first possession in the extra period. UF then forced a fumble and Ian’s Scott recovery sealed the first-ever OT win.