The Gators faced the Florida Southern Moccasins on Fleming Field in Gainesville to open the season on September 27, winning 45 to 6. Southern scored its points in the second quarter, at that point making the game tied 6 to 6. The Gators responded with a barrage of points which continued until the final whistle.
After being held scoreless in the first half with a number of fumbles, a 37-yard end run from Red Bethea sparked the Gator attack. Ed Sauls had a 61-yard kick return, which ended when he stumbled and fell. On the next play he scored. Sam Gurneau and Charlie Cobb starred for NC State.
The Gators just barely defeated coach Chet A. Wynne's Auburn Tigers in Jacksonville by a 7 to 0 score; seen as a moral victory by the Tigers. Ed Sauls scored Florida's touchdown in the final period, and Monk Dorsett got the extra point.
On October 18, 1930, the Gators defeated coach Amos Alonzo Stagg's Chicago Maroons at Stagg Field 19 to 0. The victory was historic for the Florida football program, representing the first time the Gators had won an inter-sectional game outside the South. The Gators had previously lost all six games it had played in the North—to Indiana in 1916, Harvard in 1922 and 1929, Army in 1923 and 1924, and Chicago in 1926.Red Bethea was the star of the historic victory over Chicago, rushing for a Florida single-game record of 218 yards. The Associated Press called Bethea Florida's "siege gun," and noted that his rushing total was "better than the whole Chicago backfield." The game was affected by wintry blasts of near-zero temperatures.
Bethea contributed to all of Florida's points. The first came after Bethea made a series of 5-yard runs, down to the 5-yard line as the first quarter ended. He then ran behind Muddy Waters for the score. Later, Bethea ran down to the 2-yard line on a fake reverse. Ed Sauls went over for the touchdown. Proctor kicked goal. In the fourth quarter, Bethea ran for a 70-yard touchdown, "accomplished by brilliant, running, twisting, and swerving." Bethea "went wide around the right side of the line, cut back to the left, reversed to the center and tore 70-yards."
The starting lineup for the Gators against Chicago: Parnell (left end) Waters (left tackle), Steele (left guard), Clemons (center), McRae (right guard), Proctor (right tackle), Nolan (right end), Dorsett (quarterback), Bethea (left halfback), Sauls (right halfback), Silsby (fullback).
Coach Dad Amis's Furman Purple Hurricane upset the Gators 14 to 13. Every score of the contest was made via the forward pass. A missed extra point by Florida's Parnell and one made by Furman's Allred proved to be the difference.
The scoreless tie with the Georgia Bulldogs provided the upset of the conference that week, as Georgia had defeated Yale and would lose just two games: to conference co-champions Alabama and Tulane. Sportswriter Lawrence Perry attributed Georgia's inability to score to its lack of using the forward pass at key intervals.
The first score came when John Campbell broke through the line for 21 yards. Later, after much wear on the Gator defense, Campbell scored on a short run through center. John Tucker, a substitute, also scored on a short run.Johnny Cain was also cited as a strength for the Tide.
The starting lineup for the Gators against Alabama: Parnell (left end), Waters (left tackle), Steele (left guard), Clemons (center), Forsyth (right guard), Proctor (right tackle), Hall (right end), Dorsett (quarterback), Bethea (left halfback), Sauls (right halfback), Jenkins (fullback).
A fake play with Vols center Gene Mayer netted 27 yards, placing the ball on Florida's 13-yard line. Dodd then passed to Hackman for the touchdown. Florida scored after a Hackman fumble put the ball on the 25-yard line. A pass to Parnell got a touchdown. In the final few minutes, Hackman won the game with a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown.
An account of Bobby Dodd's trickery: "Against Florida in 1930 he got his teammates in a huddle and told them about a play he had used in high school. When the ball was snapped, it was placed on the ground unattended. The players ran in one direction. Then the center returned, picked up the ball, and waltzed to the winning touchdown."