Florida–Georgia football rivalry

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Florida–Georgia football rivalry
Florida Georgia Football Rivalry Logo Official.jpg
Sport Football
First meeting November 6, 1915
(per Florida)
October 15, 1904
(per Georgia)
Georgia 37, Florida 0
(per Florida)
Georgia 52, Florida 0
(per Georgia)
Latest meeting October 31, 2015
Florida 27, Georgia 3
Next meeting October 29, 2016
Meetings total 93 (per Florida)
94 (per Georgia)
All-time series Georgia leads 49–42–2
(per Florida)
Georgia leads 50–42–2
(per Georgia)
Largest victory Georgia, 75–0 (1942)
Longest win streak Florida, 7 (1990–1996)
Georgia, 7 (1941–1948)
Current win streak Florida, 2 (2014–present)

The Florida–Georgia football rivalry is an American college football rivalry game played annually by the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs. The game was first played in 1915, and has been played every season since 1926, with the sole exception of a war-time interruption in 1943. This match-up between Southeastern Conference opponents is one of the most prominent rivalry games in college football, and has been held in Jacksonville, Florida since 1933, with only two exceptions, making it one of the few remaining neutral-site rivalries. The game attracts huge crowds to Jacksonville.

Series history[edit]

The two universities do not agree on when the rivalry began. The University of Georgia's athletic department counts a 1904 match its football squad played against a team from a school known as the University of Florida.[1] The game was held in Macon, Georgia, and Georgia won 52–0.[1] However, this was not the modern University of Florida in Gainesville, but one of its four predecessor institutions: a school previously known as Florida Agricultural College, based in Lake City.[2] Florida's University Athletic Association does not include this game in the series record,[3] as it occurred before the modern university was established by the Florida Legislature in 1905,[4] and before the new entity fielded its first officially-recognized football team in 1906.[3] UGA sports historian Dan Magill sums up Georgia's attitude: "That's where Florida was back then. We can't help it if they got run out of [Lake City]."[5]

The first game acknowledged by both schools was held in Jacksonville in 1915. The rivalry has been renewed annually since 1926, except for the 1943 season when Florida did not field a team due to World War II.[6] For most of its history, the game has been played at neutral sites. From 1916 to 1932, it was played at several sites in Georgia (Athens and Savannah), and Florida (Tampa, Gainesville, and Jacksonville).[7] Every year since 1933, the game has been held in Jacksonville, except for 1994 and 1995, when the contest was held at the respective schools' campus stadiums due to the reconstruction of what is now EverBank Field for the National Football League's Jacksonville Jaguars expansion team.[8] The stadium was not available for play in 1994 due to construction, so that year's game was played in Gainesville, Florida. In 1995 the stadium was available (and was used by the Jacksonville Jaguars for their ten home games), but for fairness, the 1995 game was played in Athens, Georgia.

The game has often had championship implications, with both teams competitive in the Southeastern Conference. Florida, which did not win the SEC title until 1991, had its hopes dashed several times by a loss to Georgia in Jacksonville.[9] The game took on new importance when the SEC split into Eastern and Western Divisions in 1992, with both Florida and Georgia in the Eastern Division. As the two teams have frequently led the division, the game has often effectively determined who will represent the Eastern Division in the SEC Championship Game.[9][10] To date, Florida has ten Eastern Division titles while Georgia has five.

While the two universities agree that Georgia leads the overall series, they disagree as to the overall series record due to the disputed 1904 game. As of the 2014 contest, Georgia leads with a 50–41–2 record by its reckoning,[1] and 49–41–2 by Florida's count.[3] Georgia dominated the series before 1951 and had a 15–5 record in the 1970s and 1980s. Florida compiled an 18–3 record against Georgia from 1990 to 2010.[7]

The designated "home" team alternates from year to year,[11] with ticket distribution split evenly between the fans of the two teams.[12] 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 (red and black for Georgia, orange and blue for Florida) 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, festivities and partying takes place at the Jacksonville Landing, a riverfront plaza facing the St. Johns River.

Nicknames and trophies[edit]

The "Georgia side" of the Okefenokee Oar

The game is one of the busiest annual events in downtown Jacksonville, and attracts huge crowds that congregate around the stadium for tailgating and other happenings. As a result the game and associated revelry have been known as "the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party", a nickname first coined in the 1950s by Bill Kastelz, sports editor for The Florida Times-Union.[13] Kastelz claimed he came up with the name after seeing a drunk, stumbling fan offer an alcoholic beverage to an on-duty police officer.[13] The "Cocktail Party" nickname proved so popular that the City of Jacksonville used it for many years. However, the city dropped it from most official usage in 1988 following a series of alcohol-fueled outbursts. In 1984, Florida fans stormed the field and tore down the goal posts after a 27–0 victory; the following year, a 24–3 Georgia win led Bulldogs fans to do the same, ultimately resulting in 65 arrests. Thereafter, the city cracked down on excessive drinking and soon dropped its use of the name. In 2006 both schools and the Southeastern Conference asked CBS and the city to abandon the name in promotions due to concerns about alcohol abuse by students and other attendees. As a result, the rivalry has lacked an official name. It is generally called the "Florida–Georgia game" in Florida, or "Georgia–Florida game" in Georgia; some entities, including the Jacksonville newspaper The Florida Times-Union, rotate the name each year to list the designated home team first.[11][14][15][16]

Unlike many college sports rivalries, the Florida–Georgia game historically has not been played for a trophy. The city of Jacksonville announced that it would award the winning teams the goal posts from the game in 1986, in order to persuade fans not to storm the field and destroy them as they had the previous two years. However, no goal posts were ever given out as neither university wanted them.[13]

In 2009, the student governments of the two universities announced the creation of a new trophy, the "Okefenokee Oar".[17] The 10-foot-long Oar was donated anonymously to the University of Florida in 2009, and has opposing sides carved with symbols and logos from each school.[18] The Oar was carved from the remains of a 1,000-year-old cypress tree that once grew in the Okefenokee Swamp, which straddles the Florida–Georgia border and was the source of an interstate boundary dispute.[17] Beginning with the 2009 contest, the Okefenokee Oar is presented to the winning university's student body president.[19][20] No trophy is presented at the game, however.[13]

Site of game[edit]

By playing the game at a neutral site, rather than on their respective campuses, both universities' athletic programs derive more revenue from the game than if the site rotated on a "home-and-away" basis.[8] As of the 2009 contest, the universities made $1.7 million every year, or $3.4 million every two years, as opposed to an expected $2.2 million every two years if the game were played at their respective home stadiums.[8] The game weekend is also extremely lucrative for Jacksonville businesses, particularly in the downtown area, with many reporting that it is their busiest weekend of the year.[8]

Some persons associated with the University of Georgia, including former head coach Mark Richt, have expressed interest in moving the game away from Jacksonville periodically or entirely.[21] The most frequently cited reason is Georgia's 5–18 win-loss record in the series since 1990, leading to questions about whether Jacksonville, located 342 miles (550 km) from Athens but only 73 miles (117 km) from Gainesville, is truly a neutral site. As such, some Georgia fans and officials have suggested moving the game to the home stadiums, or playing alternately on the campuses, in Jacksonville, and in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta every four years.[21] Others, such as former Georgia athletic director Damon Evans, have dismissed the idea that Georgia's recent losing record is due to the game being played in Jacksonville.[21] University of Florida officials maintain that it makes financial sense to keep the game in Jacksonville; both universities stand to lose revenue if the game were played on a standard "home-and-away" basis.[8] Furthermore, as a proposed alternate site, the Georgia Dome seats 13,000 fewer spectators than EverBank Field.[8] In 2009, Georgia's athletic board unanimously agreed to a six-year contract to keep the game in Jacksonville through 2016.[22]

Notable games[edit]

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:

1920: "Ten second backfield" makes it one-sided[edit]

Georgia's Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) champion "ten second backfield" and powerful line of 1920 rolled up a large, 56–0 score on the Gators. Florida put up a hard fight until Georgia got its first touchdown across, pouring it on from there. Georgia running back Sheldon Fitts was the star of the contest.[23][24]

1928: Ending the drought[edit]

When Charlie Bachman became the 1928 Gators' new head coach, he inherited a team loaded with talent recruited by his predecessor.[25] It was, however, a team that had never beaten the Georgia Bulldogs in six previous meetings, and had been out-scored by a total of 190–6 in those games.[7] Bachman's Gators changed history; led by All-American end Dale Van Sickel and the "Phantom Four" backfield of Carl Brumbaugh, Rainey Cawthon, Clyde Crabtree and Royce Goodbread, they decisively defeated the 'Dawgs 26–6 in Savannah, Georgia. In an era before national polling, the 1928 Gators outscored their opponents 336–44, set a single-season national scoring record, and finished 8–1.[25]

The game was tied 6–6 in the second quarter. A 16-yard touchdown run by Crabtree starting around right end, then reversing field, broke the tie.[26] Brumbaugh converted the extra point. A touchdown pass reception by end Van Sickel of more than 30 yards provided another score in the third period,[26][27] followed by Brumbaugh's extra point kick. To close the third quarter, fullback Cawthon made a 40-yard broken field run. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Crabtree passed to Brumbaugh for another score, but Brumbaugh's extra point attempt was blocked by the Bulldogs. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Gator fans rushed the field to tear down the goal posts, and fist fights broke out between Georgia and Florida fans.[27]

1929: Gators upset the dope[edit]

The 1929 Gators upset the Bulldogs for the second year in a row, by a score of 18 to 6.[28] Georgia had already defeated Yale.

A long pass from Red Bethea to Green started things going in the second quarter, down to Georgia's 14-yard line. After driving down to the 3, Bethea scored on a wide end run. Dale Van Sickel recovered a blocked punt in the third quarter inside the 30-yard line. Rainey Cawthon and company drove the ball inside the 10-yard line. A pass from Clyde Crabtree to Van Sickel got a touchdown. Crabtree later returned an interception for a touchdown. In the final minutes, Ed Sauls ran 60 yards through the Georgia defense, the highlight of the contest.[28] Georgia quarterback Austin Downes broke his arm during the game. Florida running back Royce Goodbread also suffered an injury.[29]

1930: Scoreless tie[edit]

The 1930 Gators fought the Bulldogs to a scoreless tie, providing the upset of the conference that week,[30] as Georgia had once again 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.[31] Florida would only win three of the next twenty games in the series against Georgia.[7]

1937: Bulldogs shutout in Jacksonville[edit]

The Gators snapped a 7-game losing streak by beating Georgia 6–0 in Jacksonville; Florida's first ever shutout of Georgia.[32] In the second period, Georgia's Billy Mims attempted to punt. Florida's Charley Krejcier broke through the line and blocked the punt with his stomach. Clifford Whiddon, Gator end, picked it up, broke two tackles, and ran for the decisive touchdown.[33] Walter Mayberry ran for 83 yards and provided long punts.[34] Florida students rushed the field and tore down the goal posts.[33] Prior to 1937, Georgia leads the series by a combined 13–2–1; from 1937 on Florida leads by 39–36–1.

1941: Sinkwich beats Florida with a broken jaw[edit]

Frank Sinkwich led the nation in rushing and helped the Bulldogs to a 19–3 victory over the Gators despite a broken jaw he suffered in an automobile accident, including a 22-yard touchdown run and the Bulldogs first field goal since 1924.[35][36]

1942: 75 and oh![edit]

Having lost most upper-class players to service in World War II, the 1942 Florida Gators brought an inexperienced 3–4 squad into Jacksonville for the 1942 contest with Georgia.[7][37] The Bulldogs, on the other hand, still had many veteran players thanks to the draft deferments of the players who were enrolled in the University of Georgia's ROTC program, and brought a 7–0 record and No. 1 ranking to Jacksonville.[37]

Georgia halfback Charley Trippi and Heisman Trophy-winning back Frank Sinkwich combined to score seven touchdowns as Georgia crushed Florida 75–0—the largest margin in series history.[7][38] The Bulldogs finished the regular season 10–1, won the Southeastern Conference championship, defeated the UCLA Bruins 9–0 in the Rose Bowl, and were named national champions by multiple polls and ratings services.[39][40] Meanwhile, the depleted Gators[41] did not win another game during the 1942 season, and with even more players joining the war effort afterward, would not field a team at all in 1943.[7][42]

1949: Hunsinger ends Georgia's streak[edit]

The post–World War II 1940s were a tough slog for the Florida Gators.[43] Coached by Raymond Wolf, the Gators' collection of recent high school graduates and returning war veterans suffered the indignity of four consecutive losing seasons—the lowest point in the history of the Gators football program, ironically remembered by the close-knit players as the "Golden Era."[43] But there were still stars and bright moments; Wolf's 1949 Florida Gators were led by senior lineman Jimmy Kynes and running back Chuck Hunsinger.[44] Given little chance by anyone to beat coach Wally Butts' Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Kynes inspired his two-way linemen to their outstanding effort of the season, stopping the Bulldogs' running game on defense, and blocking for Hunsinger on offense.[45] Hunsinger rushed eighteen times for 174 yards and three touchdowns, and the Gators won 28–7, breaking a seven-game Georgia winning streak.[45] Wolf's overall coaching record doomed his four-year tenure in Gainesville, but on that day he was carried from the field by his players.[43][45]

1952: 30–0[edit]

Prior to the game, the Gators suffered a bad loss to Vanderbilt, and had only beaten the Bulldogs once in the past 10 years. Quarterback Rick Casares was moved to fullback and replaced by Doug Dickey. Casares had been recruited by Georgia, but upon meeting coach Butts felt he was too rough with his players, and attended Florida instead.[46] Georgia has 24 victories before 1952, and just 25 since.

Led by Casares on offense and Florida's second-ever first-team All-American, Charlie LaPradd, on defense, the Gators dominated the Bulldogs 30–0 in Jacksonville, which would remain the Gators' largest victory over the Bulldogs for almost forty years, and was the first shutout over the Bulldogs since 1937.[47] Dickey played well. Casares scored two touchdowns, three extra points, and a field goal; and halfback Buford Long ran for 116 yards on 10 carries.[48]

1964: Vince Dooley arrives[edit]

Despite Georgia's overall advantage in the series, Florida enjoyed a 10–2 streak from 1952 to 1963 under head coaches Bob Woodruff and Ray Graves.[7] That changed with the arrival of Vince Dooley as the new head coach of the underdog 1964 Georgia Bulldogs. In a game where the Bulldogs' quarterback failed to complete a single pass and was intercepted twice, Dooleys' 'Dogs relied on their running game, a staunch second-half defense, and a little bit of luck to beat Graves' tenth-ranked Florida Gators.[49] With the game tied at 7–7 in the fourth quarter, Bulldogs placekicker Bob Etter lined up for a potential game-winning field goal.[49] Instead, in a wild broken play, the Bulldogs' center and placeholder mishandled the snap, but Etter picked up the bobbled ball and ran it for a touchdown to win the game 14–7.[49]

Dooley's teams would split their first seven games 3–3–1 against Graves' Gators. Thereafter, Dooley's 'Dogs would go on to dominate the rivalry, winning fourteen of the nineteen games from 1971 to 1989.[7]

1966: Heisman curse?[edit]

Spurrier under center

The seventh-ranked 1966 Florida Gators entered the game with a 7–0 record and the opportunity to clinch a share of their first-ever SEC title.[50] The Gators' senior quarterback, Steve Spurrier, had just locked up the Heisman trophy the previous week with a stellar performance versus the Auburn Tigers.[51] The Florida–Georgia game turned out very differently, however, as the Bulldogs defense dominated the game, and Spurrier threw three interceptions in the 27–10 Georgia victory.[52] All-American defensive tackle Bill Stanfill would later reference Spurrier in recounting his experiences growing up on a farm in southwest Georgia before the advent of weightlifting: "Holding pigs for my dad to castrate was quite a challenge. I can't say that helped prepare me for football, but it sure did remind me an awful lot of sacking Steve Spurrier." [53]

Spurrier returned to Gainesville as the Gators' head coach in 1990 and emphasized the annual Florida–Georgia contest as the "biggest of the year."[54] Under his tenure, the Gators were 11–1 against their bitter rivals.[55]

1967: Gators spring Trapp[edit]

On national television, end Richard Trapp had his career moment, sparking a Gator comeback with a 57-yard touchdown catch-and-run. Wayne Barfield kicked the field goal with 34 seconds left to upset the Bulldogs 17–16.[56][57][58]

1970: Rip, strip, and grip[edit]

Carlos Alvarez

The 1970 Florida Gators featured All-American defensive end Jack Youngblood, and he pulled off one of the most remarkable plays in Florida football history. With Bulldogs leading 17–10 and in possession of the ball at the Gators' 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." Gators quarterback John Reaves and wide receiver Carlos Alvarez then connected for two touchdown passes in the final 5:13 to rally the Florida Gators to a 24–17 victory.

1975: Appleby to Washington[edit]

The 1975 Florida Gators came into the game with a 6–1 record and No. 7 ranking, while the Georgia Bulldogs were 5–2 and ranked No. 19. The Gators' offense was led by running back Tony Green, who ran an early one-yard touchdown to put the Gators ahead 7–0. The Gators led 7–3 as time was winding down in the fourth quarter. Georgia's "Junkyard Dawgs" defense allowed yards between the 20-yard-lines, but ceded little ground in the red zone. The Bulldogs set up at their own 20-yard-line with 3:10 remaining, and head coach Vince Dooley did something he rarely did: he called a trick play. Tight end Richard Appleby accepted the handoff on a reverse to the right, but instead of running downfield, he threw the ball to wide receiver Gene Washington for an improbable 80-yard touchdown play.[59] The Gators' final field goal attempt never had a chance, as the snap was rolled to the holder, and Georgia won 10–7.[59]

1976: "Fourth and dumb"[edit]

The 1976 Florida Gators were 6–1 and ranked No. 10 coming into the game, and again seeking to secure their first SEC football championship. The Gators held a 27–13 halftime advantage and seemed to have the game in hand until the Bulldogs scored early in the third quarter to cut the lead to 27–20. Then, faced with a fourth-and-one situation at the Gators' own 29-yard-line, coach Doug Dickey decided to go for the first down rather than punt. Gators running back Earl Carr was stopped short by Bulldogs safety Johnny Henderson. Led by quarterback Ray Goff's game management and running back Kevin McLee's 198-yard rushing performance, the Bulldogs seized the momentum and scored three touchdowns on their way to a come-from-behind 41–27 win. After the game, Dickey said: "We were not outplayed. We were outcoached. I made some dumb calls."[60] Sports writers seized on Dickey's mea culpa, and in subsequent months and years popularized the phrase "fourth and dumb" to refer to Dickey's failed fourth down attempt and the game itself.[61]

1980: "Run, Lindsay, run!"[edit]

Trailing the underdog 1980 Florida Gators with their perfect season and their No. 2 ranking in jeopardy, the Bulldogs executed one of the most famous plays in college football history.[62] Georgia was behind 21–20 with time running out, facing third down and long yardage from their own 7-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, and hit him with a 25-yard pass. Scott darted through Florida's secondary and outran everyone down the sideline, scoring the game-winning touchdown with only seconds left on the game clock.[63]

Long-time Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson's legendary call of the play gave the game its nickname:

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, 5, Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott![64][65]

The improbable 93-yard pass play sealed the Bulldogs' 26–21 victory, and kept Georgia's national championship hopes alive.[66] The Bulldogs moved to No. 1 in the next round of polls[67] and would go on to win the 1980 consensus national championship.[68][69]

1984: Bell to Nattiel[edit]

After suffering many a heartbreaking defeat to the Bulldogs with a conference championship at stake, coach Galen Hall's 1984 Florida Gators entered the contest undefeated in the SEC. The Gators dominated early, building a 17–0 lead by early in the second half. But the Bulldogs seemed to come alive in the third quarter, mounting a long drive; however, Georgia's drive died in the shadow of the Gators' goal line when they were stuffed on fourth down, checking the Bulldogs momentarily but pinning the Gators deep in their own territory. On the third play following the change of possession, Gators 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 Gators history.

1985: 'Dogs upset No. 1 Gators[edit]

The 1985 Florida Gators entered the contest on a roll: coming off an emotional win over the Auburn Tigers, undefeated, and ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history. This would not be a repeat of the 1984 game, however. As they had done so many times in the past, the Bulldogs spoiled Florida's season, defeating the Gators 24–3 with freshmen running backs Keith Henderson and Tim Worley both rushing for over 100 yards.[70]

1993: Timeout[edit]

In constant rain, the usually prolific passing game of coach Steve Spurrier's 1993 Florida Gators was stymied.[71] Instead, the Gators relied on tailback Errict Rhett to amass 183 yards and two touchdowns to build a 33–26 fourth-quarter lead.[71] Led by quarterback Eric Zeier, the Georgia Bulldogs mounted a drive into Florida territory in the final minute and a half.[71] Zeier completed what appeared to be the game-tying touchdown to Jerry Jerman with five seconds remaining in the game.[72] However, Gators cornerback Anthone Lott had called a timeout just before the ball was snapped, forcing the Bulldogs to play the down again.[72] Lott was called for pass interference on the ensuing play, giving Georgia one last untimed chance to score.[72] Zeier's final pass fell incomplete, and the Gators won a hard-fought, but controversial 33–26 victory.[72][73]

1995: "Half a hundred" in Athens[edit]

With Jacksonville's rebuilt Jacksonville Municipal Stadium still under construction,[74] this traditional neutral-site showdown was held on the universities' campuses for the first time in over sixty years in 1994 and 1995.[7] After winning at "The Swamp" the previous season, the undefeated 1995 Florida Gators hoped to repeat the feat at Sanford Stadium against a struggling Georgia Bulldogs team led by soon-to-be-fired coach Ray Goff.[75][76]

Gators starting quarterback Danny Wuerffel threw for 242 yards and five touchdowns before leaving the game in the third quarter.[77] With the Gators leading 38–17 in the fourth quarter, Gators backup quarterback Eric Kresser threw for two more touchdowns, one with 1:21 remaining, to make the final score 52–17.[77] After the game, Gators coach Steve Spurrier stated 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."[78][79] The Gators' fifty-two points remains the record for most scored against Georgia "between the hedges."[80]

2002: Gators upset No. 4 Bulldogs[edit]

In twelve seasons as the Gators' head coach, Steve Spurrier led them to an 11–1 record against the Bulldogs, so his departure to the NFL following the 2001 season gave Georgia fans reason to cheer. The 2002 Bulldogs brought a perfect 8–0 record and No. 4 ranking to the annual grudge match in Jacksonville. Under new head coach Ron Zook, the Gators limped into the game with a 5–3 record and unranked for the first time in over a decade.[81]

Trailing 7–6, the Gators took the lead with a key play on defense. Upon entering the contest in the second quarter, Bulldogs quarterback DJ Shockley was intercepted by Gators safety Guss Scott, who returned it 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 halftime 13–12 lead. The defenses continued to dominate in the second half, until an early fourth-quarter Gator drive ended with a touchdown pass from quarterback Rex Grossman and gave Florida a 20–13 advantage. The Georgia offense failed to score again and failed to convert a third-down in thirteen attempts as Florida held on for the upset.

Georgia finished the 2002 season 13–1 and won the SEC championship, but the defeat by the Gators cost the Bulldogs an opportunity to play for the BCS National Championship (although two undefeated teams, Ohio State and reigning national champion Miami (Florida), met in the Fiesta Bowl).

2007: The "Gator Stomp"[edit]

The 2007 Georgia Bulldogs are remembered for the "Gator Stomp", a first-quarter mass celebration of the entire Georgia team in the Gators' endzone after Georgia's first touchdown, a move that emotionally rallied the underdog Bulldogs.[82] Because of the staged celebration, Georgia received two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and was forced to kick off from their own 8-yard line.[83] After the game, Georgia coach Mark Richt acknowledged that he ordered his team to draw an excessive celebration penalty after their first touchdown, but intended that only the eleven players on the field would celebrate, not the entire team.[84] The motivational tactic paid off for Richt, as Knowshon Moreno ran for 188 yards and Georgia's defense sacked Gators quarterback Tim Tebow six times in a 42–30 victory.[83] The high-scoring game was the first in series history in which both teams scored thirty or more points.[7]

2008: The "Gator Stop"[edit]

Before the 2008 Georgia-Florida 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 to his players, instructing them not to talk about the 2007 game with the media.[85] In his authorized biography, published following the season, Meyer said: "That wasn't right. It was a bad deal. . . . We'll handle it, and it's going to be a big deal."[86]

The Bulldogs and Gators were both ranked in the top 10, and the winner would have the inside track in the SEC Eastern Division race and a possible shot at a national title. Some commentators went so far as to call it the biggest match-up in the series history,[87] or at least the previous 20 years.[88] After the Bulldogs missed two field goals and failed to recover an onside kick after their first score, the Gators took a 14–3 halftime lead. In the second half, the Bulldogs turned the ball over four times and the Gators turned the game into a 49–10 rout—the Bulldogs' second worst loss of the series.[89] The Gators went on to win the SEC Championship Game and the BCS Championship Game that season.

In an apparent response to the Bulldogs' endzone celebration of the previous year, Meyer used both of his remaining timeouts with less than a minute to play, giving his team and fans more time to celebrate the victory.[89] After the game, he broke his pre-game silence on the 2007 celebration. "Was it motivation for our players? Yeah, it was."[90]

2012: Bulldogs upset No. 2 Gators[edit]

The Bulldogs were able to hold on late against the Gators, beating their SEC East archrival by a score of 17–9 and turning in their best performance of the season. The two teams combined for nine turnovers and 24 penalties. Todd Gurley, who starred for Georgia, rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown. The only other touchdown of the game was scored by Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell. Down by 8 points in the 4th Quarter, the Gators were driving against what seemed like an unstoppable Georgia defense all game. The Gators were able to get deep into Bulldog territory with a chance to tie the game. Junior Jordan Reed was sprinting for the endzone after a reception from Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel, but the Bulldogs' Jarvis Jones punched the ball out of his hands and the team was able to recover. It was Florida's sixth and final turnover that eventually cost the No. 2 team in the nation a chance to play in the SEC Championship game, and possibly the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.[91]

Game results[edit]

Florida victories Georgia victories Tie games
Date Location Winner Score
October 15, 1904 Macon, Georgia Georgia 52–0A
November 6, 1915 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 37–0
October 14, 1916 Athens, Georgia Georgia 21–0
October 25, 1919 Tampa, Florida Georgia 16–0
November 13, 1920 Athens, Georgia Georgia 56–0
October 30, 1926 Athens, Georgia Georgia 32–9
November 5, 1927 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 28–0
November 10, 1928 Savannah, Georgia Florida 26–6
October 26, 1929 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 18–6
November 1, 1930 Savannah, Georgia Tie 0–0
October 31, 1931 Gainesville, Florida Georgia 33–6
October 29, 1932 Athens, Georgia Georgia 33–12
November 4, 1933 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 14–0
November 3, 1934 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 14–0
November 2, 1935 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 7–0
November 7, 1936 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 26–8
November 6, 1937 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 6–0
November 5, 1938 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 19–6
November 11, 1939 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 6–2
November 9, 1940 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 18–13
November 8, 1941 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 19–3
November 7, 1942 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 75–0
November 11, 1944 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 38–12
November 10, 1945 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 34–0
November 9, 1946 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 33–14
November 8, 1947 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 34–6
November 6, 1948 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 20–12
November 5, 1949 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 28–7
November 11, 1950 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 6–0
November 10, 1951 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 7–6
October 25, 1952 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 30–0
November 7, 1953 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 21–7
November 6, 1954 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 14–13
November 5, 1955 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 19–13
November 10, 1956 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 28–0
November 9, 1957 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 22–0
November 8, 1958 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 7–6
November 7, 1959 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 21–10
November 5, 1960 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 22–14
November 11, 1961 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 21–14
November 10, 1962 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 23–15
November 9, 1963 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 21–14
November 7, 1964 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 14–7
November 6, 1965 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 14–10
November 5, 1966 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 27–10
November 11, 1967 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 17–16
November 9, 1968 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 51–0
November 8, 1969 Jacksonville, Florida Tie 13–13
Date Location Winner Score
November 7, 1970 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 24–17
November 6, 1971 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 49–7
November 11, 1972 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 10–7
November 10, 1973 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 11–10
November 9, 1974 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 17–16
November 8, 1975 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 10–7
November 6, 1976 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 41–27
November 5, 1977 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 22–17
November 11, 1978 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 24–22
November 10, 1979 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 33–10
November 8, 1980 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 26–21
November 7, 1981 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 26–21
November 6, 1982 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 44–0
November 5, 1983 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 10–9
November 10, 1984 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 27–0
November 9, 1985 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 24–3
November 8, 1986 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 31–19
November 7, 1987 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 23–10
November 5, 1988 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 26–3
November 11, 1989 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 17–10
November 10, 1990 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 38–7
November 9, 1991 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 45–13
October 31, 1992 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 26–24
October 30, 1993 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 33–26
October 29, 1994 Gainesville, Florida Florida 52–14
October 28, 1995 Athens, Georgia Florida 52–17
November 2, 1996 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 47–7
November 1, 1997 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 37–17
October 31, 1998 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 38–7
October 30, 1999 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 30–14
October 28, 2000 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 34–23
October 27, 2001 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 24–10
November 2, 2002 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 20–13
November 1, 2003 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 16–13
October 30, 2004 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 31–24
October 29, 2005 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 14–10
October 28, 2006 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 21–14
October 27, 2007 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 42–30
November 1, 2008 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 49–10
October 31, 2009 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 41–17
October 30, 2010 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 34–31OT
October 29, 2011 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 24–20
October 27, 2012 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 17–9
November 2, 2013 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 23–20
November 1, 2014 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 38–20
October 31, 2015 Jacksonville, Florida Florida 27–3
Series: Georgia leads 50–42–2

A The University of Georgia athletic association includes the 1904 game in the series win-loss record; the University of Florida's athletic association does not. Please see the Series history section above for further explanation.

Florida–Georgia Hall of Fame[edit]

The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission created the Florida–Georgia Hall of Fame in 1995 to recognize the players, coaches, and other representatives from each school who have made their mark on the rivalry.[92] Each year, four new members (two from each school) are announced in June, and are formally inducted at a luncheon in Jacksonville the Friday before the football game.[92] The Florida–Georgia Hall of Fame inductees through 2015 include:[93][94]

Florida: Carlos Alvarez, Reidel Anthony, Kerwin Bell, Howell Boney, Scot Brantley, Joe Brodsky, Norm Carlson, Kevin Carter, Rick Casares, Wes Chandler, Doug Dickey, Chris Doering, Jimmy Dunn, Larry Dupree, Jeremy Foley, Don Gaffney, Jabar Gaffney, Ray Graves, Rex Grossman, Galen Hall, Ike Hilliard, Chuck Hunsinger, Lindy Infante, Willie Jackson, Jr., Doug Johnson, Jevon Kearse, Charlie LaPradd, Chris Leak, Buford Long, Wilber Marshall, Shane Matthews, Lee McGriff, Nat Moore, Ricky Nattiel, John Reaves, Errict Rhett, Steve Spurrier, Fred Taylor, Richard Trapp, John L. Williams, Lawrence Wright, Danny Wuerffel, Jack Youngblood.

Georgia: Peter Anderson, Richard Appleby, Buck Belue, John Brantley, Zeke Bratkowski, Charley Britt, Kevin Butler, Wally Butts, Mike Cavan, Knox Culpepper, Vince Dooley, Robert Edwards, Bob Etter, Ray Goff, Cy Grant, David Greene, Rodney Hampton, Garrison Hearst, Terry Hoage, Dan Magill, Kevin McLee, Willie McClendon, Larry Munson, George Patton, David Pollack, John Rauch, Rex Robinson, Matt Robinson, Erk Russell, Bill Saye, Jake Scott, Lindsay Scott, Richard Seymour, Frank Sinkwich, Bill Stanfill, Matt Stinchcomb, Tommy Thurson, Charley Trippi, Herschel Walker, Gene Washington, Charles Wittemore, Tim Worley, Eric Zeier.

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ Florida Agricultural College was founded as the state's land-grant college in 1884, and pursuant to an act of the Florida Legislature was known as the "University of Florida" from 1903 until it was abolished by the legislature's passage of the Buckman Act in 1905, which merged it and three other schools into the modern University of Florida. See Carl Van Ness & Kevin McCarthy, Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future: The University of Florida, 1853–2003, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 6–10, 12–13 (2003).
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  4. ^ Van Ness & McCarthy, Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future, pp. 12–13.
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