IN ALL KINDS OF WEATHER
1996 2006 2008
SEC CHAMPIONS 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2006, & 2008
SEC East Champions 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2009
19 Bowl Championships
After witnessing the "Missouri debacle" two weeks ago, my thoughts on going up to Jacksonville at all was that it was my 45th Florida-Georgia tilt and as much as I relished the beat-downs that coaches Steve Spurrier and Uban Meyer put on the dawgs in days of yore, I figured that if their fans could keep coming back in the face of what was certain defeat, then I had to do the same, if only to be prepared to leave before the fourth quarter. And so I trudged to the stadium amidst the woofing and jeering red-and-black clad dawg fans. |
The first quarter seemed to underscore my fears as UF's offense stumbled to a couple of three-and-outs, while UGa rambled for significant yardage and a 7-0 lead. One promising drive seemed destined to fail when the center snap sailed over the quarterback's head. Amazingly, the next play was for positive yards and set up what seemed like a reasonable field goal attempt.
What? A fake? A touchdown? OMG!!!
Imagine my surprise (and glee) when the Gators reeled off 31 straight points to take a 31-7 lead with less than 14 minutes to play. Oh for sure we knew the doggies would mount some kind of furious rally -- hey... I have sat through some horrendous losses at this stadium -- but inside I kept thinking it's a three-possession game just to tie (8+8+8). And sure enough, UGa promptly marched downfield to score, but miss the two-point try to keep it a three-possession game (31-13). Right on script, UF again failed to sustain a drive and Georgia took the ensuing possession and marched right back down to the UF two-yard line where their drive ended on an incomplete pass on 4th down.
The stadium seats in Jacksonville's Everbank Field are a teal-green. No televised Florida-Georgia game is complete without the obligatory aerial shot showing how the stadium is divided among the two teams, the Georgia sections denoted in red and the Florida sections denoted in blue. You can probably see it from the Space Station...
At this point, a lot of teal was showing up across the field as those red-clad UGa fans quietly left in droves.
What those fans missed was UF moving the ball away from the goal line setting up Kelvin Taylor's back-breaking 65-yard touchdown run down the east sideline to make it a comfortable 38-13. For Georgia, Taylor's run capped the second most ever team rushing yards surrendered by UGA defense... 415 yards.
Now I saw a lot of teal on the other side, mostly teal in fact.
That Georgia scored with three seconds left in the game was inconsequential but still annoying. The final score Florida 38 Georgia 20 is not indicative of the magnitude of beat down that the unranked Gators put on the 9th ranked dawgs.
Then for me came the second-best part of the day... the walk back to the car. I saw the Georgia faithful who had yet to escape from their team's post-apocalyptic disaster walking around grim-faced, dazed and confused (for so long it's not true!). "Shocked" or "Gobsmacked" are two terms that come to mind. Their eyes had seen it, but their minds couldn't process it.
In the grand scheme of things, there won't be any championship accolades in UF football trophy case this year. But the record will reflect a defeat of the hated Georgia Bulldogs, a feat made even more delicious because it was so unexpected.
And as of right now, it's only 363 days until we do it again!
As Always, It's Great To Be A Florida Gator.