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Florida-Georgia college football rivalry’s best moments

Florida-Georgia college football rivalry's best moments
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Easily one of college football’s most unique rivalries, Florida-Georgia also has produced a sea of memorable moments, performances and games. So as the Dawgs and Gators get set to clash as top-10 foes for the second straight season, let’s relive some of those moments in a series that has been played every year in Jacksonville, Florida, since 1933 except for 1943, because of World War II, and 1994 and 1995, when it moved to the two campuses because of stadium renovations.

The names alone that go hand in hand with this rivalry get the blood flowing: Steve Spurrier. Herschel Walker. Vince Dooley. Tim Tebow. Larry Munson. Urban Meyer.

So sit back and enjoy as we await what could be another classic on the banks of the St. Johns River.

1966: Spurrier’s dubious hat trick

Steve Spurrier was 11-1 against Georgia as Florida’s head coach, and nobody reveled in beating up on the Dawgs more than the Head Ball Coach. But as a varsity player, it was the other way around. He was just 1-2. And no game in the series was more difficult for Spurrier to stomach than the 1966 contest when the Gators rolled in unbeaten and ranked No. 7 nationally. Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy that season, but Georgia intercepted him three times, including one that was returned for a touchdown, to win 27-10 and derail the Gators’ SEC championship hopes. Instead, the win propelled Vince Dooley, who was in his third season as Georgia’s head coach, to the first of six SEC titles with the Dawgs and a berth in the Cotton Bowl.

1967: Trapp to the rescue

Even Richard Trapp jokes that his dazzling 52-yard catch and run for a touchdown in Florida’s 17-16 comeback win over Georgia more than 50 years ago “gets better and better every year.” Trapp, who caught nine passes for 171 yards that day, gathered in a pass on a curl pattern and evaded one Georgia defender after another on his way to the end zone, drawing Florida within 16-14 with less than seven minutes to play. Wayne Barfield’s 31-yard field goal with 29 seconds to play won it for the Gators, who were coming off a loss at Auburn.

1975: “The girders are bending”

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the legend of Larry Munson took off with Georgia’s 10-7 upset of No. 11 Florida. Tight end Richard Appleby threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Gene Washington on an end-around play for the Dawgs’ only touchdown, and Munson screamed over the airwaves in his gravelly voice, “The Gator Bowl is rocking. … The girders are bending.” Erk Russell’s “Junkyard Dawg” defense had to stop Florida two more times to preserve the win. Interestingly enough, Georgia had run the end-around play earlier in the season against Vanderbilt. But in that game, Appleby, who was a high school quarterback, kept the ball. Georgia coaches wanted to save the pass option of the play and unveiled it against the Gators.

1980: Run, Lindsay, run

Florida fans may beg to differ, but no play in this series is more iconic than Lindsay Scott’s catch and 93-yard touchdown run to save Georgia in a 26-21 win that also saved the Dawgs’ unbeaten national championship season. Georgia was backed up against its own goal line and facing third-and-11 when Buck Belue hit Scott over the middle on a curl route. Scott took off toward the Georgia sideline — with players, coaches and managers following him every step of the way — and blazed his way into Georgia football immortality. Scott’s touchdown set the scene for one of the more memorable radio calls in college football history, as Munson roared, “Run, Lindsay, run.” Best-selling Southern author Lewis Grizzard left the game dejectedly and had to listen to the final minutes from the street. Belue said it “felt like the ground was shaking” when Scott crossed the goal line. Unfortunately for Belue’s mother, she didn’t see it. She left her seat and headed toward the Georgia locker room to console her son and missed witnessing the miracle play, one that overshadowed even Herschel Walker’s 37-carry, 238-yard performance.

1984: Bell to Nattiel

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