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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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5 memorable games
Here's a few games that stand out.
By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published October 25, 2005
[AP file photo]
A dejected Florida QB Steve Spurrier takes a knee on the Gator Bowl field during the Gators' 27-10 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in 1966.
1966 - UGA 27-10: Many know that Florida quarterback Steve Spurrier sewed up the Heisman Trophy with a memorable performance the previous week against Auburn, when he kicked the game-winning field goal. But somewhat forgotten is that the Gators lost the SEC title against Georgia. No. 7 Florida entered 7-0 after recent victories over Florida State, N.C. Sate, LSU and Auburn, and for awhile this one looked to be going its way. The Gators led 10-3 at halftime, but Georgia tied it in the second half, and Lynn Hughes put the Bulldogs ahead when he ran an interception back for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Georgia defensive line forced Spurrier into three second-half interceptions. The Bulldogs, and third-year coach Vince Dooley, ended up sharing the SEC title with Alabama.
1980 - UGA 26-21: The most memorable game in series history? By most accounts, this is it. First, some background. Georgia entered unbeaten, ranked No. 2 in the country and owning a two-game winning streak over Florida. The Gators, arguably college football's most pleasant surprise, were 6-1 under second-year coach Charley Pell one season after going 0-10-1. In 1979, Georgia humbled Florida 33-10. But this time the Gators, behind freshman quarterback Wayne Peace managed to keep things tight. Georgia running back Herschel Walker gained 238 yards on 37 carries, and Georgia led 20-10 in the third quarter. But Florida answered with a touchdown (and two-point conversion) and then went ahead for the first time, 21-20, with 6:52 left on Brian Clark's 40-yard field goal. Georgia later took over at its own 8 with 1:35 left. On third down, quarterback Buck Belue rolled to his right and hit Lindsay Scott, who outran the Gators 93 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Georgia won the national title.
1985 - UGA 24-3: "One week." That's the first thing many Gator fans say when they talk about this game. That's because for one week 20 years ago this November, Florida was No. 1 in the polls. The significance of that accomplishment is that it had never happened. One week before playing Georgia, Florida won at No. 6 Auburn, which moved the Gators (7-0-1) into the top spot. But as heavy favorites against the Dawgs, Florida simply went flat. Gators quarterback Kerwin Bell passed for 408 yards, but the running game was stuffed and Florida never reached the end zone. Georgia got an 89-yard touchdown run from running back Tim Worley and its defense held Florida to 28 yards rushing. Because the Gators were on probation, they weren't allowed to play in a bowl game and weren't eligible to win the SEC title. But with a victory against Georgia they might have claimed the Associated Press national championship.
1990 - UF 38-7: Upon arriving at Florida, Gators coach Steve Spurrier made beating Georgia a top priority. As previous Florida coaches discovered, that was easier said than done. Before Spurrier took over, the Gators had scored 30 or more points against Georgia just twice in 67 games. Even more embarrassing for the Gators was this: Georgia held a 43-22-2 series lead (according to the Florida record books, that is). On Nov. 10, 1990, the rivalry officially moved in a different direction as the 10th-ranked Gators beat unranked Georgia in a game that was a rout from the start. Gators quarterback Shane Matthews and the high-powered Spurrier offense scored seven points more than any Florida team ever had against the Dawgs.
1995 - UF 52-17: With Jacksonville's Gator Bowl under renovation, the annual clash was played in Athens, Ga., for the first time since 1932. The 52 points scored by No. 3 Florida were the most by an opponent in Sanford Stadium history. The game was never close as Danny Wuerffel, the record-breaking Florida quarterback, and his teammates moved the ball almost at will. Wuerffel completed 14 of 17 passes for 242 yards and five touchdowns. Eric Kresser, his seldom-used backup, added two fourth-quarter scoring tosses, one with 1:10 left. Spurrier was accused of running up the score, but didn't seem to care.