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Coaches' call stuns Chandler

By DEBI JONES and JOANNE KORTH

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


photo
[Times photo: Jim Damaske]
Already UF's leading scorer, Jeff Chandler hits the third-longest FG in school history.
JACKSONVILLE -- Jeff Chandler was as surprised as anyone.

He was standing idly on the sideline when Florida's opening drive of the second half stalled at the Georgia 37 yard line. Not until he saw holder Kevin McKinnon putting on his helmet did Chandler realize what was happening.

"I thought, "Wow, they're letting me kick this,' " he said.

Chandler's career-long 54-yard field goal gave the Gators a 20-17 lead that they did not relinquish in a 34-23 victory at Alltel Stadium.

"I'm glad it happened in Jacksonville," said Chandler, a Jacksonville native who grew up attending the Florida-Georgia game with his parents -- both Bulldogs alumni.

The kick ties Chandler for the third-longest in UF history with David Posey (1976) and Berj Yepremian (1977). Chris Perkins holds the record with a 60-yarder in 1984.

Chandler was one of several local products who made an impact for the Gators.

GAFFNEY WITH ANOTHER: Gator wide receiver Jabar Gaffney added his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game. The redshirt freshman caught eight passes for 138 yards with one touchdown.

Gaffney once again added his name to the Florida freshman record book. His 736 receiving yards breaks the record of 615 yards set by current Buc Reidel Anthony in 1994.

The Jacksonville native already holds the Gator freshman record for receptions and the Southeastern Conference and Florida record for touchdown receptions.

Spurrier said Gaffney was awarded another game ball.

SPINNING HIS WHEELS: Ninety minutes before kickoff, UF defensive tackle Gerard Warren was on the sideline pedaling an exercise bike. Warren did not practice Monday or Tuesday because of a hamstring injury.

EXTRA POINTS: UF tailback Robert Gillespie's second-quarter touchdown catch was his first of the season, second of his career. ... Florida has outscored opponents 178-69 in the first half this season. ... Georgia leads the series 45-31-2 overall, 39-28-1 in Jacksonville.

TURNOVER MARGIN: Last season, Florida forced 26 turnovers in 12 games. In eight games this season, the Gators forced 28 turnovers, resulting in 114 points.

The three turnovers Saturday resulted in 15 of the Gators' 34 points.

"That's what we try to shoot for," said former Countryside defensive lineman Clint Mitchell. "We try to have two or three turnovers per game."

CARTER MOVES UP: Georgia's Quincy Carter, who finished 20 for 39 for 240 yards, moved to second in career passing in the Bulldogs record book with 6,447 yards. Current Buc Eric Zeier had 11,153.

SMITH WITH CAREER HIGH: Bulldog running back Musa Smith, who had knee surgery a few weeks ago and was not expected to play the rest of the season, had a career-high two rushing touchdowns with 50 yards on a career-high 12 carries.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Florida middle linebacker Reid Fleming saw a familiar face while looking across the field. The freshman's older brother Ryan plays linebacker for Georgia. The brothers attended Rutherford High School in Panama City. There are seven Floridians on the Georgia roster and nine Georgians on the Gator roster.

LONGEST DRIVE: The Gators had their longest touchdown drive of the season late in the third quarter: 3 minutes, 59 seconds. The 10-play, 82-yard march put them up 27-17.

RECORD ATTENDANCE: Saturday's attendance of 84,404 was the largest at a Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville.

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