Saturday, November 28, 2009

55 things you should know about the UF - FSU rivalry

Joey Johnston has all 55. Below are a few of our favorites:

3. After top-ranked Florida went down at FSU 24-21 in 1996, Gators coach Steve Spurrier accused Seminole defenders of late hits on quarterback Danny Wuerffel, who was sacked six times. FSU coach Bobby Bowden retorted, "We might hit to the echo instead of just the whistle.'' The subject was inflamed when the Gators and Seminoles were matched up for the Sugar Bowl. Spurrier officially "declared war'' on FSU and said "we're not going to take the crap we took in Tallahassee.'' More Spurrier: "I don't know what the ACC rule is on hitting the quarterback. They seem to say if you're within a step or two (after release), it's OK to clobber them.'' Spurrier got his revenge, defeating FSU 52-20 for the national championship

6. A few weeks before the 1960 game in Gainesville, Gators fullback Jon MacBeth was approached by two gamblers, a New York man and a UF student. MacBeth was offered $1,500 to shave points. The men suggested an intentional fumble deep in Gator territory. They hoped for an early FSU touchdown in the game, where Florida was favored by 13 points. MacBeth played along, but it was a set-up. He informed school officials, the Gainesville police and Coach Ray Graves. The gamblers were apprehended and arrested in Jacksonville. Florida won 3-0.

36. In 1982, former Seminole player Burt Reynolds gave a pep talk to FSU, bringing along Hollywood buddy Charles Nelson Reilly, who was decked out in Seminole gear. The final: Florida 13, FSU 10.

42. Another father-son scoring combination: Florida receiver Lee McGriff caught a touchdown pass in the 1973 game. His son, Travis, caught TD passes in 1997 and '98.

47. The Gators were 0-9-1 coming into the game with FSU in 1979. ABC-TV allowed the Seminoles (10-0) to run onto Florida Field first, before the Gators entered. "The television people insulted us,'' Florida's Tim Golden said. "Our day is coming.''

55. When did this series begin anyway? Reporters have uncovered records of Florida playing games with Tallahassee's Florida State College in the early 1900s before football became an official sport at Florida and before the Buckman Act turned Florida State College into Florida Female College. Just for the record, Florida State College won 23-0 in 1904 and a Lake City newspaper described it as "the finest article of football ever seen on the local gridiron.'' The article resumed in 1958, and the state's college football scene never has been the same.

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