A few more of my favorite Georgia-Florida games over the years …
The 1964 game in Vince Dooley’s first season as coach. I remember rushing back from a Boy Scouts outing to turn the radio on and listen to this one. Late in the game, the two teams were tied 7-7 and after a Georgia drive bogged down at the Gator 5-yard line, the Dogs were going for a field goal when the snap was fumbled. The Georgia kicker, Bobby Etter, whose name was usually preceded by the word “little,” picked up the ball and ran to his left, giving a pump fake while he was a it. The Florida defender came up, holder Barry Wilson blocked him and Etter dove over the goal line for the winning score. I vividly remember listening to Ed Thilenius describing the action on the radio. It was, I think, when Georgia fans knew something special was happening to the program.
The 1966 game during Steve Spurrier’s Heisman Trophy season. Spurrier was sacked a number of times by the Georgia defense, led by all-Americans Bill Stanfill and George Patton, and safety Lynn Hughes, my favorite player at the time, ran an interception back 39 yards for a touchdown as the Dogs prevailed 27-10 in Dooley’s first SEC championship season. Spurrier has never forgiven Georgia.
The 1975 game, in which No. 11 Florida came in as a heavy favorite. This was about three weeks before my wedding and I seem to recall my bride-to-be was at a shower being held by one of my parents’ neighbors and I watched it with my brothers and Dad in my parents’ basement den. Florida scored early off a Georgia fumble but Erk Russell’s Junkyard Dawgs held the Gators scoreless the rest of the game, which was won with 3 minutes left on a trick play immortalized in one of Larry Munson’s most memorable calls as tight end Richard Appleby faked the end-around and stopped and threw that famous 80-yard pass to flanker Gene Washington. We were all on our feet screaming as Washington “caught it, thinking of Montreal and the Olympics, and ran out of his shoes,” as Munson put it, adding: “Gator Bowl rocking, stunned, the girders are bending now!” Georgia won 10-7.