25 Best Moments in The Swamp: No. 1 — The Gamecocks are blocked

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Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss (94) blocks the potential game-winning field goal as time expired during the fourth quarter of the Gators' 17-16 win against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Gainesville on Nov. 11, 2006. [Rob C. Witzel/Staff photographer]

It was June of 1992 when Steve Spurrier, fresh off Florida’s first official SEC title, called The Sun columnist Mike Bianchi with a new name for the stadium that would eventually bear his name.

The Swamp. 

In the years that followed, there have been some unbelievable games and players. Sun writers Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu came up with their rankings of the 25 best moments since 1992 when Spurrier gave it that moniker.

No. 1 — Nov. 11, 2006

The Gamecocks are blocked

The set-up: Florida came in ranked No. 6 and needed a win to keep its slim national title hopes alive. This was also Steve Spurrier’s first game back in The Swamp as the South Carolina coach. The Gamecocks led 16-10, but it was 16 because Jarvis Moss blocked an extra point. Florida drove down the field to score, but needed a fourth-and-one run from Tim Tebow from its own 29-yard line to keep the drive alive. Tebow eventually scored from 12 yards out and Florida made the extra point with 3:03 left. But South Carolina moved right down the field.

The moment: South Carolina actually looked like it might win when QB Blake Micthell hit Sidney Rice for 27 yards to the Florida seven with 17 seconds to play. But a false start penalty on the play moved it back. Kicker Ryan Succop came in to try a 48-yard game winner. It was blocked by Moss again, setting off a wild celebration in the stands.

The result: Florida kept winning, beating FSU and then Arkansas in the SEC title game before disposing of Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game. Spurrier wouldn’t beat Urban Meyer again until he got his first win at The Swamp for South Carolina in 2010 for the division title.

The quote: “Urban Meyer had called time out and I wanted to pull Moss from the game and put Derrick Harvey in because he was so tired and just dripping sweat all over the place. But he told me he was going to block it so I left him in. As soon as they went back on the field, I just started walking to the other end because I didn’t want to watch.

“Urban came on the headset and mentioned he had another timeout. I said, ‘Naw, let’s get it over with.’ And then I told him, ‘Old Steve got us again didn’t he?’ And I just watched the crowd in the south end zone. That’s how I knew. I couldn’t look.” — Then UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.

Reader comments: Many voters had this as their most memorable moment, to include Mike Berger, Christopher Toy, Derrick Beasley, Danny Bernstein, Dennis Cason, Ray Eubanks, Mike Olwell, Andrew Chiera, Joshua Wright, Alan McCord, Gary Coatoam, Gerry Arsenault and Danny Knight.

Jim Mac: “Jarvis Moss blocks South Carolina field goal! The sheer anticipation! The noise!”

JR Denson: “Being in the stands of the Swamp watching Jarvis Moss block a South Carolina field goal to end the game 17-16 in route to Florida’s first national championship in 10 years.”

Larry Moseley: “Blocked field goal against South Carolina. Loudest sound I ever heard.”

Colin Guthrie: “17-16 win against South Carolina in 2006 when we blocked a field goal to win the game! Loudest I have ever heard The Swamp!”

Jacob Sistrunk: “2006 vs. South Carolina – Cock Block”

Brandon Sher: “Jarvis Moss blocking the field goal has to be number one. I still have chills just thinking about the electricity in the stadium after that.”

Kevin Frazier: “The Cock Block because: with 2 losses we would not have played for the national championship, it may not have been the loudest game (FSU 97) but it was one of the loudest moments, and it was Spurrier’s first game back in the stadium he named the SWAMP.”

Editor’s note: Thank you for participating on our walk down memory lane at one of college football’s greatest venues — The Swamp. Hope to have the voter breakdown after SEC Media Days this week.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Two memorable plays should’ve been in this list:
    1) 1993 in Spurrier’s first loss in The Swamp, the Gators pulled within 4 points with Jack Jackson’s bobbling catch in the north end zone, white noise until Ward-to-Dunn broke our hearts. I was on the 45, and never saw anything more intense.

    2) 1991, in when a battered Casey Weldon rolled right, to beaten up for an easy sprint, and chucked a would-be game winner into the end zone, broken up by a deflection by Del Speer and hit by Will White.

  2. CORRECTION: How winning the first SEC Title is not the number 1 home game of all time? Behind the three NC games, I consider it the biggest achievement in Gator history. I guess you have to be old enough to appreciate how big it was/is. Of course I still recognize the 1984/85 teams as SEC Campions.

  3. If we were to rank games rather than moments, the ’97 32-29 win over FSU would be #1 and taking advantage of playing UGA at home one time and whooping their arses would be #1A. This countdown was entertaining, but compared to the regular season, it was more like giving a starving dog a rubber bone. When is kickoff vs scUM?

  4. You always remember great moments in history. I was listening to the game as I drove with my family down Blanding Blvd in OP/Jax. I was entering the turning lane to get onto I-295 when he hit that block and I yelled so loud my family screamed, it was sooo intense! Miss that block and history would have been changed, no N.C.!

  5. OK. Now that we have concluded the countdown, what are we doing to prepare for the Miami Hurricanes?

    We need to build a secondary Swamp.

    We booked a resort beginning Aug. 24th, so I went to make reservations at King Gator’s on John’s Pass, and as huge as this 2 story bar & grill is, they are full up.

    I will try other venues in the next few days, but I have no problem watching THE GAME in our 2/2 apartment on the beach.

    Maybe, if we route them f’ers, we can do Florida Flop #2, just for fun! It’s sumthin ta do.

  6. Did I miss something?? I have been watching this count down, and eagerly looking forward to reading about THE greatest game ever played at Florida Field when Wilbur Marshall wreaked havoc on John Salisbury and the 1982 USC Trojans. Marcus Allen won the Heisman Trophy the year before, and the Trojans rolled into Florida Field a confident team. After we licked them 17-9, the overwhelming joy of the victory compelled Charley Pell to lead the team (and a few of us lucky enough to have skirted through the security guards and ran onto the field) on the only victory lap that the Gators have ever taken. I’ll never forget that lap, with 70,000 exuberant fans cheering “us” on!