25 Best Moments in The Swamp: No. 11 — Tip of the hat to Percy

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Florida's Percy Harvin grabs a Tim Tebow pass after LSU's Danny McCray tipped it during the first quarter of the Oct. 11, 2008 game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun]

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. 11 — Oct. 11, 2008

The tip drill works

The set-up: Florida was facing a huge game against No. 4 LSU and the 11th-ranked Gators knew they couldn’t afford another loss. Tim Tebow was so fired up he gave a loud pep talk to the fans as he bounced through the Gator Walk. LSU was coming off consecutive conference wins over Auburn and Mississippi State.

The moment: The crowd was standing on its head at the start of this game with Florida getting the ball first. The first two plays went for minus-two yards, but on third-and-12, Tebow dropped back and forced a deep ball for Percy Harvin, who was behind his defender — safety Danny McCray. McCray jumped up and got his hand on the ball, tipping it directly to Harvin, who sprinted through the defense for a 70-yard score 1:38 into the game.

The result: Florida jumped out to a 17-0 lead and would win the game 51-21. The Gators would win out, taking the SEC title game over Alabama and the national title game against Oklahoma.

The quote: “As I remember, it was something we saw in the coverage of LSU on film. We knew if we could get Percy matched up on their nickel, he could beat him. I mean, Percy could beat just about anybody. It was such a big game and such an incredible atmosphere that we wanted to hit it early. The ball was a little underthrown by Timmy and got tipped, but once it got in Percy’s hands, look out!” — Dan Mullen.

Editor’s note: You have one Swamp game moment that comes to mind? Tell us what it is.Maybe it’s already on our Top 25 list. We’ll update readers on top moments from fans as the countdown proceeds.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Best Moments vs LSU seem to be adding up, so when is our game with them going to be touted as a rivalry that’s as fierce as we had annually with Auburn and have with Georgia? Cuz one thing I know, especially after the rescheduling of games affected by the hurricane and their disparaging remarks toward us, is I do not like LSU at all.

      • GATOR 6: FORGIVE, yes. Forget–NEVER. That game in Baton Rouge is on my Top 10 list of Great Gator games. At the top is Florida 59, Houston 35 in 1969, first game of the season when Houston was ranked No. 1 and nobody had ever heard of John Reaves (RIP) and Carlos Alvarez. 2nd play of the game: 85 yards Reaves to Alvarez. The score was like 35-7 at the half an I was watching ABC televise some other game (way b4 ESPN et. al) and listening to Otis Boggs on radio. ABC’s Chris Schenkel said, on air, “Better check that score. It’s probably Houston 35, Fla. 7.” Sorry to reminisce but it’s the 50th anniversary of Florida’s ARRIVAL in big-time college football. I was just 10. Gators went 9-1-1 that year and beat TENN. in bowl game.

  2. This game was in ‘08! Honestly, how do you get that wrong?! Every gator fan knows the ‘01 and ‘09 seasons are our missing National Championship years. Those years should be on south end zone’s facade, especially ‘09. I mean, you still see the empty spot they have for it right next to ‘08. And since I’m complaining, there should be a statue of Rex outside stadium too. Eric Crouch Heisman winner?! 🤮 If your bored, go look back at their stats and compare.

  3. Three Gators have storied history. These are great moments from the swamp era. There are many more. Was at that game. That team was somethin to watch. They had a feel about them. Something about the chemistry between the coaches, players and the leadership coaches and players. I feel that with the coaches again I hope the players get there.

    • Just got back from Lowes in Killeen, and who did I run into but a guy all decked out in Gator regalia from head to toe — did a double take since while you guys back home see it all the time, it’s as rare as snow out in this part of Texas. Turns out the fellow is an ex-tanker, now an FBI Special Agent here. I told him about GatorSports of course, and he plans to check it out. Think he graduated in 2002….how ’bout that?

  4. ANY win or mention of a previous win over lswho is a good-no check that-GREAT article!! I can’t stand ’em and hope they lose every game. They dam sure can’t stand UF, mainly because of all of those ARSE-whuppings my man Spurrier used to put on them. Joe Burrow has been talking a lot of crap to anyone who sticks a mic in his mug about their offense for this year and how they’re gonna score 50+ points a game. Yeah. Riiiiiight. GEAUX GATORS!!!