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Daily Football Fix: Florida's success

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports
Florida wide receiver Antonio Callaway runs to score the game-winning touchdown against Tennessee in the Gators' 28-27 win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sept. 26, 2015.

Our second installment of the Daily Football Fix is about Sept. 26. Of course, that's not a date that sticks in your head except that it is the scheduled opener for the Florida Gators in Oxford, Miss. Florida has only played 10 games in its history on that date. Here are the best five:

2015: Florida 28, Tennessee 27.

Everyone likes to talk about the 1993 FSU game being the best ever, but this might have been the best finish ever. The fourth-down pass for an unlikely TD from Will Grier to Antonio Callaway. The strange clock management by Tennessee coach Butch Jones. The timeout UF coach  Jim McElwain called on the Vols game-winning field goal that missed badly because Florida had too many men on the field. The kick that eventually missed winning the game by an inch. Unbelievable game.

1964, Florida 16, Miss. State 13.

This game was a long time ago and featured a sophomore quarterback named Steve Spurrier. This was back in the days when they would play a doubleheader each year in Jackson, Miss., and Florida was the night game. The Gators trailed 13-10, but Bobby Lyle tied it with a field goal with three minutes to play. Florida got the ball back and Lyle booted a 41-yard winner with a second to play. 

1959, Florida 14, Miss. State 13.

In his last season as Florida's coach Bob Woodruff started fast. He got off to a 3-0 start and that included a win over Mississippi State in Gainesville in the second game of the season. Florida was ranked as high as 17th. But over a five-game stretch, the Gators went 0-4-1 and Woodruff's contract was not renewed, paving the way for Ray Graves.

1998, Florida 51, Kentucky 35.

The Gators had been devastated by an overtime loss to Tennessee the week before, but the Wildcats were the cure. Doug Johnson and Jesse Palmer combined to throw for more than 400 yards. Kentucky certainly had a great offense with Tim Couch and receiver Craig Yeast went nuts with 206 receiving yards and a 100-yard kickoff return. It was in the news conference the following Tuesday that Spurrier invited all the media boys to practice to watch tackling drills.

2009: Florida 41, Kentucky 7.

While it was an easy win for the Gators, it came at a cost as Tim Tebow went down with a concussion and was seen being physically ill as he was carted off the field. Luckily, Florida had an open week and Tebow was ready to return the next week at LSU en route to an undefeated regular season. On the field that night, Florida rolled, scoring 31 points in the first quarter with Tebow accounting for three touchdowns.