Listen Now! Gators look to play spoiler against Georgia, inch closer to tying series record

Tim Walters
The Gainesville Sun
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Rarely do Florida and Georgia meet where this game has little meaning.

After then-No. 1 Alabama escaped the Swamp with a 31-29 victory on Sept. 18, the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” in Jacksonville took on added significance.

Unfortunately for the Gators, losses to Kentucky and LSU have left them with a 4-3 record as they prepare to play Georgia, which is now ranked No. 1 in the nation and hasn’t really been tested this season.

If the Florida team that played quarters 2 through 4 against Alabama shows up, hope can spring eternal for Gators fans.

But if the penalty-plagued team that lost to Kentucky or the porous defense that allowed 300 yards rushing to LSU is present, then Georgia will have a field day. They open a 14.5-point favorite.

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Which team will show up?

What can defensive coordinator Todd Grantham do to slow the Georgia offense?

Will Anthony Richardson finally get the reins of the team or will Emory Jones be back out there trying to kickstart the Florida offense?

To help answer these questions and more is Gainesville Sun columnist David Whitley, the latest guest on “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast.”

David will help break down this game and explain what has gone wrong for a team that had so much hope less than a month ago.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 02: A general view of TIAA Bank Field during a game between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs on November 02, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Florida vs. Georgia game is one that traces its roots back to 1915. Or is it 1904?

The University of Georgia's athletic department considers a 52–0 victory in 1904 against a school known as the University of Florida to be part of the series. However, this was not the modern University of Florida in Gainesville, but one of its four predecessor institutions: a school based in Lake City that was known as Florida Agricultural College before 1903.

Florida's University Athletic Association does not include this game in the series record as it occurred before the modern university was established by the Florida Legislature with the Buckman Act of 1905 and before the new school in Gainesville fielded its first football team in 1906.

Got all that?

If you choose not to count that game, then 1915 is a game both schools recognize, with Georgia winning that one, too.

Florida and Georgia have played every season since 1926 except for a war-time interruption in 1943. It has been held in Jacksonville since 1933, with only two exceptions, making it one of the few remaining neutral-site rivalries in college football.

Georgia won the first seven (or six) times they played. Florida got its first win against the Bulldogs in 1928.

2 Nov 1996: Florida Gators head coach Steve Spurrier gives instructions to running back Fred Taylor during a game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Jacksonville Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. Florida won the game, 47-7.

Until 1990, Georgia had dominated the rivalry, for the most part, with the exception of the mid-50s to the mid-60s.

When Steve Spurrier became Florida’s head coach, things quickly turned in the Gators’ favor.

From 1990-2010, Florida won 18 of 21 meetings. The Gators also won last year, snapping a three-game losing streak in the series.

Georgia leads the all-time series 53-44-2, if you count that disputed 1904 game.

There’s your history lesson for today. And make sure to check out the podcast.

Isn’t listening so much easier than reading?

We can be downloaded wherever you listen to podcasts, or simply type in “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast” into your favorite search engine and you’ll find several options to listen on, including Spotify. We also can be found on any of the 17 USA TODAY-Network Florida websites.

If you like it, you can check out previous shows, which feature current and former professional athletes and coaches, as well as our stable of journalists who cover beats and write columns, all of whom have a tie to the Sunshine State.

Contact Walters at twalters@gannett.com

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