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SOUTHERN FOOTBALL FRIDAYS: Scott’s Play, Spurrier’s Zingers Top Georgia-Florida Classsic

Given the fact Georgia and Florida will be teeing it up in Jacksonville on Saturday, it’s appropriate we take a look back at this classic.

Few would argue that Lindsay Scott’s 93-yard catch-and-run in the 1980 game is the top moment in the series’ history.

Flash back 30 years. Just over a minute registered on the Gator Bowl clock and undefeated Georgia trailed 21-19. That’s when Bulldogs quarterback Buck Belue delivered a short pass to Scott. He avoided one tackler then won a foot race to the end zone. Famed Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson’s voice accompanied Scott as listeners heard “Run Lindsay” for the length of his journey.

Scott’s winning touchdown proved to be the pivotal point in the Bulldogs’ immaculate season that culminated with a national championship.

“Gatorade logo before 2009” by Gatorade “Gatorade logo before 2009” by Gatorade

In addition to owning the top play from the series, the Dawgs own barking rights to my favorite joke, which was told after they handed the Gators a 51-0 defeat in 1968.

Question: What’s the difference between Gatorade and Bulldog Punch?”

Answer: “Fifty-one points.”

Cue up the laugh track.

As for the Gators, Steve Spurrier gives them a decided edge in coach smack. The Ole Ball Coach delivered some beauties. Here are my favorites.

Following the Gators’ 45-13 win in 1991, Spurrier noted:

“Why is it that during recruiting season [the Bulldogs] sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don’t understand that. What happens to them?”

Steve Spurrier, circa 1999 Steve Spurrier, circa 1999

When the Gators traveled to Athens in 1995 as the Gator Bowl underwent renovations, Spurrier called a pass play that led to a touchdown in the waning moments of a 52-17 Gators route. Later he justified his decision when he said:

“We knew coming in nobody had scored 50 against them here, so that’s what we wanted to do. This may be the only time in our lifetime that Florida plays here, so we wanted to make it memorable for the Gators.”

Finally, my favorite.

Spurrier told reporters after yet another win over the Bulldogs that he’d received a middle-finger salute from a fan as he ran into the tunnel following the game. Spurrier surmised from the gesture, “Must have been a good day for the Gators!”

bchastain19@gmail.com

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Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bobby Ross. The former college and pro football coach led Georgia Tech to a share of the national championship in 1990 and later led the San Diego Chargers

©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography