Gators, Bulldogs share memoris of Florida-Georgia rivalry
The Florida-Georgia game may not have any national implications in the grand scheme of college football, but for those participating in today's game, it's still a very big deal. The series is Florida’s most-played in program history and today’s marks the 99th meeting between the two. Georgia has a 46-39-2 series record.
Here, some of the players and coaches share their experiences and fondest memories of this storied rivalry.
GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT
“My first memory, I’d never been to one of those and I can’t remember sitting there watching the game on TV and noticing how the crowd was split. For some reason, I thought the crowd would be split from the 50-yard line, and that would be the place where they would divide and one end zone would be one team and the other end zone would the other team and everything in-between - which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but that’s kind of what I was picturing when I went there. Of course, it was split right down the end zones, so at your back our sideline is covered with your fans, which does make more sense . . It became pretty obvious real quick where everybody was sitting and the amount of electricity that’s generated in that type of setting. When we’ve got the ball they’re going nuts, and when they’ve got the ball, we’re going nuts – our fan bases. So there’s constant noise, constant fans just trying to make a difference. In a home game, they’re quiet when we’ve got the ball and they’re loud when the other team has it. So you have a little lull in the action with the crowd noise, but in this game it’s just nonstop. It’s very intense and it’s pretty electric.’’
FLORIDA SENIOR LINEBACKER BRANDON HICKS
“I grew up going to the games. It’s a big thing in Jacksonville. If you’re from Jacksonville, Florida was everything and it was like the city was split up between Georgia fans and Florida fans before the game even started. You’d see people walking around in the mall or the city with Florida and Georgia shirts on. It’s a big thing, it’s a big game. . . Then last year, when I finally started and I got to play, on the second or third play I was out there, I pulled my hamstring and I was out for the rest of the game. That was a hurtful memory. So I wanted to get back to that point where I’m good. I’m 100 percent and I want to go out there and play as hard as I can.’’
FLORIDA COACH URBAN MEYER
"The old Gators, this is the one they’re most concerned with. I found that out when I first got here. This is a rivalry I grew up watching so I have a lot of great respect for it. In the past few years, I think one year it was No. 1 vs. No.3. It’s kind of like the SEC East went through it, it looks like that might be the case this year. And I think the success the two programs have had with some of these great players. I grew up watching this rivalry, Herschel Walker and Lindsay Scott. That deal in the '90’s with Steve Spurrier and some of those great players. So I think the whole country watches this. And then the arena, 50-50- fans, all the tailgating and all the stuff going on.’’
FLORIDA SENIOR CENTER MIKE POUNCEY
“This is one of our biggest rivals of the year and we take this game very seriously. It’s a great game, the atmosphere, pulling into the stadium it takes forever to get to the game. It’s one of the best games of the year. You don’t really need no motivation to go play Georgia.’’
GEORGIA QUARTERBACK AND TAMPA PLANT ALUM AARON MURRAY
“I know it’s a crazy rivalry. Growing up in Florida, I got that side of it. I’m not really acclimated too much to Georgia fans and their side of the rivalry. It’s a great rivalry, great game, two great teams every year. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited. I can’t wait.''