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After 63 years, a storied game returns

A game this big is bound to cause traffic problems, so local police have called in reinforcements from Ocala, Palatka and Lake City to patrol University Avenue. The train out of Jacksonville _ the Atlantic Coastline Football Special _ is being held up to accommodate fans who plan to dine afterward.

The governors of Florida and Georgia will attend and the university president is hoping to pre-empt any rowdy behavior by banning

alcohol consumption at Florida Field.

It's not every day that Georgia and Florida play football in Gainesville. In fact _ after this game, on Oct. 31, 1931 _ it will be another 63 years before they meet here again.

That week, the athletic director at Yale predicted an early demise to this fad called college football, but you wouldn't have believed it standing inside brand-new, 22,000-seat Florida Field for the 1931 homecoming game.

The teams had first played one another in 1915, but the Florida-Georgia matchup was hardly a rivalry for the first decade. Florida never won; in fact, it hardly ever scored against the Bulldogs.

Not until 1928-30 had the Gators made things interesting. Each year Georgia came in with one of the nation's finest teams, and each year the Gators came up with a surprise. In '28, UF won in Savannah. In '29, UF won in Jacksonville. In '30, UF managed a 0-0 tie in Savannah.

Now in '31, it was the first-ever meeting in Gainesville and Georgia once again arrived undefeated.

"It was just like it is today," said Johnny Fountain, a quarterback/halfback on the '31 Gators. "The enthusiasm and the craziness was all there. There just weren't as many people."

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