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Florida’s COVID-19 spike is the latest unusual wrinkle to the Gators-LSU series

A brief history of the recent weirdness that has surrounded the Florida-LSU rivalry.
The Florida-LSU series has been full of fierce moments and, well, weird ones.
The Florida-LSU series has been full of fierce moments and, well, weird ones. [ Times (2018) ]
Published Oct. 15, 2020

If any Florida Gators game was going to be postponed this year, it had to be LSU. It’s the latest unusual development in a fierce but weird rivalry that has seen its share of unique developments over the past dozen years.

Related: Florida-LSU postponed because of Gators' COVID-19 spike

Here’s a quick summary, with some help from the Miami Herald and Sports Illustrated:

2009: Quarterback Tim Tebow’s status was in doubt after he sustained a concussion two weeks earlier against Kentucky. He was hospitalized at one point and couldn’t even watch TV during an off week. He played and led UF to a 13-3 win in a top-four showdown in Baton Rouge.

2011: The Gators were down two quarterbacks after John Brantley and Jeff Driskel injured their legs a week earlier against Alabama. Freshman Jacoby Brissett had never played before that start — a 41-11 loss.

2014: Days after coming off the bench to lead UF to a win over Tennessee, quarterback Treon Harris was suspended the Monday of LSU week after being accused of sexual assault. The complaint was later withdrawn.

Will Grier was off to a great start in 2015 before getting a year-long suspension at the start of LSU week.
Will Grier was off to a great start in 2015 before getting a year-long suspension at the start of LSU week.

2015: On the Monday of LSU week, UF announced that starting quarterback Will Grier faced a one-year suspension after failing an NCAA drug test. Harris started in Grier’s absence in a 35-28 loss in Baton Rouge.

2016: The looming threat of Hurricane Matthew led the Gators to postpone their home game against the Tigers. LSU accused UF of trying to avoid the matchup, which was pushed back a month and moved to Baton Rouge. UF won on a goal-line stand. “The way I look at it,” then-coach Jim McElwain said, “they got what they deserved.”

Related: Florida’s defense is on pace to be the program’s worst since World War II

2020: A COVID-19 outbreak at UF forces the game to be postponed from Saturday until Dec. 12.