Florida Gators football fans have one more day and then it is the season opener for 2015. There is a lot of excitement surround the Gators as the season edges ever so close. It is not so much excitement over anticipated titles and record breaking wins. It is the excitement of a new beginning or a fresh start. The last three years we all wanted to believe the team was going to be better, but for the most part, our belief was more in wanting not to fail than thinking we would really be competitive throughout an entire season.
As the old song would say, happy days are here again. While we do not know if happy days will translate to win, we do feel that happier days are indeed here if for no other reason than to not have to consider time of possession as the road to success along with moral victories.
There is a lot going on in Gators sports this weekend so we will preview the events of Friday after we take a look back at September 4th is Gator football history.
Through the years
One of the areas I wanted to make sure of when I wrote this column each day was accuracy and the last two days I have missed the mark on that.
On September 2nd I had one of those brain malfunctions when I typed in 1989 instead of the accurate 1979 I was writing about. I will attempt to do better in my typing.
The other was yesterday.
I listed the Stetson game of 1933 as a September 3rd game. However, that was not accurate.
I first saw that Stetson University game when I had started writing some of the September stories. I told myself to make sure to go back and double check the media guide to insure I did not have a typo.
I did check the guide on Wednesday night and sure enough the date of that game was listed as 9/3 in 1933. I even took note that the second game was played on 10/7 which would have been over a month later.
I then did a Google search and found some other sites that referred to that game as being played on 9/3, so I used that date.
Once the story ran I did some research to find some images to post on the forums that would go with the story. That is when I saw a poster of the 1933 schedule and it had the Stetson game as 9/30 which of course would be a week before that second game of 1933. I then looked at the url of the site posting the poster and it was from ufl.edu so I knew it was accurate.
So anyhow, that is the story of those two factual errors that I made.
In our 109 years of football history the Gators have played four games on the 4th of September and they all seem to line up with our schedule trends, which means they have been played since 1982.
Following another trend, which does not give these stories many exciting choices for games, we have played three cupcakes in the four games of September 4.
The 1982 game was played against the Miami Hurricanes. For Florida Gators fans that Miami game was known as being the game of the catch. This is taken from a GatorZone story:
- 1982 – Florida 17, Miami 14. Behind Peace, the Gators drove 61 yards in six plays, capped by fullback James Jones’ leaping, one-handed, 17-yard touchdown to give UF what Pell called, “one of the greatest, most rewarding wins we’ve had in the history of Florida football.”
I would post a video of it, but Gator fans have looked on the internet for years wanting to relive that amazing catch and comeback win of 1982.
One observation I have from that time and that is the play of Wayne Peace. Wayne was really a Gator great, but he had the same problem every quarterback before him had, he did not win the SEC. Spurrier had much more of a legacy in the years up till 1985 because he had the Heisman and was a great QB, but Peace was too for the era he played in.
The other three September 4 games were against Arkansas State 44-6 (1993), Western Michigan 55-26 (1999) and Miami University (Ohio) 34-12 (2010).
The Florida Gators are an undefeated 4-0 on September outscoring our opponents 150-58.
Today in Gator Sports
Well, as I previously wrote, we do have a busy weekend in Florida Gators sports. Todays schedule is:
Volleyball: The #4 Gators have a match vs #11 Oregon at 4:00 this afternoon. They are playing in the VERT Challenge in Austin, Texas. You can listen via ESPN Gainesville Radio 850AM/95.3 FM. There will be live stats via the link at Gatorzone.com. Live stream is on the Longhorn Network so it may be on WatchESPN
- Cross Country: The men and women’s cross country teams will be participating in the Appalachian State Invitational at Boone, NC. The meet is scheduled to begin at 5:30.
- Soccer: Will open their home season with a match against Oklahoma State. The Gators are ranked #8 and are coming off their second straight win over Florida State. The Gators are 3-1, while the Oklahoma State team is 2-1.
The 7:00 match will be aired on ESPN Radio Gainesville 850AM/95.3FM and will be streamed on the SEC+ Network.
#1 This date
Whether you’ve got your own teeth or not keep smiling everybody…
In honor of the magical catch of James Jones from Wayne Peace in 1982