This week is possibly the last time that you will see a Florida/Miami game for a while.
Gator Country wanted to do something extra for this game, so we caught up with former Florida Gator receiver and former Miami Hurricane coach, Aubrey Hill.
“I wasn’t able to play in the game but I coached in one of the games,” Hill said. “When I was at Miami when we went to Gainesville and Urban was the coach and Randy Shannon was the coach. We went up there and Miami had a pretty good defense and Florida had a great defense and scored enough points with Tebow to win the game.”
For a guy like Hill, who has been on both sides of the game, he doesn’t consider this a true rivalry simply because the two teams don’t play every year any longer.
“It’s an in-state rivalry,” Hill said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a rivalry game just because it’s not played every year. Florida has a great history, Miami has a great history, I know there’s a lot of respect for both teams.
With the game being between two schools who have players that know each other from high school, the game is a special one despite the coaches saying it’s just another game.
“You approach it just as another game but every player and every coach knows what’s at stake,” Hill said. “There’s a little more pep in the step from the players standpoint. All of those variables come into play when you play any big game, any in-state game and clearly any rivalry game. Early on in the year, whether it’s fans or alumni and everyone associated with the university, it’s on their football calendar every year. This has been circled on Florida’s calendar; it’s been circled on Miami’s calendar.”
Fans from both Florida and Miami both want the bragging rights for not only their school, but also their conference.
Fans from the SEC and ACC want to brag about their conference but according to Hill, the bragging rights and the affect the game has on recruiting is more important.
“When you have so many players that are either playing on the same team or playing against each other, there’s so much to play for,” Hill said. “I don’t think the conference mindset is the first thing that comes to mind, I think it comes down to the bragging rights and also it has a huge play in recruiting. I still think you have two strong conferences but I think what it comes down to is it’s an in-state game that has huge implications in recruiting, at the end of the day it’s another win and it really puts you in the direction you want to go in.”
With all of that being said and the game being potentially the last one of the series, Hill says he wishes that the game would continue.
“I think it’s great for college football so, yes, I want it to continue,” Hill said. “But I do understand from both universities point of view that with their conference demands it’s always going to be unique and hard to make it feasible.”
After talking about all of the things that go along with this game, at the end of the day it’s still a football game. Hill broke down what it’s going to take to win this game.
“We always don’t give enough credit but it always starts up front,” Hill said. “It’ll be a line of scrimmage game; the one who controls the line of scrimmage will definitely have the advantage. Whoever controls each other’s line of scrimmage, if the defensive line of Florida is playing well, then I give them the advantage. Then it all comes up to the playmakers. Like always, the most disciplined team, the most well-conditioned team, if it’s a contest in the fourth quarter, and the team that executes the best. Like always, it comes down to turnovers when you’re talking about any game.”
After talking with Aubrey Hill about everything, Gator Country asked the former Gator to give his prediction on the game.
“I’m staying out of that,” Hill said. “Both schools gotta come recruit my school and my players. I’m not even gonna say a prediction, I don’t want any quotes about a prediction.”