Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 and we are three days from the kickoff of the Florida Gators 110th season of football.
Florida Gators in the Past
Following the script of the past three days, there have not been many games played by the Florida Gators on September 2nd in the last 109 seasons. The Gators have on played three games on this date, but on a day like October 11 the team has played 14 games on that date.
Also, as we have seen the dates so far have been laced with wins and over-matched opponents. However, our history is ours and all we can do is remember and move forward.
The three opponents we have face on September 2nd are the Houston Cougars (1995), Ball State Cardinals (2000) and the Southern Miss Eagles (2006).
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the 1995 game was that the Cougar coach was Kim Helton was a former Florida Gator football player and later a coach under Doug Dickey. When Steve Spurrier left the Gators to dip his toe into the angry waters of the NFL he hired Helton to be his offensive line coach.
Spurrier and Helton were teammates at Florida but Spurrier was a senior and Helton a freshman on the freshman team (1966).
In 1995 the Helton led Cougars won two games, one of them was not against the Gators, who defeated Houston 45-21.
The 2000 season opener against Ball State was a 40-19 Gator win over the Cardinals, which may have been somewhat of a moral victory for the Ball State. It was Ball State’s 17th straight loss.
Jesse Palmer threw for 327 yards while Rex Grossman added 32 in mop up duty. Robert Gillespie ran for 112 yards.
The year 2000 was Spurrier’s last SEC title year….at any school.
Florida began its 2006 BCS Championship season with a 34-7 win over the Southern Miss Eagles.
This item was found in the post-game notes on GatorZone.com
- Freshman quarterback Tim Tebow entered the game at the end of the third quarter. He is the sixth true freshman to play quarterback for the Gators in the last 10 seasons. The others have been Josh Portis (2005), Chris Leak (2003), Brock Berlin (2000), Jesse Palmer (1997) and Doug Johnson (1996). Leak, Portis and Johnson all played in their respective season openers.
Finally, from that 2006 game was this quote Freshman Wide Receiver Percy Harvin
- On starting in his first game “All week we went through our walk through with the normal personnel. It did not include me, but during the play they called my number and I just ran out there. It’s a great feeling getting out there and play with these great wide receivers.”
This Season in Florida Gators Football
This is the time of the year, three days before the opening of another University of Florida football season where my optimism begins to kick my pessimism in the rear end. I am neither a predictor, nor an analyst, but I do think this season will be closer to Spurrier’s first season in 1990 than Pell’s in 1979.
That does give the Gators a huge area to find a landing spot. In 1989 we lost ten games and we lost two in 1990. So, if I am correct and we land closer to Spurrier than we do Pell, the Gators would not lose more than five games, losing six would put the Gators right in the smack dab middle of the two.
I think it will be a nice soft landing…
Between now and Saturday when the Philadelphia Eagles make their final cut (or they could do it Friday) there will be a boatload of predictions on Tim Tebow’s status as to making the Eagles’ 53 man roster.
One prediction I read today was that if Barkley gets a ton of snaps in Thursday’s last pre-season game that would bode well for Tebow as it would show that the Eagles have made up their mind and are just showcasing Matt Barkley.
I think the Eagles’ keep Tim and my reasoning is that I just don’t think that Head Coach Chip Kelly can cut Tim Tebow because a coach cannot cut a player he calls Timmy, unless he gives up his man card at the same time.
So come Sunday morning Timmy Tebow will be an Eagle.
Back to current Gators, the player I am looking most forward to watching this season is Brandon Powell and it started with his trip to SEC Media days in July.
It has been four years since we had a coach that could get a player into wide open spaces (five if you just count healthy coaches) and I think this will be a spark for the Gators and their quarterback play be it QB-A or QB-Z. Or as I refer to them as the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end.
Which player are you looking forward to seeing the most and make it from a production standpoint, be it offense or defense?
Here is that grand Gator entrance. While it might just be me, this is a much better pregame than watching a man in his pajamas throwing a stick into the dirt.
The Gators all time record is 691-400-40. So getting to 700 wins might seem like the impossible dream, but we can get there!
Here is something to leave you with……
691-400-40 (108 years)
7-5 (4-4 3rd in SEC East)
First Season of Football:
3 (‘96, ‘06, ‘08)
8 (‘91, ‘93, ‘94, 95, ‘96, ‘00, ‘06, ’08)
Florida opens its 110th season of football against New Mexico State on Saturday, Sept. 5 at Florida Field. UF is 81-27 (.750) in season openers, including a 25-0 mark since 1990.
All of the above in italics is from the UAA. I have a small issue with that.
If you see at the all-time record we have completed 108 years, but this is our 110th season of football games. The UAA counts one year we did not play because of WWII (1943) as a season.
Always remember, whether you’ve got your own teeth or not keep smiling everybody.
Also, smile when we win and smile when lose, because we do not follow that team with the little man in his pajamas with his stick on fire.
#1 This date in 1990!