Today is Thursday, which means there are just two more days until the 2015 season…two more, sounds surreal, to know we are the dawning of a new age of Florida Gators football.
And most of us went to bed knowing who our quarterback will be for the 2015 season opener. We will get to that later though.
Florida Gators in the Past
Looking back through the 109 years of Florida Gators football there have been six games played on the 3rd of September through the years, the first being 82 years ago today when the Gators took on the powerful Stetson Hatters at Florida Field.
The Gator coach was D.K. Stanley who was starting his first season as the Gators coach. Coach Stanley would go one to coach three season with the Gators (1933-1935).
Coach Stanley went 5-3-1 in 1933, 6-3-1 in 1934, but tumbled to 3-7-0 in 1935.
When he was hired as the new coach he was only 26 years old. He had returned to Gainesville in 1931 after stints as a high school teacher in Jacksonville and Daytona Beach. When he returned he was hired as an instructor at the University of Florida as well assistant coach to Charlie Bachman.
The Bachman led Gators struggled to a 3-6 record in 1932 so Bachman resigned prompting the hiring of the 26 year-old Stanley.
The Gators started their 1933 season with a 28-0 win over the Hatters of Stetson University. The Gators first played Stetson in 1908 and the series concluded in 1953. The series ending with the Gators having a commanding 15-2-2 lead over Stetson (aren’t you glad you found that out).
The 1933 season was the initial year for SEC football.
It would be fifty years before the Gators played another game on the 3rd of September when they took on the Miami Hurricanes.
The Gators had an easy time with the Hurricanes in 1983 winning 28-3. The Hurricanes would nor stumble again in 1983 behind Bernie Kosar and at season’s end they defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the national championship.
Of course the following season the Canes beat the Gators 32-20 and that was the final loss of the season for the Gators
In fact, the loser of this game in 1983, 1984 and 1985 would only lose that one game in each of the season2.
The 1983 season was the first time the Gators were ranked in the Top 10 of the final AP poll in team history.
The final four games which were played on September 3rd were all wins and all against cupcakes. The games were against Montana State (1988) 69-0, New Mexico State (1994) 70-21, Wyoming (2005 Urban’s first game) and Florida Atlantic (2011) 41-3.
So the Gators are a perfect 6-0 against their September 3rd opponents with an overall score of 268-41.
New coach info!
The Gators have had 24 first games under a new head coach, so far we are 18-6. However, we have had four previous coaches who had three letters in the their first name, Ron Zook, Ray Graves, Bob Woodruff, Tom Sebring) who all won their first games.
The last two coaches who lost their first game were both named Charlie and Charley (Strong and Pell). Charles J. McCoy also lost his first game (10-10-1914).
This Season in Florida Gators Football
Was anyone else caught by surprise by the announcement of Treon Harris as the starting quarterback? Well, I was, and I guess it was one of those Muschamp flashbacks when he trotted Driskel and Brissett out at the same time to start the 2012 season. So any of us should have realized that Head Coach Jim McElwain is not the clown Will Muschamp was and there was going to be a starter and Coach Mac chose to announce earlier than we as fans had expected.
I am still excited for the season and am looking forward to football with a good offense not just offensive football.
Frankly I would have loved to have watched what Jeff Driskel would have done with a team with an offense and a coach.
Since 1990 the State of Florida is the home of eight national titles. Florida and Florida State have three each with Miami having two.
Florida has ten SEC Championship game appearances. The Gators are 7-3, Alabama is 5-4 with all four losses to the Gators (1993, 1994, 1996 and 2008), Of course, all three Gator losses were to Alabama (1992, 1999 and 2009.)
Correction from yesterday’s article in that I named 1989 as the year of ten losses when it was of course 1979.
Remember, whether you’ve got your own teeth of not keep smiling everybody.
From 1983 when the Gators were knocking off the Miami Hurricanes this was the #1 song in the nation.