This Day in Gator History: Sept. 18

The Florida Gators kicked of their 1965 season with a road win against the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, Ill., just north of Chicago.

Steve Spurrier would have a successful season and end up earning All-America honors at the end of his junior season. Spurrier played 62 percent of the offensive plays in the 1964 season as a sophomore and set records for the Gators in passing accuracy of .574 (65-114), Spurrier passed for 943 and ran for 146 and was the Gator punter. averaging 39.4 yards on 48 punts.

Florida had never seen one like Spurrier before he stepped on campus and 46 years later he may be the Gator of all Gators, particularly with what he did after returning to his alma mater as head coach in 1990.

Here’s the UPI recap of the 1965 Northwestern game played in Chicago:

CHICAGO (UPI) — The Florida Gators shuttled four full teams into service in steamy, 84-degree temperature Saturday to post a convincing 24-14 triumph over Northwestern.

It was the first opening day loss for the Wildcats in eight seasons and Florida gave the crowd of 32,248 little chance to cheer by wrapping up a 10-0 lead in the first 15 minutes.

The Gators, with Steve Spurrier and Harmon Wages alternating at quarterback, ran up a 24-0 margin before Northwestern managed to tally twice in the final 12 minutes.

Spurrier led Florida with 72 yards, passing three yards to end Charlie Casey to score once.

Then Spurrier wrapped up another scoring march in 15 plays with a one-yard touchdown lunge.

The Gators placed five on the All-SEC first team led by Spurrier. Joining the quarterback was Larry Gagner, Charlie Casey, Bruce Bennett and Larry Beckman. Casey, Bennett and Spurrier all were named to various All-American teams.

The Gators have played eight games on Sept. 18 and are 5-3 on This Day in Gator History.