This Day in Gator History: Sept 23

Florida Gator head coach Ray Graves began his second season as the Gators’ coach when they opened against Clemson in Gainesville.

One of my all-time favorite players from that era was Lindy Infante. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple time and he was really a nice person and did a nice job with the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL.

Here’s a UPI dispatch on the game:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Halfback Lindy Infante snagged a scoring pass and sneaked over twice for three touchdowns Saturday in leading Florida to a 21-17 victory over stubborn Clemson before a crowd of 42,000.

All three scores were set up by free-slinging Larry Libertore, the Gators 138-pound spark-plug quarterback. Libertore, a doubtful starter because of a sprained ankle, kept the Tiger defense guessing all afternoon with his weaving runs, aerials and deceptive handoffs.

Libertore pulled off the big and deciding play when he heaved a long wobbly pass to halfback Bob Hoover, who was pulled down on the Tiger 1. Infante sneaked over for the Gators’ third touchdown.

In the second half it looked like the Gators might pull far ahead, but with Clemson trailing 21-10, Anderson led the Tigers to the Florida 3. Halfback Wendell Black drove over for the touchdown.

The second Florida touchdown was made from less than a yard out by Infante. This score was set up on the passing of Libertore and a weaving 25-yard run by the little Gator.

Clemson broke the scoring ice with less than five minutes left in the first period on a 13-yard field goal by guard Lon Armstrong.

The Gators have been very successful on Sept. 23rd games, going 9-1.  The teams they have played on this date do not exactly read like a “Who’s Who of College Football,” but it is an interesting list to be sure: Florida Southern 16-0 (1926), Stetson 21-0 (1939), Mayport NAS 36-6 (1944), The Citadel 21-17 (1950), Clemson 21-17 (1961), Illinois 14-0 (1967), SMU 14-21 (1972), Memphis 38-13 (1989), Kentucky 59-31 (2000) and Kentucky 26-7 (2006).