Rewind back to the 2007 Georgia-Florida contest.
In a move that served to rally the underdog Bulldogs and add fuel to the rivalry, the 2007 game will be remembered for "The Celebration", in which the entire Georgia team left the sideline after their first touchdown.
Although this did prove to pump the team up, Georgia was penalized with two personal fouls and was forced to kick off from their own 8 yard line. Georgia coach Mark Richt admitted that he ordered his team to draw a personal foul after their first touchdown or they would be subject to extra conditioning drills. The celebration drew two personal foul penalties and threw the entire stadium into an uproar. The risky move paid off for Richt, whose team fed off the preplanned shot in the arm and Knowshon Moreno’s 188 yards rushing in a 42-30 victory.
This 2007 game is also be known for big plays and a lot of points, as it was the first time in series history that both teams have ever scored 30 or more in the same game.
Last season’s game changed the intensity and dynamics of the Georgia-Florida rivalry. In the Georgia-Florida game in 2007, Georgia’s end zone celebration entrenched both sides into a rivalry that was fading because it has been so one-sided these past ten to fifteen years. The rivalry’s intensity is back and is in full tilt.
For the Georgia and fans, the rivalry means everything again. For the Florida football team and their fans. it means everything because they used last year’s end zone celebration as motivation all off-season. Finally, we will see if it will actually mean anything in the 2008 matchup.
SEC football means so much to everyone because things like this happen. This will live in history and football lore forever down here. This conference and these rivalry games are so much fun to watch.
Tim Tebow was a little bit nicked early on and no one, including Urban Meyer, talked about it. They kept it well-hidden that he had a little bit of a hyper-extended knee that he hurt early in the season. Did you wonder why Tebow was not running like last year, becoming more of a finesse runner than a power runner? Urban Meyer now says that he is finally 100% and that real Tebow is back.
This rivalry game features the two of the best college quarterbacks in the nation. This matchup features the best pro-style quarterback versus the best spread quarterback. Matthew Stafford stepped it up and gave us an authentic prime time performance in the Bulldogs’ win over LSU. Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy a year ago and has been a steady leader for the Gators in 2008. Tebow has the Heisman, but Stafford might have the more lucrative future. A preseason mock draft by SI.com projected Stafford as the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft.
Each quarterback has lost five games as a starter:Stafford in 30 games and Tebow in 20. One of Stafford's losses was a 21-14 setback against Florida in 2006, when he completed only 13 of 33 passes with two interceptions. However, now Stafford could guide the Bulldogs to back-to-back victories over Florida for the first time since 1989. Of course, Tebow is hoping for a turnaround from last year’s loss to Georgia.
Earlier this week, Tebow and Stafford were selected as semifinalists for the 2008 Davey O'Brien Award, an honor given to the nation's top quarterback. The juniors are tied for the SEC lead with 12 TD passes apiece, are the only SEC QBs in the top 40 nationally in passer rating, and rank 1-2 in total offense in the league while guiding the SEC's top two scoring offenses.
Both offenses will be a challenge to the opposition defenses. Will the team with the better offense or will the team with the better defense win? As always, turnovers will be critical. Will either team generate a big play via special teams?
Now, here is a little rivalry history.
Following the 2007 contest, Georgia held a 46-37-2 advantage in the all-time series. However, Florida has gone 15-3 in the game since 1990 to follow a similar 15-5 domination by Georgia through the 70s and 80s. There is a disagreement in regard to the overall series record. University of Florida records indicate the series record with Georgia stands at 46-37-2 in UGA’s favor. Georgia’s records indicate a 47-37-2 lead, which includes a 52-0 Bulldog win in a game played in Macon, Georgia, in 1904. However, Florida did not field an official team until 1906.
In conclusion, here is a sober note.
Due to sensitivity about consumption of alcohol by college students, the game is no longer called "The World's Largest Cocktail Party" and is now officially known as the Florida-Georgia/Georgia-Florida game, depending on which team is the home team in a given year. Additionally, in May 2006, the Southeastern Conference asked the three networks which broadcast SEC football games not to use the moniker "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," as it conveys a message regarding consumption of alcohol that the schools do not desire. Despite these efforts, three people have died in UF/UGA related partying downtown since the 2004 game.
I have no earthly idea who will win this game. Florida may have a slight emotional edge due to “The Celebration,” but on the other hand, stopping both Moreno and Stafford is very difficult. I expect the scoreboard to be lit up, with a final score of 41-38. The winner may be who has the ball last. However, for entertainment purposes, I will post the points that each team scored on LSU.
Go Georgia Bulldogs!
The Silver Fox Forecast: Georgia 52, Florida 51
Quote of the Day:
Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home.
--Bill William Henry Cosby