Florida Gators Football: A Look at 10 Stars of Previous Florida-Georgia Games
It is one of the most talked about rivalries in college football.
Yes, neither Florida nor Georgia will be playing for a BCS national championship this season, but, nonetheless, "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" will fill Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville with fans wearing orange and blue, as well as red and black.
Numerous outstanding talents have competed in this annual game, and each school can claim (with legitimacy) it has produced the greatest player in college football history (UF with Tim Tebow, UGA with Herschel Walker).
Here is a look at how five standouts from each team fared in this contest.
Best known as a former World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment grappler, Bill Goldberg also played on the defensive line for Georgia from 1986-89.
Florida won the 1986 contest, 31-19, but it was all Bulldogs the next three years.
In 1987 the score was 23-10. In 1988 it was 26-3, and in 1989, the 'Dawgs won 17-10.
A funny aside to this is that many Gator players at the time have claimed that Goldberg was the dirtiest player they ever faced.
Now a National Football League analyst for ESPN, Lomas Brown was a Gator offensive lineman from 1981-84.
The anchor of UF's "Great Wall of Florida" in 1984, Brown and fellow future NFLers Crawford Ker and Jeff Zimmerman blocked for fellow future pros Kerwin Bell (quarterback), John L. Williams (fullback) and Neal Anderson (tailback).
The Gators went 1-3 against the Bulldogs while Brown was in Gainesville.
Georgia won the 1981 game, 26-21, the 1982 game, 44-0, and the 1983 game, 10-9. However, playing on one of the best teams in UF history (probation kept Florida out of the national title hunt), the Gators topped the 'Dawgs, 27-0, in 1984.
Throughout its proud history, Georgia has produced a plethora of outstanding running backs among them was Tim Worley.
A Bulldog from 1985-88, Worley went 3-1 against the Gators.
Perhaps his most memorable game as a Bulldog came in 1985, when he and fellow tailback Keith Henderson each rushed for more than 100 yards, as Georgia topped Florida (ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history), 24-3. Included in that 125-yard day for Worley was an 89-yard touchdown run.
The Bulldogs also won the 1987 (23-10) and 1988 (26-3) games, while UF took the 1986 game, 31-19.
Possessing one of the strongest arms in school history, Rex Grossman was a Gator from 1999-2002.
Playing under both Steve Spurrier and Ron Zook, Florida went 4-0 against Georgia with Grossman on the roster.
UF won the 1999 game, 30-14, the 2000 game, 34-23, the 2001 game, 24-10, and the 2002 game, 20-13.
Before he became one of the NFL's best defensive backs of the last generation, Champ Bailey played cornerback and wide receiver for Georgia from 1996-98.
Also a punt and kickoff returner, Bailey departed for the NFL after his junior year . While a Bulldog, Bailey's teams went 1-2 against the Gators, losing 44-7 in 1996 and 38-7 in 1998.
The Bulldogs won the 1997 contest, 37-17.
Just recently retired as an NFL running back, Fred Taylor was a student in Gainesville from 1994-97, winning a national championship along the way.
The Gators went 3-1 against Georgia with Taylor in uniform. They won the 1994 game, 52-14, the 1995 game, 52-17, and the 1996 game, 47-17, before falling 37-17 in 1997.
Taylor was inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame in 2008.
Before he became the No. 1 overall selection of the 2009 NFL Draft, Matthew Stafford was Georgia's starting quarterback from 2006-08. He was the first quarterback straight out of high school to start for the Bulldogs as a true freshman since Eric Zeier in 1991 (Quincy Carter started as a true freshman in 1998, but he had played professional baseball).
While in Athens, Stafford's teams went 1-2 against the Gators.
Florida won the 2006 game, 21-14, and the 2008 game, 49-10. Stafford went 11-of-18 for 217 yards and three touchdowns (one for a career-long 84 yards to Mohamed Massaquoi) in leading the Bulldogs to a 42-30 victory against UF as a sophomore in 2007.
A Gator from 1988-92, Matthews was UF's starting quarterback in his final three seasons against Georgia.
In 1988, his redshirt year, Florida was defeated 26-3 by the Bulldogs. With Matthews not playing as a redshirt freshman in 1989, Georgia beat the Gators, 17-10.
However, the arrival of coach Steve Spurrier (and his subsequent placement of Matthews, formerly the fifth-string quarterback, into the starting lineup) altered UF's fortunes in a positive manner.
Florida topped the Bulldogs, 38-7 (1990), 45-13 (1991) and 26-24 (1992) with Matthews under center. He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting as a junior.
The only three-time All-American in Georgia's long line of great players, Pollack saw a promising NFL career unfortunately end early due to injury.
While a Bulldog, Pollack was one of the best (if not the best) defensive linemen in college football.
Recruited as a fullback (that is why he wore No. 47), Pollack was an end for Georgia from 2001-04, going 1-3 against Florida.
The 'Dawgs lost the first three meetings with Pollack on the roster, 24-10 (2001), 20-13 (2002, his first All-American season) and 16-13 (2003). The loss in 2002 may have cost UGa a shot at playing for the national championship.
However, he left Athens with a school-record 36 career sacks and on a good note in the rivalry, helping Georgia beat the Gators, 31-24, in 2004.
One of the most versatile talents in program history, Percy Harvin was a Gator from 2006-08.
Now a wide receiver/return man for the Minnesota Vikings, the Chesapeake, Va. native went 2-1 in games against the Bulldogs.
Florida won the 2006 contest, 21-14, and the 2008 game, 49-10. Georgia came out on top, 42-30, on Oct. 27, 2008. That game was remembered most for Bulldogs players stomping on the Gator end zone after scoring the first touchdown of the afternoon.
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