Top 5 goofs in Florida-Georgia history

October, 25, 2012
10/25/12
8:00
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It’s Florida-Georgia week, which means it’s time to take a look back at the annual series between the two Southeastern Conference rivals.

Each day this week, GatorNation will have a top five list that captures the colorful history of the series.

[+] EnlargeRon Zook
AP Photo/Scott A. MillerRon Zook was a bit confused when leading the Gators out of the tunnel against Georgia in 2003, unwittingly running to the wrong sideline.
Today’s list:

Top 5 goofs in series history:

Fourth and Dumb (1976)
This one’s a no-brainer to top the list. With Florida leading 27-20 in the third quarter, UF coach Doug Dickey decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Gators’ 29-yard line. Georgia DB Johnny Henderson stopped RB Earl Carr for no gain. The play got the Bulldogs going and they outscored Florida 21-0 after that to win 41-27.

Fifth-down field goal (1969)
Facing fourth-and-12 at the Georgia 20-yard line, Florida coach Ray Graves called a fake field goal. Back judge Jim Cole tried to blow his whistle to stop the play because he felt one of the photographers got too close to the field. Except the Gators snapped the ball before Cole could get the play stopped and the Gators ran the fake -- and it failed. But since Cole had blown the play dead, it didn’t count. Florida got another chance, and this time Richard Franco kicked a 37-yard field goal to give the Gators a 10-0 lead with 1:34 remaining in the first half.

The Gator Stomp (2007)
Georgia’s players rushed the end zone to celebrate RB Knowshon Moreno’s 1-yard touchdown run nine minutes into the game. It became known as the Gator Stomp and it sparked the Bulldogs to a 42-30 victory. Only it wasn’t supposed to happen. Coach Mark Richt had told his players before the game he wanted to see a pretty wild celebration when the Bulldogs scored a TD, but he had meant for it to happen on the sideline. The players misunderstood and rushed the field instead.

First game?
Georgia claims the first game in the series happened in 1904, which the Bulldogs won 52-0 in Macon, Ga. Florida says the first game came in 1915 because the school that played Georgia that day wasn’t the University of Florida. It was the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lake City, Fla. The University of Florida didn’t exist until 1905, when a bill in the state legislature reorganized higher education in the state and the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville, Fla., became the University of Florida. However, there are references to the University of Florida in newspapers in 1903 and ’04 and UF president Dr. T.H. Taliaferro referred to his school as the University of Florida back in 1903.

Wrong-way Ron (2003)
Florida coach Ron Zook was pretty fired up when he ran onto the field at Alltel Stadium with the players. Zook was in front of the group and took off at a near sprint out of the tunnel and headed for the sideline on the east side of the stadium. When he got there, he looked up and saw a lot of red and black. Oops. The Gators were on the west sideline. He quickly reversed direction and joined his team.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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