UGA Football

Georgia’s seven greatest Cocktail Party moments

Lindsay Scott’s 93-yard touchdown propelled Georgia to a 26-21 win over Florida in 1980.
Lindsay Scott’s 93-yard touchdown propelled Georgia to a 26-21 win over Florida in 1980.

It’s time for Georgia and Florida to renew their annual rivalry, still affectionately referred to as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Georgia will be looking to end a three-game skid to Florida, with the Bulldogs’ last win coming in 2013.

But with a rivalry that dates all the way back to 1904 — or 1915 if you’re on the Florida side of things — the Bulldogs have recorded plenty of memorable wins.

Here are seven of the best Georgia moments in the history of the rivalry.

7. 1997: Ending the drought

Georgia entered this game a 20-point underdog and at risk of losing an eighth consecutive game to Florida. Prior to Steve Spurrier’s arrival as head coach in 1990, the Bulldogs had only lost four games in a row to the Gators. A loss here would have doubled it.

But Jim Donnan’s Bulldogs bowed up and shocked the region with a big victory. Mike Bobo threw for 260 yards and Robert Edwards rumbled for 124 yards and four scores. Oh, and player named Kirby Smart picked off two passes to help pull off the upset.

6. 1975: Appleby to Washington

Florida entered the game ranked 11th in the nation and held a late 7-3 lead over Georgia entering the final 3:12 of the game. The Gators still held hopes of capturing an outright SEC title but needed a win over the Bulldogs to do so.

But Georgia dashed those hopes thanks to a rare trick play called by head coach Vince Dooley. Dooley dialed up a tight end reverse pass, with Richard Appleby taking the ball on an end-around. Appleby then launched a deep pass down the field and hit Gene Washington in stride. Washington took the ball in for an 80-yard touchdown, which ultimately gave Georgia a 10-7 win.

5. 2012: World’s Largest Outdoor Turnover Party

The last time a second-year SEC head coach began a season 7-0 was in 2012, when Will Muschamp had the Gators unbeaten and ranked No. 2 in the nation entering this game. While Florida had played well on defense, the offense struggled mightily at times.

The Bulldogs’ defense made Florida pay in this aspect of the game. Georgia forced a whopping six turnovers in a 17-9 victory. The biggest came when it appeared tight end Jordan Reed was running for a touchdown. Linebacker Jarvis Jones came from behind and punched the football out, with Sanders Commings recovering it in the end zone with just over two minutes to go.

Georgia was able to come away with a big 17-9 victory in its last SEC East title season.

4. 1966: Stopping Spurrier

This is the game credited for Spurrier’s everlasting hate toward Georgia. As a player at Florida, Spurrier was in the midst of what would end with a Heisman Trophy. His worst game of the season came in Jacksonville against the Bulldogs.

Georgia picked off Spurrier three times and went on to win 27-10. The Bulldogs also sacked Spurrier repeatedly, with defensive lineman Bill Stanfill later delivering one of his best quotes to Loran Smith, in reference to his life growing up on a farm.

“Holding pigs for my dad to castrate was quite a challenge,” Stanfill said. “I can’t say that helped prepare me for football, but it sure did remind me an awful lot of sacking Steve Spurrier.”

3. 2007: “The Gator Stomp”

Georgia was in the midst of a two-game losing streak to Florida, and head coach Mark Richt decided he wanted to make an early emotional statement in this particular year’s game. In the week of practice, Richt told his team to get a celebration penalty after its first touchdown.

Well, when Knowshon Moreno jumped into the end zone, most of the team ran onto the field to join the offense in celebrating the score. Numerous flags flew out onto the field, with left tackle Trinton Sturdivant dancing enthusiastically while taunting the Florida players. Georgia drew two unsportsmanlike penalties after the play, which drew the ire of Florida head coach Urban Meyer.

But the celebration paid off for Georgia, which went on to win 42-30. Moreno ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns. The defense sacked quarterback Tim Tebow six times.

2. 1985: Knocking off No. 1

There is no greater feeling for a team than knocking off its rival when it is ranked No. 1. Well, that is just where Florida stood, for the first time in program history, after a big win over Auburn in 1985. While Florida had national championship aspirations, Georgia had other plans for its hated rival.

Both Keith Henderson and Tim Worley ran for more than 100 yards as Georgia blew Florida out 24-3. The loss would be Florida’s lone one of the season, which ended hopes of a national championship. While Georgia was unable to win a game after defeating Florida, it took great solace in knowing it dashed what could have been a big year for the Gators.

1.1980: “Run, Lindsay!”

It was the greatest play in Georgia history. It was also the greatest call in radio announcer Larry Munson’s storied career. Georgia was unbeaten but on the ropes late against the Gators in 1980. Trailing 21-20 with a little more than a minute left to play, the Bulldogs faced a third-and-11 at their own 7-yard line.

Georgia called “Left 76,” a play designed to go from quarterback Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott to get a first down. The Bulldogs got much, much more instead. Belue evaded the pass rush and found Scott over the middle of the field. Scott quickly turned upfield and ran past a horde of Florida defenders. He took the ball 93 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.

In the middle of his call, Munson exclaimed, “Run, Lindsay!” as the Georgia portion of the crowd erupted into louder screams. After the score, Munson had this to say:

“Well if you want a miracle, we just got one. ... I broke my chair, I came right through a chair, a metal steel chair with about a five inch cushion. I broke it. The booth came apart. The stadium, well, the stadium fell down. Now they do have to renovate this thing. They’ll have to rebuild it now. This is incredible. You know this game has always been called the World’s Greatest Cocktail Party, do you know what’s going to happen here tonight, and up at St. Simons and Jekyll Island, and all those places where all those Dog people have got these condominiums for four days? Man, is there going to be some property destroyed tonight!”

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