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Georgia Bulldogs Vs. Florida Gators: Series History

The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party — no, Mike Adams may not like me calling it that, but to hell with what he thinks — has been a tradition for Bulldogs, Gators, and the good people of Jacksonville, Florida, for more than a century. The first game was played there in 1915, and after a couple decades of bouncing around from city to city, it returned to Jax for the 1933 game and has stayed there ever since (save for a home-and-home in 1994-95 while the former Gator Bowl was effectively rebuilt into Jacksonville Municipal Stadium).

Georgia leads the overall series, 46-39-2. If you’ve deduced that the Dawgs had to have been pretty dominant in the rivalry’s early years to still be ahead even after Florida’s confounding dominance over the past two decades, you’d be right — Georgia won 23 of the first 29 meetings, not counting a 1904 game in Macon in which Georgia played a Gator squad that technically predated the founding of the modern U of F (and beat them 52-0). The first “official” meeting took place Nov. 6, 1915, in Jacksonville, with Georgia winning 37-0.

Florida began to exert some dominance in the 1950s and ‘60s, winning 13 of the next 19, but after that it was another long period of Dawg domination, as Georgia legends such as Vince Dooley and Herschel Walker powered the Dawgs to a 15-4 record in Jacksonville from 1971 to Dooley’s farewell season in 1989. Since then . . . well, you’re probably familiar with the story. Steve Spurrier’s return to the Swamp set in motion a period of dominance all but unprecedented in the rivalry, and one that continued through the regimes of Ron Zook and Urban Meyer; Georgia has won only three of the last 20 games, with the average outcome being a two-touchdown Gator victory.

Mark Richt owns two of those wins and seven of the losses. The first five were at least competitive; the last two haven’t been, with 2008’s 49-10 beatdown falling just one point short of matching the worst blowout Georgia has ever suffered at Florida’s hands.

Mere numbers, however, can in no way do justice to the white-hot hatred harbored toward the Gators by Bulldog Nation. As far as that goes, you can overeducate yourself over at Dawgsports.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.