Now Playing: Georgia Vs. Florida (1980)

1980GeorgiaFlorida

For the most part, this game has been boiled down to a single, legendary play: Lindsay Scott's 93-yard touchdown reception with under 90 seconds remaining. That is both understandable and a shame; watching the whole game is a treat in and of itself, and it shows you just how much Scott saved the eventual national champions from a poor, sloppy, nervous performance.

Five thoughts:

  1. Wow, did Georgia play terribly in this game. With so much on the line, the Bulldogs just couldn't hold onto the ball. There were fumbles, and quarterback Buck Belue took some less-than-calculated risks at times; Belue was 6-for-15 with two picks before the miracle touchdown. Georgia began to clam up as Florida erased an early lead, and as a result, a freshman named Herschel Walker almost became secondary to the game's overall story line despite 37 carries, 238 yards, and a 72-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the game. He continued to churn out the yards, but mistakes ended drive after drive prematurely.

  2. That said, Lindsay Scott's play truly was spectacular. It is almost certainly the most famous play in Georgia's history (aside from this one, at least), and it is actually even more impressive when watched within the context of the game overall. Georgia was scrapping and scrounging desperately for someone to make a play, and it just wasn't happening. But Belue and Scott connected on what would have been the equivalent of a 25-yard, curling goal in soccer or a 70-foot birdie putt in golf, and national title hopes went from almost dead to vivacious in seconds.

  3. Football takes on comforting familiarity sometimes. I had never seen what happened after the Scott touchdown; Florida got the ball back with time to drive for a score. But with such a violent momentum turn, I just assumed Georgia would pick off the first pass they saw and kneel down to finish the game. They did, and they did.

  4. This Sports Illustrated recap is great in and of itself; but it becomes an amazing read when you get to the second page.

    The Gators had come to Jacksonville with a 6-1 record, in sharp contrast to last year's 0-10-1 team. That was Charley Pell's first year as Florida's coach. Now he is performing the same sort of magic he did at Clemson, where in two years he turned a 3-6-2 team into a 10-1 squad ranked sixth in the nation.

    Pell has had two excellent recruiting years with Florida, which was evident from his starting lineup Saturday. It included 12 sophomores and a freshman. The freshman is the quarterback. Peace. Pell also recruited a new offensive coordinator, 28-year-old Mike Shanahan, who has installed a wide-open offense that he calls "run and shoot." Most of the time Saturday the Gators lined up with four wide receivers and just one running back, and Peace ended up completing 20 of 37 passes for 286 yards and one touchdown.

  5. Florida's go-to receiver, by the way? Cris Collinsworth.
Run, Lindsay, run.
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