Florida gets back at Georgia with rout, sans any grand gesture
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- So which moment was it? At what point during Florida's 49-10 World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party drunk-tossing of Georgia did the Gators make the Grand Gesture to "handle" Georgia's infamous Stomp of 2007?
Did the moment come in the offseason, when Florida strength coach
The Gesture may have happened that long ago.
"We have countdowns for each one," Rowley said. So how long did the countdown to Saturday's game run? "Three hundred sixty-five days," Rowley said.
That's compelling, but the moment definitely took place Saturday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
Maybe it happened on Georgia's second play from scrimmage, when Moreno took a handoff from
Spikes lay on top of Moreno for a second. He swore later that he didn't say anything too raunchy. He just wanted to keep Moreno on the ground for a moment. "He likes to get up all fast and stuff all the time," Spikes said. "I just let him know I was there."
After Georgia punted, Spikes and cornerback
Haden: "Spikes, good hit."
Later, Meyer would say competition at practice has forced Spikes to evolve, forced him to lead. Those daily trials have forged Florida's No. 51 into the player who sets the tone for his teammates. "We play," Meyer said, "like 51 plays."
No, Spikes' hit couldn't have been the Gesture. It came too early. Georgia still had a chance, still had some of that mojo that made the Bulldogs everyone's preseason No. 1.
The Gesture didn't come when Florida quarterback
In fact, the only acts that smacked of vengeful face-rubbing were a pair of timeouts Meyer called with 44 and 30 seconds remaining. When someone asked about them, Meyer said he wanted to get tailback
So maybe Tebow made the Gesture during one of those timeouts, when he walked along the sideline cheering along with Florida fans, who would have called the stadium half full. Georgia fans, most of whom left early in the fourth quarter, would have called it half-empty.
But that wasn't it, either.
The Gesture happened a few minutes later, when all the Gators stood on the very earth Georgia stomped, raised their helmets and sang the fight song as their band played. According to the scoreboard, they'd handed Georgia its second most lopsided loss in the history of the rivalry. According to the SEC East standings, Florida had reduced its magic number to clinch the division to one. According to the polls that will appear Sunday after the havoc wrought by Texas Tech's upset of Texas, the Gators should feel free to continue dreaming about a national title in spite of that loss to Ole Miss on Sept. 27.
As they stood there, helmets in the air, they knew. They had handled it. And it was a big deal.