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Steve Spurrier discusses the keys to Florida’s rematch win over Florida State in 1996


Steve Spurrier has some thoughts on what Kirby Smart and the Georgia staff need to do against Alabama to reverse the outcome of the SEC championship game and hand the Bulldogs the national title.

After all, he has experience with that kind of thing.

The Spurrier and Florida Gators recovered from a season-ending defeat to Florida State in 1996, and then 33 days later came back and knocked out the Seminoles to win the school’s first national championship.

“(Georgia right) go back and look at what Auburn did for almost four quarters. Auburn stopped (Alabama) a lot,” said Spurrier. “Instead of playing their usual defence, this game has to be something different.

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That’s exactly how Spurrier did his national championship win, only that was on the other side of the ball.

When Florida and Florida State squared off in the final week of the 1996 regular season, both teams took home 10-0 records. Florida was ranked #1, FSU #2, and the scene was the thunderous Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel has headed for the Heisman Trophy, and he has three broad receivers (Ike Hilliard, Jacquez Green and Reidel Anthony), all of whom will be drafted in the first 34 picks of the two NFL Drafts. next.

Bobby Bowden and the State of Florida decided they simply wouldn’t let Wuerffel throw it to his worldwide receivers without cost. Undaunted by the energy of the home crowd, Florida State battered and battered Florida’s quarterback quartet, earning two rough passerby penalties and scoring six sacks.

“FSU, according to Danny Wuerffel’s dad, who watched the tape, knocked him out 34 times after pitching,” Spurrier said. “For some reason, the SEC arbitration only called one or two” rough passersby. “

Wuerffel managed three touchdowns and 362 yards, but also threw three interceptions. Florida missed a goal on the field and blocked a pitch, and when the last shot rang out, the scoring posts were ripped open below the scoreboard reading FSU 24, Florida 21.

“We had a callback encounter (to hold on), but they could have played better than us,” Spurrier said.

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When the Gators returned to Gainesville, they began prepping for the SEC Championship Game with an Alabama team running 9-2 and allowing only 12.4 points per game. After seeing his star quarterback beaten by a fierce run in Florida State, Spurrier fears the same could happen to Alabama. So he spoke to his center, spoke to his midfielder and said it was time to start using the shotgun formation to give his passer a little more time.

It worked. Wuerffel threw 401 yards and six touchdowns as the Gators ignited Tide 45-30. It was Florida’s fourth consecutive SEC championship.

Spurrier said: “They played collision, running between people for the whole game. “They’ve strangled the other teams, but we have receivers that they can’t cover.”

(Beautiful pictures)

Loss to Florida State sent the Gators down to fourth place in the AP poll, but victory over Alabama, along with Nebraska’s third loss to Texas in the Big 12 championship game, pushed Florida down. 3rd place. rematch with No. 1 FSU at the Sugar Bowl on January 2. When Ohio State beat Arizona State No. 2 at the Rose Bowl on January 1, the Sugar Bowl became the championship game. nation.

Spurrier said for the first time in his career, he went to a meeting of pregnancy officials and asked the crew their stance on ‘brutal punishment of passersby’.

“It was a Big 12 crew and he was from Texas,” Spurrier said. “He said, ‘Coach, it’s pretty simple. If the guy who’s pitching the ball and the dasher knows it, you can’t hit him. He can bump into him, but he can’t lower the boom on him. “

Armed with two offensive tackles that missed the first FSU game and a shotgun formation against the same border defenses that Alabama used, plus what officials “called” rough cross the road”, Florida opened a tight second half and ran away from the Seminoles 52-20. The Gators scored the final 28 points of the game and Wuerffel had 304 yards and three touchdown passes plus one hasty touchdown.

Spurrier said: “We got a little bit more ‘angry’ after the way they beat Danny Wuerffel in the late game.

25 years later, Georgia will try to turn the table against Alabama in Indianapolis 36 days after losing 41-24 in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama fullback Bryce Young threw 421 yards and 3 touchdowns in Atlanta, and Georgia’s resilient defense had no sack despite Young’s 44 throws.

“Alabama has excellent receivers. But Georgia has good defensive defenders,” said Spurrier. “Good passing teams are difficult to stop if you don’t put pressure on the back four. You have to disguise your funds. They have to do something different. “

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Spurrier doesn’t believe Georgia will have to overcome any mental hurdles. He said his top Florida teams think they can beat everyone they face if they play well and he thinks the Bulldogs have that mentality too.

“Georgia is due. They just lost the last time they played Alabama,” he said. “I think Georgia has a good chance to win the game. At some point, Alabama will play a not so good game. It seems like every year they play that national championship game, and they had an excellent game.”





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