The Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs have a longstanding historic rivalry that spans more than 100 years. The two teams are scheduled to square off on Saturday in what should be another interesting chapter in their well-established history of playing one another.
Early Years: Georgia Starts Strong
Georgia excelled during the early seasons of the rivalry. The Gators did not score a single point until their fifth matchup. During the 1930’s the Bulldogs consistently found themselves beating Florida while remaining competitive in the conference, and Florida labored during the decade.
One interesting thing that happened during the 1930’s involving the rivalry, is that Jacksonville was established as the permanent site of the game when they played each other. This was because Jacksonville is the largest city between the schools.
World War II played an impact on the rivalry as well, as it led to a dominating performance by Georgia in 1942. Florida was not only inexperienced, but they lost many of their players due to being drafted into the military because of the war. However, Georgia was able to keep most of its athletes due to the ROTC program which led to them defeating the Gators 75-0 which was the most lopsided affair in the history between the teams.
Georgia went on to win 7 games in a row vs Florida during the 1940’s which is tied for the longest win streak of all-time between the Gators and Bulldogs.
Mid to Late Century: Bulldogs Continue their Success
However, the tides began to change in the 1950’s, as Florida began to win on a more consistent basis. Georgia was able to grab the upper hand once again in the 1960’s and began to dominate the overall series in the 70’s and 80’s due to the hiring of legendary coach Vince Dooley. Under the leadership of Dooley, the Bulldogs won 14 out of 19 affairs between the teams through the 70’s and 80’s.
1990’s and Early 2000’s: Gators Bounce Back
The 90’s told a different story, as the Gators won 7 games in a row from 1990-1996 against Georgia. Following a loss in 1997, Florida went on to win 6 more in a row from 1998-2003.
Since then, the teams have been fairly split as they have traded victories over the past 15 years or so.
The rivalry game between the Gators and Bulldogs in Jacksonville is commonly referred to as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Plenty of tailgating and drinking occurs as people prepare for the big match up every year.
2021 Game Preview
No. 1 Georgia is 7-0 on the season and are the clear betting favorites entering Saturday’s matchup. However, Florida (4-3) is always a bit more motivated when it comes to matchups against their rival.
While we expect Georgia to get the victory, don’t be surprised if this ends up being more of a competitive game than you may think.