Changing Gator History: 1985 vs. Rutgers

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by BMF, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. BMF

    BMF Bad Mother....
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    14,448
    Oxbucks:
    $15,704
    Ratings:
    +21,470 / -303
    I was at this game as a kid, unbelievable.

    Changing Gator History: 1985 vs. Rutgers
    Bob Redman

    [​IMG]


    Changing Gator History: 1985 vs. Rutgers

    It was my first year as a student at the University of Florida. I was in the Gator Marching Band and had been to a couple of Gator football games in the past, but really didn’t get the full flavor of it until I showed up on campus as a student and a band member, drenched in sweat from a 1 p.m. kickoff and heard the roar of the crowd when the Gators scored a touchdown.

    The heat was probably a little more for me than most as the band was dressed in full-wool band uniforms back then and my adrenaline was pumping after a my first pregame show on Doug’s Rug with the crowd looking down on us. It was actually a crisp 74 degrees that day, not bad for the time of the day and in early September. Nonetheless, the crowd was feverish.

    This was also the first year of the television ban for Florida football. The Gators were nailed with 119 NCAA rules violations the year before. They watched as an SEC Championship they won on the field was stripped from them and they lost head coach Charley Pell in 1984. They won the old UPI National Championship that year, but weren’t allowed to win the AP title or play in a bowl game. The bowl game ban was for 1985, 86, and 87.

    Nobody in the stadium that held around 70,000 back then cared that there would be no bowl game at the end of the year. The announced crowd of 71,708 that day versus Rutgers was pumped. The Gators started the season No. 5 in the country and moved up to No. 3 after a 35-23 win at Miami the weekend before. Nobody in the stadium could watch the Miami game on television, so they were itching for some Gator football. They had no idea what they were getting into that day.

    As the game started, the Scarlet Knights scored first. Trailing 7-6 with less than five minutes remaining, Florida redshirt sophomore starting quarterback Kerwin Bell did what everyone saw him do the year before and threw two touchdown passes to close out the first half and the Gators led 20-6.

    Bell opened things up even further after halftime with another touchdown pass making the score 28-6. Things were in hand and Rutgers was the first to substitute for their starting quarterback. The Scarlet Knight quarterback was just 9-of-21 for 68 yards and an interception. He was replaced by backup Joe Gagliardi.

    Bell completed 18 of 24 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns in a little more than two quarters of play before the Gators called on sophomore Rodney Brewer of Apopka.

    Bell was one of several starters that were replaced at the same time. The play of Brewer was a huge part of the outcome, but he wasn’t the reason the Gators would eventually give up what should have been an easy win.

    The bad news came quick after Brewer entered the field. His first pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. To make an agonizing story short, Brewer would throw another interception and cough up a fumble as he moved the offense late in the game into scoring position. He was three-of-seven for 36 yards and the two picks. His counterpart Gagliardi fared much better, completing 10-of-18 for 120 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

    Bell was entered back into the game with the Gators up 28-20, but a dropped third down pass would force the Gators to punt. Gagliardi drove the field, threw a touchdown pass, and completed the two-point conversion and the game was tied.

    Rutgers actually gathered an onside kick and had the ball after tying things up. But a turnover was followed by another Gator turnover, and finally another Rutgers turnover to end one of the sloppiest games in the Galen Hall era at Florida.

    On this day, my first game as a student at Florida, things could have been different if just a thing or two was changed. Another score with Bell at quarterback would have made it 35 to 6 and a little less of a chance. There were several other substitutes that didn’t play as well as the starters. Quite a few things could have been done differently.

    The Gators still managed to get to No. 1 for the first time ever after beating Auburn and Bo Jackson several games later, but this is a tie that shouldn’t have happened.
     
    • soflagator

      soflagator Senior Member
      Lifetime Member

      Joined:
      Sep 4, 2014
      Messages:
      7,671
      Oxbucks:
      $16,976
      Ratings:
      +22,987 / -171
      Nice find.

      I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you my Dad has told me this story, namely Brewer’s debacle, probably more so than any other Gator football story. Over time I feel like the lead we had and amount of his mistakes was embellished a little just to make the point. That game just got under his skin like no other. I was too young to remember specifics of that one, but do remember being at the Meadowlands the next year and getting revenge.
       
    • BMF

      BMF Bad Mother....
      Lifetime Member

      Joined:
      Sep 8, 2014
      Messages:
      14,448
      Oxbucks:
      $15,704
      Ratings:
      +21,470 / -303
      This was a classic example of why you leave the starters in until the end of the 3rd quarter/early 4th...unless you get a mega lead. We were up 22 points w/ 25 minutes of clock left. They practically pulled all of the starters. If it was 42-0 starting the 4th, by all means. It was a poor coaching decision and Brewer wasn't ready at that point.
       
      • Gatordiddy

        Gatordiddy Well-Known Member
        Lifetime Member

        Joined:
        Jul 23, 2014
        Messages:
        5,700
        Oxbucks:
        $5,681
        Ratings:
        +8,319 / -71
        This is just the kind of feel good story we all need right now! Thanks BMF!

        my cap is now at a jaunty angle and I am strutting about the house...
         
        • FireFoley

          FireFoley Senior Member
          Lifetime Member

          Joined:
          Nov 19, 2014
          Messages:
          3,720
          Oxbucks:
          $3,428
          Ratings:
          +4,817 / -306
          I do remember that game ended in a tie, but I was not at the game. I think I was in my 3rd year and for some reason I had gone with a friend down to USF that weekend, mainly to try and scope chicks. It was an intro (at that time) that USF had a ton of hot chicks there on a % basis. Lots from south Florida who did not make it in to UF and did not want to trek to Tallacrappy (can't blame them) I do remember listening to the game and was dumbfounded how we could blow that lead.
           
          • stephenPE

            stephenPE Senior Member
            Lifetime Member

            Joined:
            Jul 20, 2014
            Messages:
            17,888
            Oxbucks:
            $6,439
            Ratings:
            +12,458 / -1,609
            I was at the game. I think Rodney was from Apopka and was a real good baseball player. Snake bit from the moment he took a snap. It was quickly downhill from there. He was a good kid and caught TONS OF flack. If FB and social media had been around he probably would have committed suicide .............
             
            • PastyStoole

              PastyStoole Man, there's no boundary line to art. ~Bird Parker
              Lifetime Member

              Joined:
              Jun 12, 2014
              Messages:
              1,714
              Oxbucks:
              $2,165
              Ratings:
              +4,015 / -76
              I was at that game, and I can't remember a sicker feeling in my stomach, other than the FSU tie in 1994. Brewer also dropped a routine fly ball in the 9th inning against Miami that year to lose us the regional. My dad used to say he was the only person ever to cost a team a national championship in two sports. Brewer actually ended up making it to the majors and played for the Cardinals.

              BTW, one thing I remember about that game that no one ever seems to talk about is that we won the coin toss in the first half, had the option and elected to kick. That meant Rutgers, who had the option in the second half, received then too. I don't remember Hall ever being questioned about this. I think taking/deferring the option was a relatively new thing then and whoever was the captain that day, (hell, let's all just say it was Rodney Brewer) blew the coin flip.

              The only good thing that came of that is that we had a new euphemism for "screwing the pooch" because "screwing the pooch" had become overused. Now I use it all the time:

              "Geez, Obama really Rodney Brewered that Fast and Furious gun-running crap when he handed stockpiles of automatic weapons over to the world's worst Mexican drug lords."

              Oh and two other pieces of ironic trivia. The coach at Rutgers was named Dick Handerson. If that name doesn't give you the creeps maybe this will: He was Jerry Sandusky's best friend, and testified in his defense as a character witness.
               
              #7 PastyStoole, Apr 18, 2020
              Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
              • BMF

                BMF Bad Mother....
                Lifetime Member

                Joined:
                Sep 8, 2014
                Messages:
                14,448
                Oxbucks:
                $15,704
                Ratings:
                +21,470 / -303
                Brewer was from Apopka - if you had read the story it says, "Bell completed 18 of 24 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns in a little more than two quarters of play before the Gators called on sophomore Rodney Brewer of Apopka."
                 
              • OllieGator

                OllieGator Member....huh, huh, huh
                Lifetime Member

                Joined:
                Jun 13, 2014
                Messages:
                915
                Oxbucks:
                $646
                Ratings:
                +1,233 / -53
                This was during my junior year. The 'let me float a ball out to the right for the pick' will always be a Rodney Brewer
                 
                • YLGator

                  YLGator Rams Schmuck
                  Lifetime Member

                  Joined:
                  Jan 14, 2016
                  Messages:
                  853
                  Oxbucks:
                  $1,800
                  Ratings:
                  +1,945 / -144
                  This was my first Gator game. I'll never forget it. Rumor was Galen Hall was buddy's with the Rutgers coach, so he called off the dogs early so as not to embarrass him. Rodney Brewer then went out and made Jeff Driskel look like Joe Montana. We let them back in, they started to believe and it completely fell apart from there.
                   
                  • KronoGator

                    KronoGator Newbie

                    Joined:
                    Aug 28, 2014
                    Messages:
                    1,435
                    Ratings:
                    +1,598 / -62
                  • BMF

                    BMF Bad Mother....
                    Lifetime Member

                    Joined:
                    Sep 8, 2014
                    Messages:
                    14,448
                    Oxbucks:
                    $15,704
                    Ratings:
                    +21,470 / -303
                    And they say UF never plays road games outside of the southeast!
                     
                    • soflagator

                      soflagator Senior Member
                      Lifetime Member

                      Joined:
                      Sep 4, 2014
                      Messages:
                      7,671
                      Oxbucks:
                      $16,976
                      Ratings:
                      +22,987 / -171
                      It was cold. That’s really all I remember. Had to have been Oct/Nov. I wonder if we’d ever played that late, and that far north before. Even Syracuse was in a dome and in Sep(I think).
                       
                    • divits

                      divits A Muffin of the Studly Variety
                      Lifetime Member

                      Joined:
                      Jun 13, 2014
                      Messages:
                      11,718
                      Oxbucks:
                      $10,133
                      Ratings:
                      +19,505 / -132
                      I was at both of those games. There were people in orange and blue all over NYC when we played up there....and they weren't Mets fans. We outnumbered the Rutgers fans at the game. I was talking to a Rutgers guy before the game and he thought we were all nuts traveling that far to see a game against what at that time was a not so great Rutgers team. I told him that, "College football is just different in the south."
                       
                      • PastyStoole

                        PastyStoole Man, there's no boundary line to art. ~Bird Parker
                        Lifetime Member

                        Joined:
                        Jun 12, 2014
                        Messages:
                        1,714
                        Oxbucks:
                        $2,165
                        Ratings:
                        +4,015 / -76
                        The Sun's sports section that day included an article by that annoying POS Mike Bianchi, annoyingly giving backrubs to the Rutgers players in the locker room after the game and penning his annoyingly pretentious prose. Contrasted, of course, with Jack Hairston's unreadable take, written at middle-school level. The Sun has always had the most confoundingly bad sports section I've ever seen.
                         
                        • Thick&ThinG8r

                          Supporting Member

                          Joined:
                          Aug 21, 2014
                          Messages:
                          1,472
                          Oxbucks:
                          $1,619
                          Ratings:
                          +2,101 / -112
                          Hey, Jack Hairston was one of the founders of modern day recruiting along with a few other Florida sports writers they started the red chippers, blue chipper rating system to compile the top 25 in the state. 78 will set me straight if I'm wrong.
                           
                          #16 Thick&ThinG8r, Apr 19, 2020
                          Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
                          • Swamp Donkey

                            Swamp Donkey Bring Back Squash
                            Lifetime Member

                            Joined:
                            Jun 9, 2014
                            Messages:
                            61,057
                            Oxbucks:
                            $54,656
                            Ratings:
                            +80,440 / -5,132
                            78 couldnt take it anymore.

                            :suicide:
                             

                          Share This Page

                          The Box

                          Help

                          You don't have the necessary permissions to use the chat.

                          • About Us

                            Our community sprung up when the Gatorsports message board was shut down in the summer of 2014. We pride ourselves on offering Gator-biased, yet critical discussion among people of all different backgrounds. We are working every day to make sure our community is the best Gator message board you will find.
                          • Like us on Facebook

                          • Buy us a Zima!

                            The management works very hard to make sure the community is running the best software, best designs, and all the other bells and whistles. Care to buy us a non-alcoholic Zima? We'd really appreciate it! Just click the "Donate" tab at the top of the page.