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Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

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Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Okeechobee Joe » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:43 pm

It was 1972 in late November 40 years ago. It was played on Florida Field in a driving wind and rainstorm, a gully washer. Only 6 points were scored and it ended in a 3-3 tie, but it was anything but dull. LSU coach Charlie McClendon said he didn't see how they could have finished the game if it were not played on an artificial surface that day.
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Was anybody reading this at that game? Could you provide us with some of your observations or recollections about this game that has been pushed back into obscurity by the passage of time?

Heavily favored LSU came to Gainesville ranked number 8 in the country with a 7-1 record their only loss being to Alabama. LSU featured the passing of Heisman Trophy Candidate Bert Jones at quarterback. Florida was 4-4 but were better than their record indicated and featured a hard hitting defense

Some highlights. LSU soccer style kicker Juan Roca missed 6 field goals. He was good on one in the third quarter which gave LSU its 3 points. Rusty Jackson missed another one for the Tigers which meant LSU missed 7 field goals that day.

With 25 seconds left, Roca had a field goal blocked by Florida middle linebacker Fred Abbott. The ball was recovered by LSU on the Florida 20 yard line. Roca was brought in to try again. He missed again on what would have been the game winning field goal with only seconds left in the game.

With 2:08 left to go in the game, Florida freshman kicker John Williams from little Cross City, Florida nailed a 35 yard field goal which tied the game.

Earlier in the game LSU fumbled on the Florida one yard line, and the ball was recovered by the Gators. What is even more unbelievable is that Florida speedster Nat Moore took a swing pass from David Bowden and raced 70 yards down the east sideline only to be pulled down from behind by LSU cornerback Mike Williams. On the next play, Andy Summers, a little used running back was brought into the game to give Moore a breather and he promptly fumbled on the LSU one line with the Tigers recovering.

If that is not all, the last play of the game was a David Bowden pass that was intercepted by LSU on the Tiger 45 yard line and returned to the Gator 40. That play was ended by a gang brawl, a free-for-all as both teams went at it with bare fists.

The story of the day was the weather and the Florida defense led by such stalwarts as ends Ricky Browne and Preston Kendrick, noseguard David Hitchcock, linebackers Fred Abbott, Ralph Ortega, and David Poff.

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Nat Moore had reeled off touchdown runs of 60 yards against Alabama, 42 yards against FSU, another 42 yards against Ole Miss, 52 yards against Auburn, 49 yards against Georgia, and 26 yards against Mississippi State. Coach Doug Dickey called him "the most dangerous running back I have ever coached." Moore ran 79 yards down the east sideline at Florida Field after receiving a swing pass from David Bowden only to be pulled down at the one yard line by LSU's Mike Williams.




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Charlie McClendon coached LSU 18 years from 1962 to 1979. His record stands at 137-59-7. He won one SEC title, but the knock against "Cholly Mac" was that he couldn't beat Alabama and Bear Bryant going 2-14 against the Tide. You can talk about Nick Saban and Les Miles at LSU but no coach has had more of an impact on that program than Charlie McClendon.
Last edited by Okeechobee Joe on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Mainland_Buc75 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:36 pm

I remember listening to that game on WNDB-AM Daytona Beach . LSU never recovered from that game.

LSU played Tulane the next week, winning just 9-3, then lost to the Vols in the Astro Bluebonnet bowl.

"The front page of the Youngstown Vindicator reported the next day that during the pre-game invocation, Catholic priest Michael Gannon prayed, "And if it be Thy will, we'd like You to stop the rain." It immediately started raining harder and continued heavily throughout the game."
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Wait ’til next year » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:47 pm

Mainland_Buc75 wrote:I remember listening to that game on WNDB-AM Daytona Beach . LSU never recovered from that game.

LSU played Tulane the next week, winning just 9-3, then lost to the Vols in the Astro Bluebonnet bowl.

"The front page of the Youngstown Vindicator reported the next day that during the pre-game invocation, Catholic priest Michael Gannon prayed, "And if it be Thy will, we'd like You to stop the rain." It immediately started raining harder and continued heavily throughout the game."


I remember listening to the game on radio but don't recall much on the way of details except thinking we would win after Nat's run.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Dugaboy » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:23 am

First of all. I thought Doug's Rug was installed by 1972, so the game was played on artificial surface.

I remember sitting in that rain covered with a pancho and sipping Black Jack and Coke to stay warm. The few of us in our section had our own little cheering group.

The big buzz after the game was, why did Dickey take out Nat Moore after that long run, and bring in a cold, wet, cramped up, player who was sitting on the bench? That fumble by UF was the killer. Florida had a habit of folding in tight games in the fourth quarter, but we could have won if Nat Moore had stayed in...
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Swamp82 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:50 am

That's just wacky.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby B52G8rAC » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:33 am

I was there. Sat through the whole wet game. Then walked back to Corry Village. My bride (now wife of 40 years) wisely decided to stay at home. So glad I went-it was a very memorable and exciting game.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby WobbleGator » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:36 am

I was not even born yet
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Gatorbythebay » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:39 am

14 years and 7 months later, my parents had unprotected intercourse. Thanks for the history lesson though, I always enjoy reading and hearing these kinds of stories.
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I went and was wet the whole day...

Postby Jax Gator » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:47 am

The rain was soaking everyone. I couldn't believe we fumbled at the one to give LSU a tie. I was wet, tired, and disappointed on the drive home to Jax.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby unofficialgator » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:59 am

Thanks for the SEC Films story.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby PowerGator79 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:58 am

I was there. I was in high school at the time. Yes, it poured all game long.

I was sitting in the East stands so I had a good view of Moore's run.

I remember the late PA announcer Jim Finch saying, "Welcome to Florida Pond" at the start of the game.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby The RH Factor » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:59 am

It would be interesting to hear an LSU fan's take on the game.

By the way, one of the things I look forward to when we play LSU is hearing their band, which I consider the best band that comes into BHG (sorry, FSU).

I missed it one year, but after the game, their band played a medley of songs that I heard lasted about an hour after the game. I think that since then, there is a ban on how long bands can play in a situation like that.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby gatorpe » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:46 am

I was at the game. I still can't believe anyone ran Nat Moore down from
behind as he was about the fastest man in the sec that year and all sec
RB. Another thing. I played for John William's old HS coach the next year
after he graduated from Dixie County and he told me I could kick as well
and far as him. I put kickoffs in the endzone half the time and actually kicked two FGs against Dixie County in 1970. Weird.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Mainland_Buc75 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:25 pm

Dugaboy wrote:First of all. I thought Doug's Rug was installed by 1972, so the game was played on artificial surface.

The big buzz after the game was, why did Dickey take out Nat Moore after that long run, and bring in a cold, wet, cramped up, player who was sitting on the bench? That fumble by UF was the killer. Florida had a habit of folding in tight games in the fourth quarter, but we could have won if Nat Moore had stayed in...


The Astroturf was installed July 6th, 1971.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Bj ... 6%2C893316

Ditto the buzz on the dumb Dickey move. His excuse was that Moore was winded. He was infamous for those kind of bonehead coaching calls.

Due to the mediocrity of Gator football back then, Nat Moore doesn't get the credit he deserved. He was a gifted athlete and his helicopter catch against the Jets in '84 was replayed for years in highlight reels.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/824 ... miami-bass
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Dugaboy » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:48 pm

Which brings up the quote from Coach McClendon was maybe typed wrong by Okeechobee Joe - "had it NOT BEEN for that AstroTurf, the game would not have finished.."

The FSU game that year in Tallahassee was won by Florida 42-13; FSU had Barry Smith, an allstar quarterback and we had an unknown running back from Miami Dade Community College named Nat Moore. We intercepted Barry Smith a zillion times and Nat Moore made his name that day...man, it was fun back then.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Okeechobee Joe » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:35 pm

Mainland_Buc75 wrote:
Dugaboy wrote:First of all. I thought Doug's Rug was installed by 1972, so the game was played on artificial surface.

The big buzz after the game was, why did Dickey take out Nat Moore after that long run, and bring in a cold, wet, cramped up, player who was sitting on the bench? That fumble by UF was the killer. Florida had a habit of folding in tight games in the fourth quarter, but we could have won if Nat Moore had stayed in...


The Astroturf was installed July 6th, 1971.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Bj ... 6%2C893316

Ditto the buzz on the dumb Dickey move. His excuse was that Moore was winded. He was infamous for those kind of bonehead coaching calls.

Due to the mediocrity of Gator football back then, Nat Moore doesn't get the credit he deserved. He was a gifted athlete and his helicopter catch against the Jets in '84 was replayed for years in highlight reels.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/824 ... miami-bass


It was a typo on my part. I went bact to edit the quote from Coach McClendon to read the game could not have been finished if it were not played on artificial surface meaning that the rain was so bad that Florida Field would have become a virtual mud pit.

As far as calling Coach Dickey's decision to substitute Summers for Moore "bonehead"I will only say hindsight is better than foresight.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby SavannahGator » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:48 pm

Mainland_Buc75 wrote:
Dugaboy wrote:First of all. I thought Doug's Rug was installed by 1972, so the game was played on artificial surface.

The big buzz after the game was, why did Dickey take out Nat Moore after that long run, and bring in a cold, wet, cramped up, player who was sitting on the bench? That fumble by UF was the killer. Florida had a habit of folding in tight games in the fourth quarter, but we could have won if Nat Moore had stayed in...


The Astroturf was installed July 6th, 1971.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Bj ... 6%2C893316

Ditto the buzz on the dumb Dickey move. His excuse was that Moore was winded. He was infamous for those kind of bonehead coaching calls.

Due to the mediocrity of Gator football back then, Nat Moore doesn't get the credit he deserved. He was a gifted athlete and his helicopter catch against the Jets in '84 was replayed for years in highlight reels.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/824 ... miami-bass


I wasn't there b/c I was a freshman at UF one year later, 1973. But I do remember a lot of boneheaded Dickey calls, two against UGA that those of us who were alive and there remember:

  1. 1975 - down 10-7 and driving, we're at the UGA 20, and they just cannot stop Jimmy Dubose. So what's he do? he throws 3 straight passes, all incompletions, into the endzone, instead of letting Du run (we did have one TO left) to the corner. THEN he attempts a FG that fails b/c the ball slips when it is set down in the rainy muck of the old Gator Bowl. He said afterward that a 10-10 tie would've gotten us the SEC title, which it might've, but we could've won that game
  2. 1976 - "4th and dumb" - even my sis, a UF freshman (by now I'm a sr), who is sitting next to me, asks, "why did he call timeout? Shouldn't we just punt it back to them?" All I could tell her was that I had no idea what he was thinking
  3. And one more, 1974 Sugar Bowl against Nebraska: late in the game, down 13-10, needing the TD on 4th and goal, he calls for a deep pitch to Tony Green. Of course Green has to make up all that yardage from where he caught the pitch just to get back to the line of scrimmage, and he's stuffed and we lose

Those four football seasons I was at UF, 1973 - 1976, we went to bowl games all four of them. But I always felt that we were just one or two boneheaded calls from being an SEC champion, esp. in '74, '75, and '76.

I will give Dickey credit, however, for having the balls to demote David Bowden at QB in 1973 and replace him with UF's first-ever black QB, Don Gaffney. Gaffney promptly won his 1st start, UF's 1st-ever win at Auburn, 12-8. At a Southern school in 1973, starting Gaffney took guts.
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Re: Wackiest LSU-Florida Game Ever Unbelievable 3-3 Tie

Postby Dugaboy » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:27 pm

Poor ole David Bowden; he lost his job when he was driving on Ole Miss to win the game late at Florida Field - and promptly threw out of bounds to stop the clock on fourth down.

The next weekend UF went up to Cliff Hare Stadium at Auburn and won with Gaffney at qback. First time ever at Cliff Hare. UF use to play Auburn all over the place: Coluimbus, Jacksonville (many times) Montgomery alot, even in Miami one year.
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