This is one of those strange weekends when the college game meets the pro game. This weekend we see the Gators playing the Bulldogs on Saturday and the Broncos playing the Lions. While the college game is different from the pro game, this weekend, there are a few crossovers. The Broncos and the Lions have a lot in common with the college game. Here are a few trivia facts. This probably has no bearing on the game on Sunday, but interesting nonetheless. From a historical perspective, Sunday's game is a toss up.
.1. The Florida vs. Georgia Football Classic or Georgia vs. Florida Football Classic is an annual college football game played by the University of FloridaGators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs nearly every year since 1915. The name of the game rotates each year depending on which team is the designated home team. It is one of the great rivalry games in college football, and since 1933 it has been held in Jacksonville, Florida, with only two exceptions, making it one of the few remaining neutral-site rivalries. (Wikipedia)
2. Georgia leads 47-40-2 or 46-40-2 (according to UF) record all time.
3. The two quarterbacks for the the Broncos and Lions are Florida and Georgia quarterbacks.
4. These two QBs have met up before during their college years and are split. Stafford led a victory in 2007 for Georgia and Tebow in 2008 for Florida, so this battle is set to be a tiebreaker of sorts. As a Broncos fan, I am confident that Tebow will step up and lead the Broncos to an amazing upset victory.
5. The Broncos running back, Knowshon Moreno was the featured back during the 2007, 2008 for Georgia. The quarterback was Matthew Stafford. Stafford went number 1 and Knowshon went 12 in the 2009 draft.
6. 2007: The 2007 Georgia Bulldogs are remembered for the "Gator Stomp," a first-quarter mass celebration of the entire Georgia team in the Gators' endzone after Georgia's first touchdown, a move that emotionally rallied the underdog Bulldogs. Because of the staged celebration, Georgia received two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and was forced to kick off from their own 8-yard line. After the game, Georgia coach Mark Richt acknowledged that he ordered his team to draw an excessive celebration penalty after their first touchdown, but intended that only the eleven players on the field would celebrate, not the entire team. The motivational tactic paid off for Richt, as Knowshon Moreno ran for 188 yards and Georgia's defense sacked Gators quarterback Tim Tebow six times in a 42–30 victory. The high-scoring game was the first in series history in which both teams scored thirty or more points.
7. 2008: Coming into the game, the Bulldogs and Gators were both ranked in the top-10, and the winner would have the inside track in the SEC Eastern Division race and a possible shot at a national title. Some commentators went so far as to call it the biggest match-up in the history of the series, or at least the previous 20 years. After the Bulldogs missed two field goals and failed to recover an onside kick after their first score, the Gators took a 14–3 halftime lead. In the second half, the Bulldogs turned the ball over four times and the Gators turned the game into a 49–10 rout. Tim Tebow accounted for five touchdowns and Percy Harvin added a pair of scores in the Bulldogs' second worst loss of the series (the Bulldogs lost 47–7 to the 1996 Gators).
8. The last time the Broncos and Lions met was in 2007 where the Lions beat the Broncos 44-7. The game was exactly almost 4 years ago (November 4, 2007). All time record goes to the Broncos 6 games to 4. In 2007 both finished the season at 7-9.
Some observations: the two quarterbacks are familiar with each other. In addition, our running back played with their quarterback. For the Broncos, this could be pay back for the embarrassing loss in 2007. For the Lions, this is an opportunity to get back on a winning track. Historically, the two teams (Florida/Georgia and Lions/Broncos) have played about even.
Any other coincidences? Go Broncos.