Now that we’re under 90 days from kickoff between the Hurricanes and the Gators, I decided to go back in history and countdown the top-10 moments from this once great rivalry. Now, keep in mind that I'm counting down the best moments, not necessarily the best games.
10. Dan Morgan Ends UM Career In Style (2001 Sugar Bowl):
When Miami met Florida in New Orleans for the 2001 Sugar Bowl, it would be the last college game for many great Hurricanes. One of those legends was linebacker Dan Morgan, who is perhaps the most decorated LB in UM history. So how fitting is it, that on his last defensive play as a Cane, he intercepts a pass to seal Miami’s 37-20 victory.
9. Danny Miller and Miami Runs Up The Score (1980):
The Jim Kelly led Hurricanes came to Gainesville, and didn’t take any prisoners. Up 28-7 late in the game, the very classy Gator fans started throwing tangerines towards the Miami bench. An irate Howard Schnellenberger sent out his kicking team, and Danny Miller added to the lead with one second to go, as the Canes left with a 31-7 win.
8. Najeh Davenport Makes Circus Catch For TD (2001 Sugar Bowl):
We go back to the 2001 Sugar Bowl, and this time we’re looking at Najeh Davenport. Midway through the third quarter and leading the Gators 20-17, quarterback Ken Dorsey play-faked, rolled to his right and just lobbed it for his big tailback. Incredibly, Davenport came up with the catch for a touchdown.
7. Devin Hester Blocked Kick Return (2004 Peach Bowl):
Hester is one of several Canes to make more than one appearance on this list, and the first time he’s being mentioned comes from the 2004 Peach Bowl in Atlanta. In the first quarter, a Gators field goal was blocked, and then picked up by the speedy Hester, who proceeded to take it all the way back 78-yards for a touchdown. The Hurricanes would ultimately go on to win the game 27-10.
6. Maurice Sikes 99-Yard Pick Six (2002):
In week two of the 2002 season, the defending champion Hurricanes traveled to Gainesville to take on the sixth-ranked Gators, led by quarterback Rex Grossman. For the first three quarters the game was tight, and down 27-16 with two minutes left in the third, Florida was at the Miami six yard-line. However, safety Maurice Sikes had other plans, picking off Grossman at the one and taking it 99-yards for the touchdown. Canes won 41-16.
5. Duke Johnson Closes Out The Gators (2013):
Another week two contest, this time in 2013, and this time it was the 12th ranked Gators visiting the unranked Hurricanes. A defensive struggle throughout the game, Miami caused a late Florida turnover with less than five minutes to go. From there, UM all-time leading rusher Duke Johnson put the finishing touch on the upset, and Miami would win 21-16. This is also the last time these two teams met.
4. Bernie Kosar To Eddie Brown (1984):
One of the craziest games and endings in the history of the rivalry. Miami came into 1984 having just won a title the year prior, and they were meeting Florida in the old Tampa Stadium in the season opening game. The Gators led 20-19 in the closing minutes, and then sophomore quarterback Bernie Kosar led a five-play 72-yard drive in 29 seconds, ending it by hitting Eddie Brown with seven seconds left in the end zone. Tolbert Bain intercepted the last play of the game and ran it back for another Canes score. Miami wins 32-20.
3. Devin Hester Opening Kickoff (2003):
Hesters second appearance on the list, and he gives us one of the most memorable moments in UM history. Primetime kickoff at the Orange Bowl, number-18 Florida in to meet the third ranked Canes. All Hester does is take the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, not sure if the OB ever got that loud.
2. Danny Miller Game Winning 55-Yard Field Goal (1981):
Another wild game from the 80’s between these two schools. Once Jim Kelly went down with an injury, enter in backup QB Mark Richt. Richt erased a nine-point UF fourth quarter lead, and Danny Miller squeezed in a 55-yard field goal to send the Orange Bowl into a frenzy, and gave Miami a 21-20 win.
- Frank Gore Go-Ahead Touchdown (2003):
To cap off one of the greatest comebacks in school history, who better to do it than the future Hall-of-Fame running back. Down 33-10 in the third quarter, Miami stormed back, and Gore put the finishing touches on the dramatic night, putting the Canes on top for good, 38-33.
Here’s to creating more memories on August 24th!