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Florida vs. Miami: On-again, off-again relationship

Gators, Hurricanes have history that predates Florida State rivalry

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Bernie Kosar passes under pressure during a 32-20 win against the Florida Gators, Sept. 1, 1984, in Tampa, Florida.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Long before Florida State and Miami were battling for state bragging rights, the Hurricanes were part of another important Sunshine State rivalry spanning half a century.

Florida and Miami were the original state rivals, having met every year from 1938 to 1987 except for 1943, when World War II interrupted the series.

Miami beat the Gators 19-7 in the first-ever meeting between the schools in Gainesville.

The next six meetings were played at the old Orange Bowl, with the Gators owning a 4-2 advantage in that span.

After alternating between Gainesville and Miami from 1946 to 1957, the series moved to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville for two years before returning to a home-and-home series in 1960.

When the Southeastern Conference increased its schedule from six to seven games beginning in 1988, Florida elected to drop Miami from its non-conference schedule, effectively ending 50 years of tradition.

Since the discontinuation of the annual rivalry after the 1987 season, these two teams have only met on six other occasions, although it should have been more.

The rivalry was set to resume with a home-and-home series in 1992-93 and 1996-97, but the Gators elected to exercise an escape clause in the contracts once the SEC expanded to 12 teams in 1992 and paid a $75,000 cancellation fee for each game.

Miami leads the all-time series 29-26 and has won seven of the last eight meetings dating to 1986.

The teams met for the first time in 13 seasons in the 2001 Sugar Bowl -- a 37-20 win for Miami.

It almost felt like the rivalry had been reestablished when the teams met for four straight calendar years. After the Sugar Bowl, the teams met in a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003 and played in the 2004 Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve. Miami won every game.

Florida snapped a six-game losing streak in a 26-3 victory in Gainesville in 2008, but the Hurricanes have laid claim to the Seminole War Canoe, presented to the winning team, since 2013.

The Aug. 24 season opener at Camping World Stadium in Orlando is the last scheduled meeting between the teams. It will also be their first game in Orlando since Florida's 19-10 win in 1976, when the Gators gave up their home game to play at the Citrus Bowl.

Quick Stats
First meeting: Miami 19, Florida 7, Oct. 15, 1938
All-time series: Miami Hurricanes 29, Florida Gators 26
Longest win streak: Florida Gators, 1971-77
Largest margin of victory: 40 points (Florida 46, Miami 6), Nov. 16, 1940

Removed from schedule:

Sept. 5, 1992: Gainesville
Sept. 4, 1993: Miami
Sept. 7, 1996: Gainesville
Sept. 6, 1997: Miami

No. 2 Miami (10-1) 37, No. 7 Florida (10-2) 20
Jan. 2, 2001
Sugar Bowl
New Orleans Superdome
New Orleans

Miami Hurricanes running back Najeh Davenport evades the Florida Gators en route to his team's 37-20 victory, Jan. 2, 2001, in the Sugar Bowl at the New Orleans Superdome.

After a close first half in which the Hurricanes led just 13-10, Miami pulled away in the second half en route to a 37-20 victory. Miami running back Najeh Davenport scored a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. The game also featured a rare penalty on a mascot when Miami's Sebastian the Ibis celebrated the touchdown, resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct call. A subsequent penalty for too many men on the field forced Todd Sievers to kick a 50-yard PAT.

No. 1 Miami (1-0) 41, No. 6 Florida (1-0) 16
Sept. 7, 2002
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Gainesville, Florida

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Ken Dorsey rolls out during his team's 41-16 rout of the Florida Gators, Sept. 7, 2002, in Gainesville, Florida.

The top-ranked Hurricanes rolled the Gators at home, destroying Florida 41-16. Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey threw four touchdown passes and Willis McGahee ran for 204 yards as the Hurricanes handed Florida its worst loss at "The Swamp" since 1979. Ron Zook was overmatched in his second game as head coach after replacing Steve Spurrier, who left after 12 seasons for the top job with the NFL's Washington Redskins.

No. 3 Miami (1-0) 38, No. 21 Florida (1-0) 33
Sept. 6, 2003
Miami Orange Bowl
Miami

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brock Berlin gestures after throwing a touchdown in a 38-33 victory against the Florida Gators, Sept. 6, 2003, at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

The Gators had the Hurricanes on the brink of defeat on a balmy afternoon in Miami when the home team rallied to score the final 28 points in a 38-33 comeback victory. Adding insult to injury was the quarterback who directed the comeback for the ages. Brock Berlin was part of Spurrier's recruiting class in 2000, but he transferred to Miami in 2002 after Zook took over at Florida. Berlin overcame two interceptions, a fumble returned for a touchdown and boos from the Miami faithful by throwing for 340 yards and completing 18 of his final 20 passes, helping the Hurricanes to erase a 33-10 third-quarter deficit and preserve their nation-leading home winning streak at 23 games.

No. 14 Miami (8-3) 27, No. 20 Florida (7-4) 10
Dec. 31, 2004
Peach Bowl
Georgia Dome
Atlanta

Miami's Roscoe Parrish returns a punt 72 yards for a touchdown as the Hurricanes defeated the Florida Gators 27-10 in the Peach Bowl, Dec. 31, 2004, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The Hurricanes led 17-3 at halftime, despite failing to score an offensive touchdown. Devin Hester returned a blocked field goal 78 yards for a touchdown, Roscoe Parrish returned a punt 72 yards for a score and Berlin was 13-of-23 for 171 yards as Miami's defense dominated the Gators on the way to a 27-10 win. The Hurricanes sacked Florida quarterback Chris Leak five times and picked him off twice. Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong served as interim coach for the game after Ron Zook was fired.

No. 5 Florida (1-0) 26, Miami (1-0) 3
Sept. 6, 2008
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Gainesville, Florida

Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow avoids a pair of Miami defenders on the way to a 26-3 victory against the Hurricanes, Sept. 6, 2008, in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida snapped a six-game losing streak to Miami with a dominating 26-3 victory at "The Swamp." Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, was 21-of-35 for 256 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Gators in rushing with 55 yards. Florida's defense held the Hurricanes to 140 total yards and sacked Miami quarterback Robert Marve, making his first career start, three times. Florida head coach Urban Meyer angered Miami fans when the Gators, leading 23-3 with 25 seconds left, kicked a fourth-down field goal to seemingly run up the score. It was Florida's first win since 1985 in the on-again, off-again series. The Gators went on to win their second national championship in two seasons under Meyer.

Miami (1-0) 21, No. 12 Florida (1-0) 16
Sept. 7, 2013
Sun Life Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida

Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel is sacked in a 21-16 loss to the Miami Hurricanes, Sept. 7, 2013, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel threw an interception and fumbled in the final minutes of the last meeting between the teams, helping the unranked Hurricanes hang on for a 21-16 win. The Gators committed five turnovers in the game, negating a statistical performance that outmatched Miami in virtually every way. Florida outgained Miami 413-212, had a 22-10 advantage in first downs, outran the Hurricanes 122-50 and held Miami to an abysmal 1-for-11 effort on third-down attempts. The Gators haven't won in South Florida since 1985.


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