Alabama Football: Looking back at memorable Tide vs. Gators games

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In the 41 times Alabama Football has battled the Florida Gators there have been many memorable games. The 15 games chosen here as the most memorable include 12 wins by the Alabama Crimson Tide and three wins by the Florida Gators.

Six of the highlighted games were for an SEC Championship. The split in those games was five wins for the Crimson Tide and one for the Gators.

Alabama Football vs. Florida Gators – Oct. 12, 1963

The Tide was a huge favorite in the game. In a shocker, the Gators beat the Tide 10-6. Why did this game make a memorable list? It was Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant’s first game against Florida as the Crimson Tide Head Coach. It also was his first loss in what was then Denny Stadium. The next time a Bryant team lost in Tuscaloosa was in November 1982; the legendary coach’s last game in Tuscaloosa. In between Bryant and the Tide won 57 straight in Denny Stadium. Steve Spurrier was a sophomore quarterback on the Gators 1963 team. Joe Namath was the Tide starter.

Tide vs. Gators – Sept. 26, 1970 – Tuscaloosa

The Tide was coming off a dismal 1969 season, having finished 6-5. In the 1970 opener, USC embarrassed the Tide in Birmingham, 42-21. After beating Virginia Tech, the unranked Tide was expected to lose to No. 18 Florida. Instead, the Tide dominated the Gators, winning 46-15.

Tide vs. Gators – Sept. 20, 1986 – Gainesville

No. 4 ranked Alabama was favored over No. 13 ranked Florida. This game is noteworthy because it set a Crimson Tide winning streak, record over Florida, with an eighth straight win, going back to 1964. The Tide won 21-7.

Tide vs. Gators – Sept. 14, 1991 – Gainesville

The game marked the lowest point for Alabama Football in the rivalry. The Gators had beaten the Tide in 1987 and 1990. In Gene Stallings’ first season as the Tide Head Coach, Alabama had finished 7-5. The 1991 season would become a turning point. But in game two, No. 6 Florida destroyed the No. 16 ranked Crimson Tide 35-0. The Tide had no answers for a turnover-producing Florida defense. The Tide defense kept the game close until the second half, when the Gators, led by Shane Matthews and Errict Rhett, exploded.