Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

College Smackdown; Close Win Gives Gators a Needed Wake-Up Call

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

College Smackdown; Close Win Gives Gators a Needed Wake-Up Call

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Cirbett

Let me just say before we even get into the football for the week that I join Smackdown columnist Trey Dennard in being concerned for and praying for Smackdown columnist W.D. Rodeffer's mother, Mama Nole. In all of the excitement last week with my own mother, I had totally forgotten about W.D.'s column from the week before concerning his mother. I hear through the grapevine that she's doing fine, so we all three can be grateful for that.

As for my mother, as of this writing, she is still in a coma that she's been in since before the Louisiana State game. We're still hopeful for a full recovery, and we appreciate your thoughts and prayers for her.

The Gators, Dawgs and Noles are still playing football, though, so we need to get back to the subject, even though the games have suddenly been put into a better perspective by life events.

The Gators had a homecoming date with the Arkansas Razorbacks last week, but the Hawgs were not nearly as cooperative as an opponent that we'd hoped.

In fact, if it weren't for the benefit of a couple of phantom calls against the Hawgs - one a pass interference and the other a nonexistent personal foul - we may have ended up in a 20-20 tie. No telling what would have happened in overtime.

Bad calls do happen, though. While sometimes a team gets robbed (as the Bulldogs did against Louisiana State earlier in the season), at other times the team benefits. For now, it feels good to get away with one.

The bad calls in last week's game led to a game-winning field goal with only nine seconds left, pushing the Gators ahead 23-20. As the time expired, Gators radio announcer Mick Hubert said it best using his trademark call, "Gators win! Gators win! Gators win! And that's a big Oh-homecoming-my!"

Basically, this was a lot like the loss against Ole Miss last year, except we escaped this year with a win and no tearful apologies or promises. …

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