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Football flashback: Blocked kick saves Gators’ title season

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The legend was on the wrong sideline.

It was 2006, and Steve Spurrier was leading the South Carolina Gamecocks into The Swamp. Spurrier, who had won the Heisman Trophy with the Gators. Spurrier, who had won a national championship. Spurrier, the architect of the Fun ‘n Gun offense.

The year before, when he coached against his alma mater for the first time, Spurrier’s team won 30-22. But surely, it would be different when Spurrier led his team into Gainesville. Right?

Well, barely. Florida, which would go on to win the national championship, won a 17-16 game when Jarvis Moss blocked a 48-yard field goal on the game’s final play. The Gators would win their final four games handily to win the national title.

But South Carolina, an 8-5 team, threw a scare into the proceedings.

“This could be the year of the Gators,” Spurrier said.

Florida also blocked an extra point (Moss again) and another field goal in the victory.

Steve (Harris) and Ray (McDonald) did all the work, and I just jumped my highest,” Moss said. “That was the biggest play of my career.”

This week, the Gators (ranked 22nd) play South Carolina again. The Gamecocks are playing for another Florida coach this year in Will Muschamp.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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