Some plays are immortalized in the minds of Florida football fans.
Twenty years ago, one occurred when Florida football played Kentucky in Lexington.
That was the game that Danny Wuerffel to Chris Doering saved the day.
Doering, a Gainesville native and a record setting walk-on, made his second career catch….it was also a game winner.
“For me, I remember everything happening so quickly, how quiet the stadium got, and then being stuck on the bottom of a pile of multiple 300 pound men, it was pretty scary there for a minute. It was surreal,” said Doering.
Moments before the catch, the game looked bleak. The Gators were down 20 to 17. Gator quarterbacks Terry Dean and Danny Wuerffel threw seven interceptions in the game. With only eight seconds left on the clock, the Gators snapped the ball looking at the possibility of losing to the Wildcats.
The Voice of the Gators,Mick Hubert waited, along with the rest of Gator Nation.
“It was a back and forth game. The outcome certainly hung in the balance. It was going to take almost a miracle finish if we were going to win,” said Hubert.
Doering remembers the team being surprisingly calm.
“I don’t remember there being any sort of panic or sense we weren’t going to be able to pull it out despite the seven turnovers,” said Doering.
But then it happened, Wuerffel, just a freshman at the time, sent a laser right into the hands of Doering.
From the booth, Hubert could see it all.
“Well the sideline was certainly going crazy, there was no question about it because there wasn’t much time left. We celebrated in the end zone. The officials threw flags on the play. It was a celebration penalty and we really could have cared less because it wasn’t going to effect the outcome of the game,” said Hubert.
Doering reflects again on the moment.
“Luckily it was one of those things where it just happened so quickly,” said Doering. “I think if you really had time to think about the implications of it all you’d probably be nervous and be much more apt to drop the football there.”
That win not only set the tone for the season, but arguably for the program as well.
“Coach Spurrier always says that ‘that was the game that changed the fortunes of this football program,’” said Doering. “Without winning that football game we probably don’t get a chance to play for the SEC championship in 93, and we really turned the corner that day.”
Twenty years later die-hard Gator fans replay that moment and Mick Hubert’s call.
Twenty years later, people still remember where they were and who they were with, and many have shared that moment with Doering.
“There’s so many stories I’ve heard. From people at their house and beer flying everywhere, from dog piles, to being at bars. Everybody has their own version of Mick’s call that they can do. It’s really cool thing to think about that that many people can remember exactly what they were doing on September 11, 1993 and tell you in such great detail as they’re able to tell you,” said Doering.
And 20 years later Doering is still thankful for that opportunity.
“It’s what kids dream about and for me it was no different. And to do it for my beloved Gators, said Doering. “I lived and died by what Florida did.”
Doering’s got a touchdown! A play immortalized by a former walk-on gone record setter and a future Heisman winning quarterback. A play Florida football fans will remember forever.