1979 Florida Gators football team

The 1979 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida during the 1979 NCAA Division I-A football season. The season was Charley Pell's first of six as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. Pell arrived in Gainesville with a new plan for building the Gators football program—new offensive and defensive schemes, new assistant coaches, a new attitude and new boosters fund-raising model to support the program and improve the stadium and training facilities. Pell's plan would produce many on-the-field victories over the next five years, but his first campaign as the Gators coach produced the most losses in any single season in Gators football history, ending with a winless 0–10–1 overall record and a 0–6 record in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team, which was plagued by injuries, placed dead last among ten SEC teams.[2] This was the last time until 2013 that Florida fielded a team with a losing record.

1979 Florida Gators football
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
1979 record0–10–1 (0–6 SEC)
Head coachCharley Pell (1st season)
CaptainBill Bennek
Nap Green
Chuck Hatch
Home stadiumFlorida Field
(Capacity: 62,800)[1]
Seasons
← 1978
1980 →
1979 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 1 Alabama $ 6 0 0     12 0 0
Georgia 5 1 0     6 5 0
No. 16 Auburn 4 2 0     8 3 0
LSU 4 2 0     7 5 0
Tennessee 3 3 0     7 5 0
Kentucky 3 3 0     5 6 0
Ole Miss 3 3 0     4 7 0
Mississippi State 2 4 0     3 8 0
Vanderbilt 0 6 0     1 10 0
Florida 0 6 0     0 10 1
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1979 Florida team had 4 starting quarterbacks: Tim Groves, Tyrone Young, John Brown and Larry Ochab, and John Brantley also played at quarterback, though he did not start. Brantley was projected to start at quarterback, but he was injured in the preseason.

ScheduleEdit

DateOpponentSiteTVResultAttendance
September 15at No. 13 Houston*L 10–1433,851
September 22Georgia Tech*T 7–760,313
September 29at Mississippi StateL 10–2438,000
October 6at No. 17 LSUL 3–2073,073
October 13No. 2 Alabama
  • Florida Field
  • Gainesville, FL
L 0–4064,552
October 27Tulsa*
  • Florida Field
  • Gainesville, FL
L 10–2060,126
November 3at No. 20 AuburnL 13–1958,754
November 10vs. GeorgiaABCL 10–3368,148
November 17Kentucky
  • Florida Field
  • Gainesville, FL
L 3–3155,760
November 23No. 5 Florida State*
  • Florida Field
  • Gainesville, FL (rivalry)
ABCL 16–2758,263
December 1at Miami (FL)*L 24–3028,051
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide[2]

Attendance figures: 1980 Press Guide University of Florida.[3]

RosterEdit

1979 Florida Gators football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
QB 12 John Brantley Sr
TE 87 Mike Clark Jr
WR 21 Cris Collinsworth Jr
TE 80 Chris Faulkner Fr
WR 18 Darrell Jones Sr
WR 19 Johnny Smith Jr
QB 7 Tyrone Young Fr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DB 43 Thad Adams Fr
LB 55 Scot Brantley Sr
DB 25 Chuck Hatch Sr
DE 50 Yancey Sutton Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 3 Brian Clark So
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  •   Injured
  •   Redshirt

PostseasonEdit

The next year, in 1980, the Florida Gators made a remarkable turnaround. They won the first three games of that season before a loss to Louisiana State crushed Florida's hopes of being undefeated, but they ended the regular season with 7 wins and 4 losses, and in the Tangerine bowl they defeated Maryland 35-20 to improve to 8-4. At the time, this Florida season was an NCAA record turnaround, and this was the first team to make a bowl game after being winless the previous season.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sports Publicity Department. "Florida Football '79" (PDF). floridagators.com. University Athletic Association, Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 107 (2015). Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  3. ^ Sports Publicity Department. "1980 Press Guide University of Florida" (PDF). floridagators.com. University Athletic Association, Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2018.