It’s been a while since the last time the Florida Gators started a season with a record of 0-2. A week after having a home opener tuneup scratched from the schedule due to Hurricane Irma’s path through Florida, the Gators look to avoid snapping that streak on Saturday against division rival Tennessee.
You have to go all the way back to 1971 to find the last time Florida started off a season with a record of 0-2. It last happened in 1971, when Doug Dickey and his Gators started the year with five consecutive losses before clawing together some wins in the second half of the season. The year started with a 12-6 loss to Duke in Tampa and was followed up by a conference loss against Mississippi State.
In other words, Florida’s offense was non-existent in the season opener on a neutral field and they lost the next game on the schedule against a conference opponent. Well, that seems ominous.
Tennessee snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Gators last season in Knoxville. This year the Vols look to pick up their first win in The Swamp since 2003.
The last time Florida started their season without a win in their first two games of the year was 1984. After a 32-20 loss against Miami in Tampa, the Gators played to a 21-21 tie against LSU in Gainesville. Florida won the next nine games on the schedule, ending the year with a 27-17 victory over No. 12 Florida State in the regular season finale. Though recognized as SEC champions in a time before a SEC championship game, Florida was prohibited from playing in the postseason due to NCAA sanctions. A total of 22 publications recognized Florida as the national champion, including The Sporting News and New York Times.
In 1992, Florida started the season with a 1-2 record with back-to-back losses against Tennessee and Mississippi State, but the Gators had opened the year with a win against Kentucky.