What does kicker Austin Hardin and former head coach Steve Spurrier have in common?
Once upon a time, former Florida head coach Steve Spurrier was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the Gators in 1966.
During this season, he utilized a golden-arm to deliver the football down the field, his quickness to evade defenders when running the football, and his leg for…a massive field-goal conversion.
In a contest against Auburn, he doubled as a kicker — nailing a 40-yard attempt late in the fourth quarter against the Tigers. This ultimately proved to be the game-winning kick.
Last week, Florida kicker Austin Hardin’s 43-yard boot against Vanderbilt clinched the SEC East Division for the Gators.
Both kicks ironically enough took place during Florida homecoming weekends. While no one will confuse Spurrier’s accolades as a player when compared to Hardin, ‘The Ol’ Ball Coach’ admitted that Hardin’s kick was more impressive.
"That field goal was bigger than the one I kicked back in ’66," said Spurrier. "That kick won the division for them. That was a championship kick! We didn’t win any championships that week."
Spurrier’s kick ultimately did not lead to a division title for the Gators in ’66. The following weekend, Florida lost to Georgia. Had Spurrier’s team won that game, it would’ve won the SEC Championship Title. As such, Spurrier praises Hardin for stepping up and making the kick.
"He’s got to be a hero. That was a great kick for the kid."
(h/t Gridiron Now)