"Gridiron Greats" Returns

ORLANDO (June 7) - Sun Sports is bringing together some of the biggest names in Florida State, University of Florida and University of Miami gridiron history for its popular GRIDIRON GREATS summer series, premiering Saturday, June 10, at 6:30pm & 9pm (ET).

GRIDIRON GREATS runs June-August and includes 24 memorable games involving Florida State, the University of Florida or the University of Miami. The signature series takes the concept of pairing classic football games with multiple teammates/coaches from those contests together in one venue to discuss not only the game itself, but their favorite playing memories, behind-the-scenes stories, and other gridiron related anecdotes that never made the headlines when they suited up.

New this year are replays of a selection of memorable University of Miami games, along with comments from those who were there. Series host and former UM QB Steve Walsh took Sun Sports cameras along to Jimmy Johnson's home in the Florida Keys as Walsh, Johnson and former UM linebacker Bernard "Tiger" Clark reminisced for a segment airing during the Gridiron Greats replay of the 1988 Orange Bowl game (6/24, 9pm).

Johnson on recruiting QB Steve Walsh: "I was in a silk suit with no overcoat in the middle of cold Minnesota," said Johnson. "We're sliding our car all over the place on the ice. I could barely even find Steve's house. The whole time I asked myself why am I going through all of this for a QB that only had 2 other offers?" Clark on UM's dominant play in the '80s: "We had the toughest practices in the nation against the best players and that's why we were so successful -- because Saturday was like a day off for us."

Former Gator players sharing their thoughts and analysis include: Danny Wuerffel, Shane Matthews, Brad Culpepper, Reidel Anthony and Chris Doering. From FSU, the series offers comments from Ken Alexander, Casey Weldon, Monk Bonasorte, Rick Stockstill, Kez McCorvey, Tamarick Vanover, Charlie Ward, Ron Simmons and Head Coach Bobby Bowden. In addition to Clark and Johnson, Sun Sports also spoke with former UM great Lamar Thomas.

Former UM QB Steve Walsh hosts the UM Gridiron Greats with Sun Sports' James Bates returning to host UF presentations and Keith Jones hosting the FSU editions. Bates, Jones & Walsh gathered with players in numerous locations for the series, including Doak Campbell Stadium, the historic Orange Bowl, players' homes, area golf courses, and at the home of former Miami coach Jimmy Johnson.


*Denotes game new to the series this season

*6/10/06 1981 Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Oklahoma (1/1/81) 6:30pm With time running out and the Seminoles leading 17-10 Oklahoma QB JC Watts throws an 11-yard TD pass, and then is successful on the 2-pt. conversion as the Sooners beat FSU 18-17.

Quotes from this presentation:

"I got so much grief from my family and friends back in Georgia for going to Florida State. Most of them didn't even know where it was located. When I arrived I was hoping we'd win at least one game a year, so for us to be playing in the Orange Bowl on this stage was a dream come true." -- Ron Simmons

"We were wanting to play Georgia that year in the Sugar Bowl but instead Notre Dame got selected because of their name. For all the flak the BCS gets nowadays, we would've loved to have the BCS around in 1980." -- Monk Bonasorte

"Two-a-days were so tough and so tiring back then that I wouldn't take off my pads in between sessions. I would just lie down in the locker room with pads on, try to nap, and get something to drink and just wait until afternoon practice." -- Simmons

6/10/06 Florida State @ Florida (11/30/91) 9pm

Shane Matthews throws two TD passes and the Gator defense keeps Heisman Trophy runner-up Casey Weldon and the Seminoles out of the endzone late in the 4th quarter to preserve the 14-9 victory.

Quotes from this new presentation of this game:

"I remember Errict Rhett came into our dorm room one day and was impressed with the TV we were watching. We told him we got the TV from Curtis Mathes. Rhett thought about it for a second and then asked us what dorm room Curtis Mathes stayed in." - Brad Culpepper

"It was the most physical game I've ever been in. Both Casey Weldon and I left the locker rooms on crutches and I had knee surgery the following day. It was a dogfight that afternoon." -- Shane Matthews

6/17/06 1996 SEC Championship Game: Florida vs. Alabama (12/7/96) 6:30pm

A sellout crowd of 74,132 witnessed Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel throwing for an SEC Championship Game record 401 yards and six TDs and WR Reidel Anthony caught 11 balls for 171 yards and three TDs as the Gators rolled to a 45-30 win.

6/17/06 1994 Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Nebraska (1/1/94) 9pm

True freshman kicker Scott Bentley nails a 22-yarder with 21 seconds to go, vaulting the 'Noles to the 18-16 victory to claim the school's first national championship.

*6/24/06 1996 Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Notre Dame (1/1/96) 6:30pm

Danny Kanell threw two fourth quarter TD passes to lead FSU to a 31-26 come-from-behind win over Notre Dame in the final Orange Bowl game played in the historic stadium.

*6/24/06 1988 Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Oklahoma (1/1/88) 9pm

After being upset in the 1986 national championship game, the Hurricanes, led by QB Steve Walsh's two TD passes, hold off a stubborn Oklahoma team 21-14 and claim the school's second title.

7/1/06 Florida @ Tennessee (9/17/94) 6:30pm

Terry Dean throws for over 300 yards and two TDs as the Gators crush the Volunteers 31-0 in Knoxville, holding Tennessee to only 300 yards of total offense.

7/1/06 Florida State @ Florida (11/29/03) 9pm

With their backs up against the wall and facing a fourth down, Seminoles QB Chris Rix hits WR Dominic Robinson for a first down and then completes a 55-yard bomb to WR PK Sam with less than a minute to go as the 'Noles come back to beat Florida 34-31.

7/8/06 LSU @ Florida State (10/27/90) 6:30pm

Bobby Bowden notches career victory #200 thanks to 229 yards passing by QB Casey Weldon and three rushing TD's by RB Amp Lee in the 'Noles 42-3 victory.

7/8/06 Tennessee @ Florida (10/12/91) 9pm

The Gator defense forced five turnovers, including an interception returned for a TD, and QB Shane Matthews threw two TD's as the Gators beat the #4 Volunteers 35-18.

*7/15/06 Florida @ LSU (10/7/89) 6:30pm

With a deafening Tiger Stadium crowd against them, Florida was able to shut down the Tiger offense and squeak out a victory thanks to a 41-yard FG by Arden Czyzewski as time expired in the 16-13 win.

*7/15/06 1992 Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Nebraska (1/1/92) 9pm

Led by an attacking defense that held the Cornhuskers vaunted rushing attack to just 82 yards, and a punishing ground game paced by last-minute fill-in Larry Jones, the Hurricanes laid claim to the school's fourth national title 22-0.

7/22/06 Florida @ Florida State (11/28/92) 6:30pm

Freshman Tamarick Vanover totaled more than 200 yards of total offense and QB Charlie Ward led the Seminoles to the 45-21 victory over the Gators.

7/22/06 Mississippi State @ Florida (10/2/93) 9pm

Chris Doering hauls in 12 catches, 199 yards receiving and two TD's against the Bulldogs for a 38-24 win in a game featuring more than 1,400 yards of offense by both teams.

*7/29/06 Florida @ Georgia (10/28/95) 6:30pm

QB Danny Wuerffel threw for five TDs and WR Chris Doering caught three of them and RB Eli Williams gained 143 yards on the ground, as the Gators pounded the Bulldogs 52-17 in Athens.

7/29/06 Florida State @ Syracuse (10/7/89) 9pm

The celebrated "Fab Four" receivers, Bruce Lasane, Terry Anthony, Ronald Lewis & Lawrence Dawsey, shine for the 'Noles while Terrell Buckley's TD off a fake punt fair catch seals the impressive 41-10 win.

*8/5/06 Florida State @ Florida (11/27/93) 6:30pm

Charlie Ward hit Warrick Dunn on a 79-yard TD pass with less than three minutes to go as the Seminoles beat the Gators 33-21 in Gainesville thanks in large part to an FSU defense that held the Florida rushing attack to -33 total yards.

8/5/06 Florida @ Alabama (9/15/90) 9pm

In his rookie season as head coach, Steve Spurrier notches his first career road victory. DB Will White's three interceptions, a blocked punt for a TD and a stifling defense gives the Gators a 17-13 victory over the Crimson Tide.

*8/12/06 Florida State @ Miami (10/7/00) 6:30pm

Matt Munyon's 49-yard FG attempt sailed wide right as time expired sealing Miami's miraculous 27-24 victory over the Seminoles in a game that featured over 1,000 combined yards of total offense.

8/12/06 Florida State @ Florida (11/30/96) 9pm

In a game that matched-up the #1 & #2 teams, it was the #2-ranked Seminoles that came out on top 24-21 in one of the more controversial games in the series and placed the 'Noles into the national title game.

*8/19/06 1993 Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Nebraska (1/1/93) 6:30pm

The heavily favored Seminoles scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter to open up the game on their way to a 27-14 win in the Tribe's first appearance in the Orange Bowl in more than a decade.

8/19/06 Florida State @ Florida (11/25/95) 9pm

Danny Wuerffel throws four TD passes, two of them caught by Ike Hilliard, including a 74 yarder late in the third quarter, and Florida holds off FSU 35-24.

8/26/06 Florida State @ Florida (11/22/97) 6:30pm

With the #1-ranked Seminoles coming to the Swamp, the Gators and head coach Steve Spurrier used a bit of trickery with a rotation of QBs and confused Florida State enough to beat the Tribe in an upset.

8/26/06 Florida @ Florida State (11/26/94) 9pm

In one of the most remarkable comebacks in NCAA college football history, the Seminoles scored 28 points in the final eight minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the Gators 31-31 in what has since become known as "The Choke at Doak."

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