“The Swamp” has seen its fair share of loud moments over the years. Who could forget Tim Tebow‘s jump passes or Kerwin Bell‘s game-winning two-point conversion or Danny Wuerffel‘s trouncing of Peyton Manning.
Those historic moments electrified Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Against Auburn in 2019, La’Mical Perine‘s game-sealing touchdown run rocked Gainesville into Sunday and certified the Gators belonged with the best in college football.
La’Mical Perine’s 88-Yard TD Run vs. Auburn
It had been 17 years since the Florida Gators last beat the Auburn Tigers. Rex Grossman famously led UF to a last second score to win 30-23 in 2002. UF dropped the next three matchups in 2006, 2007 and 2011.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen got his first shot at Auburn in his second season at the helm. The SEC matchup was a back and forth battle throughout the first half with Florida taking a 17-13 lead going into halftime.
The second half was a defensive battle. Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix couldn’t find a rhythm, but his defense was holding strong.
Until there were nine minutes and 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter, that is.
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask had first-and-10 on his own 12-yard line. Still up 17-13, any points would make the Gators more comfortable. Trask took the snap out of the shotgun and handed it off to running back La’Mical Perine.
Perine finds a hole up the middle and is immediately met by an Auburn linebacker. He trucksticks him and bolts towards the sideline. He makes another Auburn defender miss. Perine leaves the rest of the Auburn defense in the dust and scurries into the end zone.
24-13 Florida. Ball game.
Perine’s 88-yard touchdown run made “The Swamp” absolutely explode. Florida writer Pat Dooley said the reaction was the loudest sustained noise he’s ever heard at Florida’s home field. Auburn coaches and players reciprocated the statement, saying it was the loudest they had ever heard a stadium on the road.
The big play put the nail in the coffin over the then No. 7 Auburn and gave Mullen his first big win of the 2019 season. Most importantly, it reminded us “The Swamp” is one of college football’s most hostile environments.