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Legendary Gators fan “Mr Two Bits” passed away this week

Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
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College football in general, and in the SEC and at the University of Florida specifically, have many great traditions. One of those at Gators home games involves the famous “Two Bits” cheer to rally the crowd to root the home team onto victory.

The man who came up with the cheer in the 1940s, and had it become a rallying point for hundreds of Gator home games since, died earlier this week.

George Edmondson, who became better known as “Mr. Two Bits,” and could be seen on one hot Saturday after another every fall rallying the crowd at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and Steve Spurrier Florida Field for the Gator fans to “Stand up and Holler.”

As detailed, Edmondson passed away at age 97 in Tampa on Tuesday:

It all started, when Edmondson got invited to a 1949 Florida game against the Citadel, and the Gators team was really struggling. He has recounted numerous times that with the fans booing the home team and players that he wanted to come up with a positive way to encourage them by the fans standing up to cheer, even if the play on the field was bad.

Hence, the old playground/high school cheerleader cheer “Two Bits. Four Bits. Six Bits, a dollar. All for the …… stand up and holler.”

Edmondson did this cheer at that game in 1949 and became known for his whistle around his neck to signal the crowd and then soon after would hold up the “Two Bits” sign and start the cheer. This went on for decades and became one of the “institutions” of going to Gator home games.

Edmondson detailed it more in this interview chronicling his story for the school:

Edmondson “retired” from his on field role of leading the cheer in 2008 at age 86 after having led the cheer for over six decades of home games.

However, the tradition has continued with the likes of Gators legend Steve Spurrier leading the cheer, former Olympic Gold medalist Dara Torres, the ’06-07 back to back Men’s hoop champions, and we even wrote about former Gators/NFL star turned broadcaster Cris Collinsworth doing it last year, too.

Again, the traditions and the rabid following of fans is legendary all over the SEC, but what Edmondson started in the middle of the last century still has a legacy for Florida football.

Edmondson is survived by his wife, children, grand and great grand children and they are planning on holding a celebration of life service in August in Tampa for him. And there, you can bet, the “Two Bits” cheer will be held one more time for the man who started it at Gators games.

Florida Gators

Vols Coach Pruitt- “Yes I hate Florida”

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee series with Florida has not been too kind to them as of late, but even as a heavy underdogs at the Swamp Saturday, they believe that they could change that. Oh, and then there’s your second year head coach wanting to make it clear he definitely dislikes the Gators.

Jeremy Pruitt, whose team suffered a humiliating opening-week loss at home to Georgia State and then followed that with another loss in heartbreaking fashion to BYU in overtime in week two, took to the radio airwaves Wednesday to answer questions from Volunteers fans. And, one wanted to make sure how much he despised Florida:

The caller asked a question about whether the Vols might be able to pull a shocker, like they did over Auburn in Pruitt’s inaugural season of 2018, but also very plainly put it to the former Alabama and Florida State defensive coordinator,  “do you hate Florida?”

Pruitt answered the question about the mentality going into Gainesville, as a 14-point underdog in their SEC opener. Then threw in the line,

“And yes, I hate Florida.”

And, while Gators fans might take that insult, as perfect “bulletin board material” to motivate their team, the dislike has been there from both sides for 25 years or more.

Encouraging for the Vols, and even though it was under previous coach Butch Jones, Tennessee should have a mentality should be that they can hang with Florida. As each of the last two meetings in Gainesville under Jones, Tennessee had the lead in the final minute of the game, only to let Florida dramatically score the game-winning touchdown on a huge pass play.

A year ago in Knoxville, the Gators used six turnovers and two defensive touchdowns to wipe out Tennessee 47-21 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final.

Meanwhile, instead of the “level of hatred, or not” Gators coach Dan Mullen has bigger concerns about using dual quarterbacks in Kyle Trask and Emory Jones. And, he must deal with the expectations that the Gators should, once again, wipe out “The Big Orange.”

Then, let the media and fans talk about insults, afterwards.

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Florida Gators

Gators coach Mullen likely to use two QBs against Tennessee

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After losing starting QB Feleipe Franks to an ankle injury on Saturday night against SEC rival Kentucky, the Gators have now found themselves with an unexpected decision as to who will be starting QB?

Franks was replaced by redshirt junior Kyle Trask, who was seeing his first significant action of his Florida career, especially trailing by double figures in a hostile SEC road environment. However, it’s likely that RS Freshman Emory Jones will also take some snaps at quarterback this season.

Mullens decision to potentially go with both QBs could be not only to determine which guy will be his offensive leader for the rest of the season, but to also give their next opponent, Tennessee, more to prepare for as the head into their next conference rivalry game.

The Gators second year coach announced on Monday that Franks is officially done for the season.

On a fourth-and-one scramble with 3:21 remaining, Franks was sandwiched between multiple Wildcat defenders and bent backwards. Even though replays weren’t shown, it was clear he had suffered a dislocated right ankle injury.

So bad was the injury, that trainers who came to assist Franks on the turf at Commonwealth Stadium immediately put an air cast on his right leg. Then he was eventually carted off to the locker room after nearly the entire Gator team had surrounded him and wished him well.

Frank’s has been a “lightning rod of criticism” throughout his Florida career, but did silence a lot of those critics with his play down the stretch last season. That included a late season comeback win over South Carolina, playing well in the rivalry victory over Florida State, and then, following that up with a good performance in the easy victory in the Peach Bowl over Michigan.

However, Franks and the offense struggled much of the first three quarters of Saturday night’s SEC opener at Kentucky. At the time he left with an injury he was an efficient 12-17 for 174 yards with a TD pass and 1 INT. Still, they had only put one touchdown on the board while trailing 21 – 10.

Trask went in for Franks and went on to pull out a come from behind win for the Gators, completing 9 for 13 passes, with 126 passing yards. He’ll be competing for playing time with Jones, the No. 85 overall prospect in the Class of 2018 and four-star dual-threat quarterback.

Jones saw limited action last season to maintain redshirt status, but completed 12-16 passes for 125 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the four games he play in. Jones is also more of a dual threat to run and that will give Mullen and staff more options on play calls, if/when he’s on the field.

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