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Notebook
(As Of November 25, 1996)

SQUAD

  • General

    • UF has ranked first in both the AP and USA Today/CNN polls in each of the past 10 weeks. The Gators were last No. 1 in seven of the first nine weeks of the 1994 season.

    • Seeking a fourth straight outright SEC title, something accomplished only once in SEC history (Alabama, under Paul "Bear" Bryant, won five consecutive titles from 1971-75).

    • Aiming for a sixth straight final AP Top 10 Poll appearance. UF is one of just two schools in the nation to finish in the Top 10 in each of the last five years.

    • The Gators are outscoring opponents 493-147 (an avg. of 49.3 to 14.7), an average scoring margin of 34.6 points.

    • UF's average scoring margin of 34.6 points is second-best in the nation.

    • In eight SEC games this season, the Gators have outscored their opponents 376-112 (an average of 47.0 to 14.0), an average scoring margin of 33.0 points per game.

    • The Gators have outscored their opponents 306-54 in the first half (an average of 30.6 to 5.4).

    • The Gators have scored 42 or more points in six of eight SEC games.

    • Florida's turnover margin (plus-9) of 0.9 per game (26 turnovers forced and 17 turnovers lost over 10 games) ranks 16th in the nation.

    • UF's 67 total TDs in 10 games this season (33 passing, 25 rushing, two punt returns, one blocked punt, six defensive) is second in the nation, trailing only BYU's 71 in 13 games, and its 49.3 average points per game leads the nation.

    • Florida, Notre Dame and Ohio State are the only teams in the nation to currently rank in the Top 15 in total offense AND total defense.

    • Florida (along with Florida State, Ohio State and Nebraska) is one of four teams currently ranked in the Top 10 in both scoring offense and scoring defense.

    • The '96 Gators have already set a school record for most penalty yards in a season (920) and its 104 total penalties this year is just five shy of tying the 1993 squad for most penalties in a year (109).

  • 1996 Squad Achievements

    • Won the school's fifth straight SEC Eastern Division title and will make its fifth straight appearance in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama in Atlanta on Dec. 7th. Florida will seek its fourth straight league title, the second best such achievement in league history (Alabama won five straight SEC crowns from 1971-75).

    • Just the second team in Gator history to start a season with a 10-0 record (also 1995 team).

    • Just the second team in school history to post a 8-0 conference record (also 1995 team).

    • Became the first team in SEC history to win at least eight or more league games for four consecutive years (1993-96).

    • Became the first team in SEC history to win at least eight regular season conference games in back-to-back years (1995-96).

    • Became the first team in SEC history to win six or more conference games for the seventh consecutive season (1990-96).

    • Its current 10-game win streak to start the season ranks as the second-best mark in school history (1995 team won 12 straight).

    • Stretched UF's unbeaten mark in SEC games to 21, the third-longest unbeaten streak in conference history.

    • Stretched UF's unbeaten record in SEC games away from Florida Field to a school-record 18 straight.

    • Stretched UF's unbeaten record versus SEC Eastern Division opponents to 22 straight.

    • Defeated its eight SEC opponents by an average score of 376-112 (an average of 47.0 to 14.0).

    • Defeated Georgia for a school-record seventh straight year (a mark that also ties the series record for the most consecutive wins by a team in this long rivalry).

    • Defeated Georgia, 47-7, the largest margin of victory (40) for a Gator team in this series.

    • Beat Arkansas, 42-7, the largest margin of defeat (35 points) for a Razorback team in Fayetteville since 1931.

    • Defeated Auburn, 51-10, a 41-point margin of victory that tied a UF record vs. the Tigers.

    • Beat Kentucky, 65-0, the largest shutout win versus a SEC foe in school history.

    • Defeated LSU for a school-record ninth consecutive year.

    • Scored 50 or more points in all six home games.

  • Schedule

    • Florida is once again facing a demanding schedule in 1996.

      - Has already defeated three top-ranked teams (at No. 2 Tennessee, vs. No. 12 LSU, vs. No. 16 Auburn) and still has to go to No. 2 Florida State. In addition, it will meet a ranked Alabama team in the SEC Championship Game

      - Florida's schedule was ranked the 10th-toughest in the nation, according to the NCAA News. UF's 1996 opponents posted a record of 64-40-2 last season for a winning percentage of .613

      - Florida was the only team in the AP Top 25 preseason poll that had to face two Top 5 preseason teams on the road (Tennessee and Florida State)

      - Florida was one of only three teams (along with Colorado and Penn State) in the preseason Top 20 rankings to have to face four teams that also ranked in the preseason Top 20 (Tennessee, Florida State, Auburn and LSU)

  • Top Starts

    • Florida is off to a 10-0 overall start to a season for the second time in school history (1995, 1996). The Gators have opened a campaign with a 11-0 record just once in school history (1995).

    • Florida is a perfect 8-0 in SEC play. The Gators have posted a perfect 9-0 mark in conference play just once (1995).

    OFFENSE

    • The '96 squad is attempting to continue Florida's offensive prowess in the 1990's. UF seeks to rank among the nation's top 10 teams in passing offense for the seventh consecutive year and among the nation's top 10 in total offense for the sixth time in the past seven seasons. The '96 Gators currently rank second in total offense (513.4 ypg), fifth in passing offense (324.4 ypg) and first in scoring offense (49.3 ppg).

    • After 10 games the UF offense is:

      - 47-53 (39 TDs, eight FGs, four missed FGs, one blocked FG and one interception) for a 88.7% success rate inside the 20. The Gators are 36-41 inside the 20 under Danny Wuerffel (32 TDs, four FGs, four missed FGs and one interception) for 234 points. Wuerffel's scoring percentage is 87.8% inside the Red Zone, while his TD percentage is 78.0%. Wuerffel has completed 18 passes inside the 20 for 16 TDs, with the last 16 straight completions going for touchdowns.
      - averaging 513.4 yards in total offense (189.0 rush and 324.4 pass)
      - averaging 25.8 first downs per game
      - gaining 7.3 yards per play
      - averaging 17.0 yards per pass completion
      - has posted a 167.29 team pass efficiency rating
      - has scored 58 touchdowns (33 passing, 25 rushing)

    • Florida is the only offensive unit in the nation to rank in the top 10 in passing AND top 30 in rushing in the latest NCAA rankings.

    • UF leads the nation in yards per play (7.3) and yards per completion (17.0, minimum 200 atts.), and is second to Brigham Young (65 in 13 games) in offensive TDs (58 in 10 games).

    • Florida and BYU are the only offensive units to have 30 or more passing TDs and at least 25 rushing TDs.

    • The Gator offense has scored 58 TDs this season and the average for those scoring drives has been just 2:07. It has scored 29 TDs in two minutes or less and 23 TDs on TD drives of four plays or less, including seven TDs on drives of just one play.

    • Reidel Anthony and Ike Hilliard have already combined for 23 TD catches this fall (Anthony - 14, Hilliard - 9) to rank one-two in the SEC. A Gator receiver has led the SEC in TD catches every year since 1990.

    • UF has had a nice balance so far, rushing 377 times (53.4%) and passing it 329 (46.6%), with 25 rushing and 33 passing TDs. The Gators are one of three teams (along with BYU and Ohio State) in the nation to have scored at least 25 TDs both rushing and passing.

    • The Gators have scored a touchdown on their opening drive in seven of 10 games this season (all but Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina).

    • In eight SEC games this year the Gator offense is averaging 501.5 yards a game in total offense.

    • The Gator running game continues to be overshadowed by its more renowned passing game but is making a name for itself this fall as well. It is averaging 189.0 yards per game (30th in the nation) with an average per carry of 5.0. It has tied the school record with 25 rushing TDs (held by the 1975 and 1976 teams) and its average per carry of 5.0 ranks as the third-best mark in school history. Against LSU both Fred Taylor and Elijah Williams rushed for over 100 yards marking the first time since 1984 that two Gators went over the century rushing mark in the same game. The very next week vs. Auburn the duo both went over 100 rushing yards again.

    • Last season (1995) UF's starting line of Jason Odom, Reggie Green, Jeff Mitchell, Donnie Young and Mo Collins started all 13 games. This year there have already been five different starting lineups, with a sixth starting group likely against Florida State. OT Mo Collins has missed six games due to a suspension. Center Jeff Mitchell fractured an ankle versus Georgia and will miss at least the rest of the regular season. Early in the second half versus Vanderbilt, OT Zach Piller suffered a sprained leg and missed the South Carolina game. His status for the Florida State is uncertain. Three redshirt freshmen were starters for the rest of the second half versus Vanderbilt, as well as starters versus South Carolina. Here is a look at UF's different line combinations this year:

      LT, LG, C, RG, RT

      USL, Georgia Southern and Tennessee
      Collins, Kalich, Mitchell, Young, Piller

      Kentucky and Georgia
      Carlisle, Kalich, Mitchell, Young, Piller

      Arkansas, LSU and Auburn
      Piller, Kalich, Mitchell, Yarbrough,Young

      Vanderbilt
      Carlisle, Kalich, Ritch, Young, Piller

      South Carolina
      Carlisle, Kalich, Ritch, Yarbrough, Young

    • UF's impressive offensive performance has resulted in several players receiving recognition for individual awards. WR Reidel Anthony and WR Ike Hilliard have both been named semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's premier wide receiver. (Florida was the only school to have two candidates among the 10 semifinalists). Center Jeff Mitchell and guard Donnie Young have been named semifinalists for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's top interior lineman. (UF and Nebraska were the only schools to have two players named to the semifinal list of 13). Of course, QB Danny Wuerffel is a candidate for several national awards (Davey O'Brien QB of the Year Award, Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Heisman). Wuerffel and Hilliard have also been named two of 15 semifinalists for Football News' National Offensive Player of the Year Award. (UF was the only school to have two players on the list of 15).

    • Here are some offensive game highlights from this season:

      - Gained 658 yards vs. Georgia Southern, third-best in UF history

      - Scored 35 first-half points vs. second-ranked Tennessee

      - 42 points vs. Arkansas was most ever vs. a Razorback team in Fayetteville since 1931

      - 635 total yards vs. LSU, most ever for UF vs. a SEC foe and the most ever surrendered by LSU vs. a SEC team

      - A school-record 36 first downs vs. LSU

      - Against LSU had two backs rush for over 100 yards AND two receivers gain over 100 yards for the first time in school history

      - 51 points vs. Auburn marked the first time since 1948 that a Tiger team had 50 points scored against it

      - 625 total yards vs. Auburn was the most ever by any team vs. a Tiger squad

    • Florida's 42.6% conversion rate on third down this season is somewhat below recent seasons (49.7% in '95, 51.9% in '94).

    • UF has led the nation in TD passes since 1990 with 247. UF’s 48 TD passes in 1995, 43 in 1994 and 41 in 1993 all were tops in that national category. Its 33 TD passes so far in 1996 ranks tied for the fourth-top total in the nation, trailing BYU (35 in 13 games), Louisiana Tech (35 in 11 games) and Nevada (34 in 11 games), and tied with Wyoming (33 in 11 games).

      TOUCHDOWN PASSES SINCE 1993
      (as of November 23, 1996)
      
      1. 	FLORIDA	        165
      
      2. 	Nevada		136
      
      3. 	Florida State	118
      
      4. 	BYU		115
      
      5. 	San Diego State	106
      
      6. 	Wyoming	        102
      
      7.	Utah		90
      
      8.	Ohio State	89
      
      	Southern Cal	89
      
      9.	Fresno State	88
      
       	Tennessee	88
      
      10.	Oregon		83
      
      
      TOUCHDOWN PASSES SINCE 1990
      (as of November 23, 1996)
      
      1. 	FLORIDA	        247
      
      2. 	BYU		218
      
      3. 	Florida State	189
      
      4. 	Houston		179
      
       	San Diego State	179
      
      5. 	Nevada		159
      
      6. 	Wyoming	        158
      
      7.	East Carolina	142
      
      8. 	Fresno State	140
      
       	California	140
      
      9.	Miami		135
      
      10.	Tennessee	131
      
      
  • MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

      - Has thrown for at least one TD pass in 76 of the last 77 games, including 59 straight.

      - Has thrown for 200 or more yards in 75 of the past 77 games.

      - Since 1990 UF has thrown for 300 or more yards in a game in 50 of its 85 total contests. Prior to 1990 the Gators threw for 300 or more yards in a game just 14 times in the previous 83 seasons of play (1906-89).

      - Scored 30 or more points in 39 of the past 49 games.

      - Since 1990 the Gator offense has passed the ball 51.3% of the time and rushed it 48.7%.
      
      Year	Plays	Rushes	        Passes    
      
      1990	855	440 (51.5%)	415 (48.5%)
      
      1991	787	397 (50.5%)	390 (49.5%)
      
      1992	926	423 (45.9%)	503 (54.1%)
      
      1993	888	400 (45%)	488 (55%)
      
      1994	851	416 (48.9%)	435 (51.1%)
      
      1995	867	410 (47.3%)	457 (52.7%)
      
      1996	706	377 (53.4%)	329 (46.6%)
      
      Total   5880	2863(48.7)	3017 (51.3)
      
      
  • INSIDE THE NUMBERS SINCE 1990

    • 45-1 record when it rushes for 150 or more yards in a game and 26-12-1 when held under 150 yards.

    • 64-3 record when it rushes for at least 100 yards in a game and just 7-10-1 when held under 100 yards.

    • 35-1 when a back rushes for 100 or more yards in a game.

    • 34-1 record when UF rushes for more than 150 yards AND passes for more than 250 yards in a game.

    • 49-4 when UF scores first and 22-9-1 when opponent scores first.

    • 53-1 when UF outrushes its opponent and just 18-12-1 when it is outrushed.

    • UF has been outrushed in 12 of the 13 games it has lost since 1990.

  • OFFENSIVE GAME RECAPS

      Southwestern Louisiana
    • Gained 464 yards in total offense (325 passing, 139 rushing)
    • Averaged 5.8 yards per play

      Georgia Southern
    • Gained 658 yards in total offense (264 rushing, 394 passing), the second best performance under Steve Spurrier and the third-best in UF history
    • Six rushing TDs, the most since UF had six vs. Auburn in 1990
    • Averaged 10.8 yards per play and 13 different receivers caught at least one pass.

      Tennessee
    • Gained 304 yards in total offense (149 rushing, 155 passing), the third-lowest performance under Steve Spurrier
    • Four passing TDs, all in the first half

      Kentucky
    • Gained 489 yards in total offense (146 rush, 343 pass)
    • Averaged 6.8 yards per play and 12 different players caught passes
    • Scored on seven of nine possessions in the first half

      Arkansas
    • Gained 549 yards in total offense (462 pass, 87 rush)
    • 462 yards passing was the most ever for UF vs. a SEC foe
    • Averaged 8.0 yards per play and nine different players caught at least one pass
    • 42 points most scored vs. a Razorback team in Fayetteville since 1931

      LSU
    • Gained 635 yards in total offense (308 rush, 327 pass), the most-ever vs. a SEC opponent and the fifth-best overall (LSU entered game yielding 281.3 per game)
    • Set a school record with 36 first downs
    • 308 rushing yards was also best in Spurrier era
    • For the first time in school history, had two running backs gain over 100 yards, as well as two receivers eclipse the 100-yard plateau
    • Scored 42 points in the first half after LSU had given up just 23 points in the first half of their first four games in '96

      Auburn
    • Gained 625 yards in total offense (279 rush, 346 pass), the most ever vs. an Auburn team
    • Scored 51 points, the most against Auburn since 1948
    • Scored on eight of 14 possessions
    • For the second straight week two running backs gain over 100 yards rushing
    • Totaled 32 first downs and averaged 7.9 yards per play
    • Four rushing and three passing TDs (Auburn had given up just five TD passes all year)

      Georgia
    • Gained 528 yards in total offense (209 rush, 319 pass)
    • Threw for five TD passes after Georgia entered the game having allowed only four the entire season in its first seven games
    • Averaged 8.8 yards per play
    • Nine different players caught a pass

      Vanderbilt
    • Gained 388 yards in total offense (105 rush, 283 pass)
    • Four passing TDs vs. a defense that had yielded only five passing TDs in eight previous games

      South Carolina
    • Gained 494 yards in total offense (204 rush, 290 pass)
    • Averaged 26.4 yards per pass completion, a school record (min. 10 comp.)
    • Had a back gain over 100 yards for the third time in the last five games

    DEFENSE

    • UF currently ranks 13th in the nation in total defense (276.0 ypg), 18th in rushing defense (109.3 ypg), 11th in pass efficiency defense (95.34) and eighth in scoring defense (14.7 ppg).

    • Florida, West Virginia, North Carolina, Syracuse, Florida State, Virginia, Nebraska, Alabama and Ohio State are the only nine schools in the nation to rank in the Top 18 in rush defense, pass efficiency defense, scoring defense and total defense.

    • The Gators have registered six defensive touchdowns (two interception returns and four fumble returns) this year, a new single-season UF record. The '95 unit had just one TD. Here is a breakdown of defensive touchdowns since Steve Spurrier's arrival in 1990:
      
      Year	Defensive Scores (FR/IR)   
      
      1990	4                (1 FR/3 IR)
      
      1991	2                (0 FR/2 IR)
      
      1992	0
      
      1993	1                (1 FR/0 IR)
      
      1994	4                (1 FR/3 IR)
      
      1995	1                (1 FR/0 IR)
      
      1996	6                (4 FR/2 IR)
      
      
    • UF's four fumble returns for TDs in 1996 ties a NCAA Division I-A single-season record.

    • Florida's defense has now forced 26 turnovers (13 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries) after 10 games, leading to 121 points (42 directly and 79 indirectly). UF forced 22 turnovers after 10 games last season.

    • One of the goals of the '96 unit is "Big Plays". The unit has received a good deal of attention in that regard this season for its school record six TDs but that is just part of the picture. The unit is awarded "Big Plays" in several categories: QB sacks, additional tackles behind the line of scrimmage, forced QB hurries, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, pass deflections and interceptions. It has been credited with 242 "Big Plays" this year, an average of 24.2 per game. Here is how the '96 defense has scored in that regard this season game-by-game.
      
      OPPONENT		BIG PLAYS
      
      Southwestern Louisiana	30
      
      Georgia Southern	10
      
      Tennessee		38
      
      Kentucky		24
      
      Arkansas		18
      
      LSU			24
      
      Auburn			32
      
      Georgia			15
      
      Vanderbilt		24
      
      South Carolina		27
      
      
    • Seeking to rank among the nation's top 10 teams in rushing defense for the sixth time in the past eight years. Currently ranked 18th in the nation (109.3 ypg).

    • Here is a comparison after 10 games of the 1996 Gator defense vs. last year's unit:
      
      STATISTIC	        1996	1995
      
      Turnovers	        26	22
      
      Touchdowns	        6	0
      
      Points off TO	        121	82
      
      "Big Plays"	        242	209
      
      3rd Downs	        37-154	51-146
      
      3rd Down %	        24.0	34.9
      
      Total Yards	        2760	3166
      
      Total Ypg	        276.0	316.6
      
      Rush Yards	        1093	1295
      
      Rush Ypg	        109.3	129.5
      
      Pass Yards	        1667	1871
      
      Pass Ypg		166.7	187.1
      
      Pass Efficiency	        95.34	105.9
      
      Tackles for Loss	80	57
      
      Average Plays/Drive	4.91	5.72
      
      TDs against	        17	20
      
      Points against	        132	157
      
      Three and Out	        55-136	43-128
      
      Three and Out %	        40.4	33.6
      
      First Downs per game	16.4	17.3
      
      
    • The Gator rush defense has yielded an average of 109.3 yards per game and just 2.7 per rush. It held then second-ranked Tennessee to just nine net rushing yards and LSU to 28 yards rushing. LSU entered the game leading the SEC in rushing with an average of 279.5 per contest.

    • The Gator defense has vastly improved its third-down effectiveness. Last year's unit after 10 games was at 34.9% on third down but this year's group is at a sparkling 24.0%. Over the last six games it has permitted a third-down conversion just 24 of 109 times (22.0%).

    • UF leads the SEC in QB sacks with 42, an average of 4.2 per game. Last year's defense was credited with 29 QB sacks the entire year.

    • UF has been credited with 80 total tackles for negative yardage of 361, an average of 8.0 plays for negative yardage of 36.1 yards per game this year. Last year's unit had 67 total tackles for loss the entire year in 12 games.

    • The Gator secondary ranks among the nation's most experienced. The starting unit of corners Anthone Lott (43) and Fred Weary (21), along with safeties Lawrence Wright (34), Teako Brown (11) and Shea Showers (11) have combined for 120 career starts. Showers moved into the top spot at FS with Brown's knee injury, which forced him to miss five games.

    • Defensive Highlights in 1996

      - Four touchdowns vs. Southwestern Louisiana, the most defensive scores in a game in school history

      - Two fumble returns for TDs vs. USL tied a NCAA single-game record

      - Forced six turnovers (including four interceptions of Peyton Manning) vs. No. 2 ranked Tennessee and held the Volunteers to just nine net rushing yards

      - Held Kentucky to 67 total yards, the second-best total defense effort in school history

      - Held Kentucky to five total first downs, the lowest total vs. a SEC foe in Gator history

      - Held 16th-ranked Auburn to just 173 yards in total offense

    • This is a pretty young defensive unit overall as only six seniors appeared on the two-deep depth chart for the South Carolina game. Nine freshmen/sophomores appeared on the two-deep.

  • INSIDE THE NUMBERS SINCE 1990

    • The Gators have posted a 41-1-1 record when they hold an opponent to less than 100 team rushing yards.

    • 59-0 when holding opponents to 21 or less points.

    • 49-4 when the defense is not scored upon first. UF is just 22-9-1 when its opponent scores first.

  • DEFENSIVE GAME RECAPS

      Southwestern Louisiana
    • Registered four defensive touchdowns (two interception returns and two fumble returns), the most in a game in school history
    • The two fumble returns for TDs tied a NCAA Division I-A single-game record
    • Forced six turnovers (4 interceptions and 2 fumbles), the most since the 1993 season when it forced eight turnovers vs. Vanderbilt
    • Credited with 30 "Big Plays" (nine tackles for lost yardage, including six QB sacks; 11 QB hurries, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two pass deflections)
    • Permitted just 48 rushing yards on 37 carries, an average of only 1.3 per rush

      Georgia Southern
    • Registered its fifth defensive touchdown of the season on a fumble return, setting a school record for most in a season
    • Allowed 371 yards (60 passing, 311 rushing)

      Tennessee
    • Forced six turnovers (four interceptions and two fumble recoveries), leading to 21 UF points, while also allowing just nine yards net rushing, the eighth-best single-game effort in that category in school history. UF recorded a season-high 38 "Big Plays" (four INTs, two FR, eight PD, five TTFL, two FF and 17 FH)

      Kentucky
    • Permitted just 67 yards in total offense (24 rush, 43 pass), just one yard short of tying the school record for fewest total yards allowed in a game. The 67 yards is the lowest total by a SEC opponent vs. UF in school history.
    • Allowed just five first downs, the fewest against a SEC opponent in school history
    • Held UK to 0-16 on third downs and forced 13 punts

      Arkansas
    • Permitted 258 yards in total offense (127 rush, 131 pass)
    • Gave up three first downs in the second half
    • Allowed no points and just 93 yards in the second half, including only 46 yards in the third quarter.

      LSU
    • Allowed 303 total yards (28 rush, 275 pass)
    • 28 rushing yards came against a LSU team averaging 279.5 per game coming in to the game
    • Held LSU to 4-14 (28.6%) on third down conversions (LSU had converted on 47% of third downs entering game)
    • Forced two turnovers (interception and fumble), leading to 14 Gator points
    • Recorded eight sacks and 18 "Big Plays"

      Auburn
    • Allowed just 173 yards (avg. of 2.54) in total offense (91 rush, 82 pass) after Auburn entered the game averaging 411.8 yards per game
    • Held Auburn to 82 passing yards after they had averaged 264.8 per game
    • Gave up 10 points after the Tigers entered the game averaging 38 points per game
    • Held Auburn to 4-18 (22.2%) on third downs (AU had league-best 51.0% rate)

      Georgia
    • Allowed 272 yards in total offense (166 rush, 106 pass)
    • Forced three turnovers (two fumbles and an interception)

      Vanderbilt
    • Allowed 235 yards in total offense (122 rush, 113 pass)
    • Forced two turnovers, both fumbles, one of which led to a Gator score
    • Held Vandy to 3-13 on third downs

      South Carolina
    • Allowed 319 yards in total offense (167 rush, 152 pass)
    • Held USC to 4-16 on third downs
    • Credited with four QB sacks

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    • Averaging 13.4 yards per punt return, a figure that ranks 13th in the nation. Jacquez Green ranks 12th with an average of 13.5.

    • The Gators have 495 punt return yards thus far in 1996, the third-best seasonal mark in UF history.

    • Jacquez Green's two punt returns for TDs vs. Kentucky tied a NCAA single-game individual record and set a UF record. UF's two punt return TDs this season ties the school single-season record.

    • The Gators surpassed their punt return yardage total of 208 yards from a year ago in the fourth game this season. In fact, UF eclipsed the entire '95 season total in one game as it totaled 272 punt return yards in the fourth game against Kentucky.

    • The Gators 272 punt return yards vs. Kentucky were the most in a game for a SEC team in conference history.

    • UF has blocked four or more punts in each of the previous two seasons (1994-95), but has blocked just two so far in 1996. Overall the Gators have blocked five or more kicks (punts, PATs, FGs) in each of the previous two seasons.

    • Since 1990, UF is 16-0 in games in which it blocks a punt.

    • Florida has registered touchbacks on 35 of its 85 kickoffs in the first 10 games.

    • Here is a look at UF's top special teams performances this year:

      Tennessee
    • Averaged 20.8 yards on kickoff returns
    • Had seven punts for 306 yards (43.7 avg.), including a long of 58 yards

      Kentucky
    • Returned two punts for TDs to set a UF single-game record and tie NCAA and SEC single-game records
    • Set a SEC record for most team punt return yards in a game with 272
    • 272 punt return yards also surpassed UF's total of 208 yards for the entire 1995 season
    • 11 kickoffs with nine in the end zone, including eight for touchbacks.

      Arkansas
    • Had seven kickoffs, with all seven going into the end zone and four being downed for touchbacks

      Auburn
    • Had nine kickoffs with seven going into the end zone and four being downed for touchbacks

      Vanderbilt
    • Blocked first punt of the year (Jon Xynidis)

      South Carolina
    • Returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, the first by a Gator team since 1994
    • Converted a key fourth down with a fake punt in the second quarter

    1996 HONORS

  • Biletnikoff Award - Reidel Anthony is one of three finalists. Anthony and Ike Hilliard were two of 10 semifinalists, making UF the only school in the nation with two among the 10 semifinalists.

  • Outland Trophy - Jeff Mitchell and Donnie Young are two of 13 semifinalists. UF and Nebraska are the only schools with two or more semifinalists.

  • Unitas Golden Arm Award - Danny Wuerffel is one of seven finalists.

  • National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete - Danny Wuerffel is one of 16 recipients to receive $18,000 for post-graduate study and is now a finalist for the Draddy Trophy, which is presented to the nation's premier football scholar-athlete. An additional $25,000 for post-graduate study is awarded to the recipient.

  • College Football Association Scholar-Athlete Team - Danny Wuerffel and DB Lawrence Wrightwere named to the team. UF was one of only four schools with multiple recipients.

    SUPER SENIORS

  • The 1996 senior class has already put together a long and distinguished list of accomplishments:

    - Posted a 43-5-1 record, the most victories for a senior class in school history.

    - Compiled a 33-2 SEC record, the most conference wins for a senior class in school history.

    - Won three SEC titles (1993, 1994, 1995), with a chance for a unprecedented fourth when they play in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7 in Atlanta vs. Alabama.

    - Won four SEC Eastern Division titles.

    - Appearances in four consecutive SEC Championship Games (1993-96).

  • On squads that were part of numerous firsts at Florida:

    - First to win a SEC Championship Game (1993)
    - First to win 11 games (1993)
    - First to win 12 games (1995)
    - First to win three straight SEC titles (1993, 1994, 1995)
    - First to play in a National Championship Game (1996 Fiesta Bowl)
    - First to open a season with a 12-0 mark (1995)
    - First to open a season (1994) ranked number one in preseason wire service polls
    - First to win a Sugar Bowl game (1993 season)
    - First to win 12 consecutive games in a season (1995)
    - First to post a perfect 9-0 SEC record (1995)

  • The only senior class in SEC history to win eight or more league games in each of its four years (1993-96).

  • On squads that stretched UF's streak of six or more conference wins a season to seven years (1990-96), something never before accomplished in SEC history.

  • Have appeared in the weekly AP Top 10 Poll every week of their four years (66 polls). On squads that were ranked number one for seven of the first nine weeks of the 1994 season, as well as each of the last 10 weeks this year.

  • Has currently won 21 straight SEC games, the third-longest win streak in SEC history, and are 33-2 in their 35 conference games.

  • One of four senior classes to never lose to Georgia.

  • Has never lost to a SEC Eastern Division team, a string of 20 straight wins.

  • Won their last 17 straight SEC games away from Florida Field.

  • Appeared in three bowl games ('94 Sugar, '95 Sugar, '96 Fiesta), with a fourth appearance highly likely this season.

  • The 1996 senior class has also been successful off the field as 16 of the 19 seniors are expected to graduate by next summer. Two players, Jerome Evans and Demetric Jackson, have already graduated, earning their degrees in three and a half years. Three players, James Bates, David Nabavi and Danny Wuerffel, are expected to graduate this December, while nine players, Tremayne Allen, Jason Dean, Anthone Lott, Jeff Mitchell, Dwayne Mobley, Shawn Nunn, Brian Schottenheimer, Matt Teague and Lawrence Wright, are slated to earn their degrees in May of 1997. Two others, Bart Edmiston and Shea Showers, are scheduled to graduate in the summer of 1997.

    1996 SENIOR CLASS
    
    Year	Overall		SEC
    
    1993	11-2		8-1
    
    1994	10-2-1		8-1
    
    1995	12-1		9-0
    
    1996	10-0		8-0
    
    TOTALS	43-5-1		33-2
    
    
    UF AND THE 1990s

  • Florida is one of only two teams in the nation to finish each of the last five seasons (1991-95) ranked in the Top 10 in the final AP Poll (FSU is the other).

  • Florida is one of only three teams in the nation (Florida, Florida State, Nebraska) to win at least nine games in each of the last seven seasons (1990-96).

  • UF has won four SEC titles in the past five years ('91, '93, '94 and '95).

  • The Gators own the SEC’s best league record since 1990, 52-6 (.897).

  • Florida has appeared in each of the first four SEC Championship Games, with its fifth appearance to take place on December 7 in Atlanta.

  • During this decade UF has become the first school in SEC history to win eight or more conference games in a season four consecutive years (1993-96) and the first in SEC history to win at least six conference games for seven consecutive years (1990-96).

  • UF has a current streak of 23 straight wins vs. SEC Eastern Division teams and has posted a 24-1 record vs. eastern opponents since divisional play began in 1992.

  • Won 21 straight SEC games and 33 of its last 35 league games. Its current 21-game leagie win streak is the third-longest in SEC history.

  • Has a current school record streak of 17 straight SEC wins away from Florida Field and has claimed 19 of its last 20 SEC games away from Gainesville.

  • Has posted a 12-0-1 record in its last 13 true away games (played at opponent campus stadium).

  • Is 24-1 vs. SEC foes at Florida Field since 1990.

  • Florida has made a school-record five straight appearances in bowl games, including four major New Year’s Day Bowls.

  • Florida’s 71-13-1 (.841) record since 1990 ranks as the third-best winning percentage and the third-best win total in the nation over the last seven seasons.

    The best programs in the nation (based on winning percentage) since 1990:
    
    1. Florida State	74-9-1	.887
    
    2. Nebraska	        72-10-1	.873
    
    3. Florida	        71-13-1	.841
    
    4. Miami		67-14-0	.827
    
    5. Colorado	        66-13-4	.819
    
    
    Most wins since 1990:
    
    1.	Florida State	74
    
    2.	Nebraska	72
    
    3.	Florida		71
    
    4.	Alabama		69
    
    5.	Penn State	68
    
    
  • Florida’s 32-3-1 (.903) record since 1994 ranks as the second-best winning percentage and the second-best win total in the nation over the last three years.

    The best programs in the nation (based on winning percentage) since 1994:
    
    1.	Nebraska	34
    
    2.	Florida		32
    
    3.	Penn State	31
    
    4.	Colorado	30
    
    	Ohio State	30
    
    
    Most wins since 1994:
    
    1.	Nebraska	30
    
    2.	Florida		29
    
    3.	Alabama		27
    
    	Penn State	27
    
    4.	Colorado	26
    
    	Ohio State	26
    
    	Florida State	30
    
    5.	Alabama		29
    
    	BYU		29
    
    
  • Florida’s 22-1 (.957) record since 1995 ranks as the best winning percentage and the best win total in the nation over the last two years.

    The best programs in the nation (based on winning percentage) since 1995:
    
    1. Florida	        22-1-0	.957
    
    2. Nebraska	        21-1-0	.955
    
    3. Florida State	20-2-0	.909
    
    4. Ohio State	        21-3-0	.875
    
    5. Colorado	        19-3-0	.864
    
       Tennessee	        19-3-0	.864
    
    
    Most wins since 1995:
    
    1.	Florida		22
    
    2.	Nebraska	21
    
    	Ohio State	21
    
    3.	Florida State	20
    
    4.	BYU		19
    
    	Colorado	19
    
    	Kansas State	19
    
    	Penn State	19
    
    	Tennessee	19
    
    
    POLLS

    • UF is one of only two schools to finish the season in the final AP Top 10 Poll in each of the past five years (1991-95).

    • Florida has appeared in a school-record 114 consecutive Associated Press polls, a streak that began the second week of the 1990 season.

    • The Gators have also appeared in a current school-record 67 consecutive AP Top 10 polls, the second longest such streak in the nation.

    • UF was number one in the polls in seven of the first nine weeks of the 1994 season as well as each of the past 10 weeks.

    • UF completed the 1995 season ranked second in the final AP Poll, the highest finish in school history, and third in the final USA Today/CNN poll.

    THE SWAMP

    • Since taking over the Gator program in 1990, Steve Spurrier is 41-2 at "The Swamp."

    • The Gators set a school record with a 23-game home winning streak from 1990-93 before having the streak snapped versus Florida State in the 1993 home season finale. The previous school record was 20 straight wins from 1909-1915.

    • Steve Spurrier is 24-1 vs. SEC opponents at Florida Field since he arrived in 1990. The Gators are 11-0 vs. SEC East foes since divisional play began in 1992.

    • UF has defeated six teams at "The Swamp" who were ranked in the AP Top 10 on gameday (in 1990 beat No. 4 Auburn, 48-7; in 1991 beat No. 4 Tennessee, 35-18; in 1991 beat No. 3 Florida State, 14-9; in 1993 beat No. 5 Tennessee, 41-34, in 1995 beat No. 8 Tennessee, 62-37 and in 1995 beat No. 6 Florida State, 35-24). n Since 1990, Spurrier’s squads have outscored their opponents at home by a combined total of 1864-668 (an average of 43.3 to 15.5 for an average victory margin of 27.8).

    • In 43 home games under Spurrier, UF has scored 30 or more points 35 times and has held its opponent to 14 or less points 21 times. Florida has scored 24 or more points in 24 of the 25 home SEC games.

    • Nine times in Gator history a UF team has posted a perfect 6-0 home record. Five of those times have come since Spurrier's arrival in 1990 (1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996), with the other four coming in 1952, 1974, 1981 and 1983.

    • Here is a look at the Gators at Florida Field since 1981:

      - 84-11-2 (.876) overall record
      - 43-5-1 (.888) vs. non-conference foes
      - 41-6-1 (.865) vs. the SEC

    ACADEMIC SUCCESS

    • Over the last six years (1990-95), Florida has had 77 honorees named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, the top six-year total in school history and its 19 honorees in 1994 was the top single-season total in conference history. UF’s 14 selections in 1995 was the league’s second-top total.

    • Since 1980, Florida’s 137 SEC Academic Honor Roll selections rank second only to Kentucky’s 151 among all league schools.

    • UF was one of only four schools in the nation in 1994 to have more than one player named to the Academic All-America Team (QB Terry Dean and FS Michael Gilmore).

    • Florida has had some of the nation's most honored scholar-athletes the past few years. In 1991 DT Brad Culpepper was the recipient of the Draddy Scholarship Trophy, presented annually by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame to the nation's top scholar-athlete. Center David Swain was one of nine national recipients of the Honda Scholar-Athlete Awards in 1992. In 1993 Michael Gilmore was a first-team Academic All-American and was the state of Florida's lone national finalist for the Rhodes Scholar program. In 1994 Gilmore and Terry Dean were named first-team Academic All-America and Gilmore was a recipient of a National Scholar-Athlete Award from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. In 1995, quarterback Danny Wuerffel was named the GTE Academic All-American of the Year, as well as being selected first-team Academic All-America and was also named to the CFA Scholar-Athlete Team.

    TELEVISION EXPOSURE

    • In 86 games since Steve Spurrier returned to Gainesville (including this week's Florida State game), Florida has appeared on live network television 64 times. Forty-one of those 64 have been national broadcasts. During that span, Florida is 50-12-1 on live network television.

    • UF appeared on live network television a school-record 10 times in both 1992 and 1994. With both the Florida State and SEC Championship games slated for live television coverage, UF will appear on live network television 11 times in 1996, breaking the school record.

    • Fifty-six of UF’s last 74 games (32 national, 24 regional) have been televised on live network television.

    ATTENDANCE

    • Florida has ranked among the nation’s top 15 schools in average home attendance in each of the last 13 seasons. Since the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium expansion in 1991, bringing capacity to over 83,000, the Gators have ranked in the top five in the nation for the last six years. In 1996, UF averaged 85,404 fans, a new school seasonal record.

    • Once again in 1996, the Gators sold all available season tickets (72,000). That figure continues to rank as best in state history for any team - collegiate or pro.

    • Since 1991, UF has drawn crowds of more than 82,000 in each of the last 37 games.

    • The 20 largest crowds in the state of Florida history - collegiate games, professional games, bowl games, Super Bowls - have all occured since 1991 at Florida Field.

    FAMILY TREE

      Several Gator players have some well-known relatives in the sports world:

    • Tremayne Allen's cousin is Bryant Stith of the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

    • Reidel Anthony is the nephew of John Ford, who was a wide receiver with the Detroit Lions and at the University of Virginia.

    • Tyrone Baker is a cousin of Ricky Nattiel, a Gator wide receiver in the mid 1980's who was a first-round pick in the 1986 NFL Draft by Denver.

    • James Bates' father, Jim, was Florida's defensive coordinator in 1990 and is now a linebacker coach with the Dallas Cowboys. His brother, Jeremy, is a QB at Rice after transferring from Tennessee prior to the season.

    • Jayme Campbell and Fred Weary are cousins.

    • Cooper Carlisle's brother, Will, is an offensive lineman at Tulane, and his uncle, Duke Carlisle, was a standout QB at Texas who also played in the NFL.

    • Craig Dudley is the nephew of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin.

    • Jerome Evans is a cousin of former NFL linebacker Johnny Rembert.

    • Rod Frazier is the brother of former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, the runner-up for the 1995 Heisman Trophy who led the Cornhuskers to back-to-back national championships.

    • Tony George is a second cousin of former Ohio State running back and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George.

    • Ike Hilliard's brother, Ivory, was a starting DB at LSU in 1994. Ike's uncle, Dalton, was a standout RB at LSU in the mid-1980's who had several outstanding years with the New Orleans Saints.

    • Terry Jackson's father, Willie Sr., played football at UF from 1969-72 and his brother, Willie, from 1990-93. Willie Jr. caught 162 total passes, the second top total in UF history, and is currently playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars after playing for Dallas in '94.

    • Jevon Kearse is a cousin of former Gator Johnie Church, who was a seventh-round pick of Seattle in the 1996 NFL Draft.

    • Sean Ladd's brother, Tom, played at BYU and for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.

    • Travis McGriff is the son of Lee McGriff, an All-SEC WR at UF in the mid-1970's who was also an assistant coach with the Gators in the early 1980's.

    • Dwayne Mobley is a cousin of former NFL tight end Orsen Mobley of the Denver Broncos.

    • Brian Schottenheimer is the son of Marty Schottenheimer, head coach of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.

    • Robby Stevenson's cousin, Mike Compton, played for the Detroit Lions.

    • Elijah Williams is the step-brother of Greg Allen, a standout RB for Florida State in the mid-1980's.
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