Florida Game by Game

The Florida Times Union, December 29, 1996 | Go to article overview

Florida Game by Game


A review of the University of Florida's first 12 games this

season:

FLORIDA 55, SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA 21

The Gators introduced their new defense with the aggressive,

attacking style new coordinator Bobby Stoops had promised. The

defense produced four touchdowns, four interceptions, five

sacks, two fumble recoveries and plenty of pressure. It scored

more touchdowns (four) than UF's high-powered offense (three),

setting a school record for most defensive touchdowns in a game.

UF had only one defensive touchdown all of last season.

FLORIDA 62, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 14

A week after the offense struggled and the defense shined, the

roles were reversed. The offense and QB Danny Wuerffel,

criticized by UF coach Steve Spurrier earlier in the week, were

nearly flawless, piling up 658 total yards and dominating with

starters and reserves. The defense, however, gave up more than

300 yards rushing. Wuerffel was one pass from perfect,

completing 15 of 16 for 267 yards and two touchdowns in a little

more than two quarters. He led UF to touchdowns on five of six

drives.

FLORIDA 35, TENNESSEE 29

The game of the year was over by halftime. The Gators opened a

35-6 lead after two quarters and played keep-away in the second

half. The defense harassed all-star QB Peyton Manning -- a top

Heisman Trophy candidate before the game -- and the offense went

for the kill early. Wuerffel threw four first-half touchdown

passes, two of which came after forced turnovers from the

defense. Senior CB Anthone Lott of Jacksonville had a fumble

return for a touchdown to close out the Gators' first-half

outburst.

FLORIDA 65, KENTUCKY 0

The Gators whipped the overmatched and undermanned Wildcats in

their first week as the nation's No. 1 team, staying clear of a

letdown after beating Tennessee. The Gators rolled up 489 yards

and scored almost every way imaginable. The telltale statistic:

Kentucky finished with 67 total yards -- a number Florida beat

by 11 yards with its first three plays of the game. The game was

full of highlights, none bigger than back-to-back punt returns

of 66 and 79 yards for touchdowns by Jacquez Green.

FLORIDA 49, ARKANSAS 7

Bruised and battered in the first half from an inspired

Arkansas defense, Wuerffel came through with a Heisman

Trophy-like performance, passing for a school-record 462 yards.

With UF leading 14-7 at halftime and struggling against

Arkansas' blitzing defense, Wuerffel (23 for 39, four

touchdowns, one interception) turned it up and turned it on. In

a span of 11 minutes from the third quarter to early in the

fourth, he threw three touchdown passes to give the Gators a

comfortable 35-7 lead.

FLORIDA 56, LSU 13

The second big game of the season wound up much like the first

-- a blowout. The Gators' defense held one of the nation's top

rushing offenses to 28 yards on 33 carries, while the UF offense

destroyed the defense that played it toughest in the regular

season last year. UF finished with a school-record 635 yards

against an SEC opponent, including 308 yards rushing. It was the

most points LSU has given up on the road since Texas A&M scored

63 in 1914. …

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