Florida Gators Football

Florida Gators' Greatest Performances Since 1990

MIAMI - JANUARY 08:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators awaits the snap in the shotgun formation against the Oklahoma Sooners during the FedEx BCS National Championship game at Dolphin Stadium on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Clayton CoffmanAnalyst IApril 14, 2009

Is there really any reason to go back before 1990 to talk about the Gators' greatest performances? I don't think so either.

Ever since Steve Spurrier arrived in '90, the University of Florida has been on the map. And has dominated too.

From Danny Wuerffel to Keiwan Ratliff to Tim Tebow,  great players have come through Gainesville and provided memorable plays and performances for the Florida faithful and the college football world.

Here are the top-ten performances, in this writer's opinion, over the last 19 years.

10.  Taylor Jacobs vs. Maryland. 2002 Fed Ex Orange Bowl; 10 catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

The Gators had lost out on a chance to play in the SEC Title game after losing to Tennessee at home. This was there consolation game and it turned into the greatest offensive showcase in Orange Bowl history.  Jacobs was the star of the game torching the Terrapins' secondary.

9. Chris Leak vs. Kentucky. 2003 regular season. 235 yards passing and two touchdowns.

Trailing by 18 in the fourth quarter, Leak wouldn't go down without a fight.  As just the fourth true freshman to start a game, Leak led the Gators back and kept the winning streak over Kentucky alive.

8. Percy Harvin vs. Tennessee. 2007 regular season. 195 total yards and two touchdowns

Harvin's performance against the Volunteers was a thing of beauty. From deep passes to his amazing 19-yard touchdown run, Harvin did a little bit of everything against the Vols.

7. Alex Brown vs. Tennessee. 1999 regular season. Five sacks and two forced fumbles.

Brown absolutely terrorized Vols' quarterback Tee Martin and helped the Gators win 23-21. (I was at that game).

6.  Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey vs. Arkansas. 2008 regular season. Combined for 206 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

This may be too high but it was the coming out party for these two freshman.  The biggest highlights of the game came on Rainey's 75-yard touchdown run and Demps' 48-yard scamper.  After that performance, Florida's offense was unstoppable.

5. Derrick Harvey vs. Ohio State. BCS National Championship Game. Three sacks and fumble recovery.

 

Defense truly wins championships and Harvey was the reason the Gators dominated the Buckeyes. Troy Smith and company came into this game with one of the best offenses in recent college football history. It quickly turned ugly for OSU as the Gators' defense completely manhandled them and paved the way for a dominating win.

4. Keiwan Ratliff vs. Arkansas. 2003 regular season. Three interception, three passes defensed, nine solo tackles and a 44-yard INT return for a touchdown.

Ratliff won SEC Defensive POTY and was also a First-Team All American.  This performance triggered the runaway selection.

3. Tim Tebow vs. South Carolina. 2007 Regular Season.  304 yards passing and two touchdowns. 120 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

Solidified Tebow's claim on the Heisman.  He had his way the entire night against Spurrier's Gamecocks.

2. Fred Taylor vs. Penn State. 1998 Citrus Bowl; 43 carries for 234 yards.

This performance solidified Taylor as a first-round draft pick. Taylor's combination of size and speed helped maul "Linebacker U" and helped the Gators capture the win.

1. Danny Wuerffel vs. Arkansas. 1996 regular season. 462 yards passing.

Single-game Gator passing record.  That season, Wuerffel won the Heisman with 3,625 yards passing with 39 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

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