When Alabama beat us in the SEC Championship Game, another Gator called me with this assessment, "We finally played the game I was afraid we had in us all year."
And I agreed with the way he put it.
If I were to call him tonight after the Sugar Bowl, my words would be, "We finally played the game I hoped we could play."
Probably the most complete game I've seen Florida play all year.
And it couldn't have come at a better time for the Gators.
No need for a recap. You can read the numbers in the box score.
With the adversity this program dealt with all year, especially this past month, a finer Sugar Bowl script couldn't have been written.
As I think back over the past year, what I'll remember most aren't really the wins and disappointing loss to Alabama. Instead, I'll think about the times I spent experiencing the ups and downs of being a Florida Gator.
It's always been that way for me.
As a kid, I suffered through many heartbreaking losses.
I've also been fortunate to celebrate many wonderful victories.
Tonight was a good night to be a Gator. And I've never been prouder of my team.
But like it's always been for me, it's never a "done deal."
We've still got some work to do.
We always will.