Florida has scored plenty of points since Coach Steve Spurrier arrived in 1990, but nothing to match the offensive show that Danny Wuerffel and his teammates put on Saturday.
Wuerffel threw for six touchdowns and also ran for a score as the No. 4-ranked Gators scored 48 consecutive points to stun No. 8 Tennessee, 62-37.
Wuerffel completed 29 of 39 for 381 yards, Terry Jackson ran for 119 yards and Ike Hilliard caught four touchdown passes, tying a school record, and finished with nine receptions for 112 yards.
“I felt we could score every time we got it,” said Spurrier, architect of the Fun-n-Gun offense, “and we came awfully close.”
The Gators, 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the SEC, are seeking their third consecutive Southeastern Conference title and fourth in five years. But they trailed, 30-14, late in the first half after Tennessee’s Raymond Austin returned a fumble 46 yards for a touchdown.
The Florida Field crowd of 85,105 was sitting in stunned silence. After all, the Gators have lost at “The Swamp” only twice in Spurrier’s five-plus years as coach.
Tennessee (2-1, 1-1) looked like it would finally end Florida’s domination of the SEC Eastern Division, but the Volunteers fell apart despite sophomore Peyton Manning’s 326 yards passing. Jay Graham had two backbreaking fumbles, and Jeff Hall missed a 22-yard field-goal attempt and had an extra point blocked.
“We got our ears pinned back in the second half,” said Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer, whose team was outscored, 41-7, in the second half. “I don’t like it worth a damn.”
Wuerffel, who has 49 touchdown passes despite starting only 17 games in his college career, was nearly perfect--especially in the second half, when he completed 13 of 15 for 181 yards.
“We really got on fire in the second half,” Wuerffel said. “This was one of my biggest games. To get out there and play like that was special.”
The momentum was totally in Tennessee’s favor after an amazing sequence in the second quarter. Joey Kent fumbled on a vicious hit by Lawrence Wright to give Florida the ball at the Volunteers’ 47, but Wuerffel fumbled the ball right back while trying to scramble. Austin scooped it up and ran for a touchdown to give Tennessee a 16-point lead.
Florida had been down by as many as 17 points on its home field and rallied to win, but never as impressively as the Gators did on this day. They scored more points against Tennessee than any team in 102 years and finished with 584 yards, averaging nearly eight yards per play.