1991 Florida Gators football team

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1991 Florida Gators football
SEC champion
Sugar Bowl, L 28–39 v. Notre Dame
Conference Southeastern Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 8
AP No. 7
1991 record 10–2 (7–0 1st SEC)
Head coach Steve Spurrier
Defensive coordinator Ron Zook
Captain Brad Culpepper
Cal Dixon
Tim Paulk
Home stadium Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Seasons
« 1990 1992 »
1991 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#7 Florida $ 7 0 0     10 2 0
#5 Alabama 6 1 0     11 1 0
#14 Tennessee 5 2 0     9 3 0
#17 Georgia 4 3 0     9 3 0
Mississippi State 4 3 0     7 5 0
LSU 3 4 0     5 6 0
Vanderbilt 3 4 0     5 6 0
Auburn 2 5 0     5 6 0
Ole Miss 1 6 0     5 6 0
Kentucky 0 7 0     3 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1991 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida during the 1991 college football season. The season was Steve Spurrier's second as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. The Gators were led by quarterback Shane Matthews and first-team All-American defensive tackle Brad Culpepper.[1]

Spurrier's 1991 Florida Gators compiled the first-ever ten-win season in program history, an overall record of 10–2 and a perfect SEC record of 7–0.[2]

Schedule and results[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
9–7–1991 San Jose State* No. 6 Ben Hill Griffin StadiumGainesville, Florida W 59–21   83,067
9–14–1991 No. 17 Alabama No. 6 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida ESPN W 35–0   85,069
9–21–1991 No. 17 Syracuse* No. 5 Carrier DomeSyracuse, New York ABC L 21–38   49,823
9–28–1991 No. 21 Mississippi State No. 14 Citrus BowlOrlando, Florida TBS W 29–7   69,328
10–5–1991 Louisiana State No. 13 Tiger StadiumBaton Rouge, Louisiana PPV W 16–0   72,019
10–12–1991 No. 4 Tennessee No. 10 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida ESPN W 35–18   85,165
10–19–1991 Northern Illinois* No. 6 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida (HC) W 41–10   83,708
11–2–1991 Auburn No. 6 Jordan-Hare StadiumAuburn, AL ABC W 31–10   83,714
11–9–1991 No. 23 Georgia No. 6 Gator BowlJacksonville, Florida ESPN W 45–13   81,679
11–16–1991 Kentucky No. 5 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida W 35–26   84,109
11–30–1991 No. 3 Florida State* No. 5 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida ABC W 14–9   85,461
1–1–1992 No. 18 Notre Dame* No. 3 SuperdomeNew Orleans, Louisiana (Sugar Bowl) ABC L 28–39   76,477
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game.

Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide.[2]

Game notes[edit]

San Jose State[edit]

The season opened with a 59–21 victory over the San Jose State Spartans.

Alabama[edit]

The Gators defeated Alabama, 35–0. Spurrier treasured the wins against the Crimson Tide: "Those victories early – '90, '91 – really got us started there at Florida ..."[3]

Syracuse[edit]

The 1991 season also included a disappointing 38–21 road loss to the seventeenth-ranked Syracuse Orangemen in the Carrier Dome.[2] As of 2015, that game is still the most recent non-conference road game for the Gators played outside the state of Florida.

Mississippi State[edit]

The Gators had a dominating confidence win over the twenty-first-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs, 29–7.

LSU[edit]

Florida blanked the LSU Tigers 16–0.

Tennessee[edit]

#4 Tennessee at #10 Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Tennessee 2 10 3 3 18
Florida 7 14 7 7 35
  • Date: Saturday, October 12
  • Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida
  • Game attendance: 85,165
  • Television network: ESPN

The Gators defeated the fourth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers 35–18.[4]

Northern Illinois[edit]

Florida beat Northern Illinois 41–10 .

Auburn[edit]

The Auburn Tigers fell to Florida 31–10.

Georgia[edit]

#6 Florida vs. #23 Georgia
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 7 21 3 14 45
Georgia 3 3 7 0 13
  • Date: Saturday, November 9
  • Location: Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Game attendance: 81,769

The Gators defeated rival and twenty-third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs 45–13.[5]

Kentucky[edit]

Florida clinched its first SEC title with a hardfought win over the Kentucky Wildcats, 35–26. "The Gators appeared on their way to a comfortable victory with a 28-6 lead in the third quarter. That’s when the UF band started playing the song “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard and students began throwing little sugar packets into the air. Then UK quarterback Pookie Jones went wild, almost spoiling the party. "[6]

Florida State[edit]

#3 Florida State at #5 Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida St 0 3 0 6 9
Florida 0 7 7 0 14
  • Date: Saturday, November 30
  • Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida
  • Game attendance: 85,461
  • Television network: ABC

Among the Gators' 1991 victories, the 14–9 defensive upset of the Florida State Seminoles was a particularly memorable victory played in front of an overflow home crowd at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.[2] The Gators scored touchdowns on a first-quarter run by tailback Errict Rhett, and a 72-yard bomb from Shane Matthews to wide receiver Harrison Houston in the third quarter, and held on to win. Gators defensive ends Darren Mickell and Harvey Thomas kept Seminoles quarterback Casey Weldon off balance and on the run in the second half, and, in the fourth quarter, Gators safeties Will White and Del Speer combined to break up a fourth-down pass to the end zone by Weldon, thus saving the victory for Florida.[7]

Postseason[edit]

The Gators closed out their season with their first New Year's Day bowl appearance since 1974, a 28–39 defeat by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Sugar Bowl, and were ranked seventh in the final Associated Press Poll.[2] Florida won the team's first official SEC championship, 59 seasons after joining the conference as a charter member. Quarterback Shane Matthews repeated as SEC Player of the Year in 1991.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault, pp. 107–108.
  2. ^ a b c d e 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 107 (2015). Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  3. ^ "Steve Spurrier says early '90s wins over Alabama 'got us started there at Florida'". AL.com. 
  4. ^ "Ocala Star-Banner - Google News Archive Search". 
  5. ^ "Ocala Star-Banner - Google News Archive Search". 
  6. ^ "Gators' streak vs. 'Cats filled with close calls". 
  7. ^ Gainesville Sun. 1991 Dec 1.
  8. ^ "SEC Player of the Year Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.