The 1995 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida in the sport of American football during the 1995 college football season. The 1995 season was the Florida Gators' sixth year under head coach Steve Spurrier and was one of the most successful in school history, as the Gators finished the regular season unbeaten and untied for the first time (the 1911 team went 5–0–1). Led by Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Danny Wuerffel, the offense set many school and conference offensive records, including passing touchdowns, passing yards per game, total yards per game, and points per game, among others.
On the first play from scrimmage, Manning connected with receiver Joey Kent for a 72-yard gain. On the next play, Manning threw a touchdown pass to Marcus Nash, giving UT a 7–0 lead only 15 seconds into the game. After another Manning touchdown pass and two Gator turnovers, the Vols held a 30–14 advantage late in the second quarter in front of a stunned Florida Field crowd.
Sports Illustrated put Wuerffel on its cover instead of Manning.
Wuerffel led the Gators to an answering score, cutting the lead to 30–21 with a touchdown pass in the last minute of the first half. That would be the beginning of a historic run, as Florida scored 48 straight points despite a torrential second half downpour and won in a 62–37 rout. Many records were broken in the game: Wuerffel threw an SEC record six touchdown passes; Tennessee set school records for most points scored in a loss and most points given up in the modern era. After the game, Sports Illustrated chose to put Wuerffel on its cover instead of Manning. Florida and Tennessee closed the season ranked #2 and #3, respectively.
Chris Doering 8 yard pass from Danny Wuerffel (Bart Edmiston kick)
Thomas 25 yard pass from Nelson (Montz kick)
Jacquez Green 33 yard pass from Danny Wuerffel (Bart Edmiston kick)
The next week was a lackluster performance versus Ole Miss, involving just 59 offensive plays, though a 28–10 win.
Florida's first touchdown came with a 42-yard reverse run by Jacquez Green on a 4th-and-2. On Florida's next possession, Green went up against two defenders and snatched a pass for a 40-yard gain, setting up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Wuerffel to Ike Hilliard. An 8-yard pass to Chris Doering was his 101st career catch and gave Florida a 21–3 cushion early in the second quarter.
The Gators mixed in the option into its normal offense against LSU and its eight-man front. Wuerffel called it one of his worst games, and threw three interceptions in the first half.
On the Gators' third possession, a crucial first down was had by an option pitch to Elijah Williams. Later on that same drive, the Gators scored on a third-and-goal from inside the 5-yard line using the same play to go up 7–0.Fred Taylor had short runs for two more touchdowns. LSU's offense seemed to come awake shortly before the half, scoring its 10 points quickly. LSU's touchdown came on a touchdown pass to defensive tackleAnthony McFarland. Florida scored its final touchdown on a 21-yard pass from Wuerffel to Reidel Anthony.
Chris Doering 5 yard pass from Danny Wuerffel (Bart Edmiston kick)
Fred Beasley 2 yard run
Stephen Davis 46 yard run
Florida committed two turnovers early against the Auburn Tigers, which led 10–0 three minutes into the game. Florida would win 49 to 38, the first time Spurrier defeated Auburn coach Terry Bowden.
The game stayed close throughout the first half. After the early, 10–0 Auburn lead, Reidel Anthony returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. Auburn added a field goal, and passes to Jacquez Green set up a Fred Taylor touchdown run to give Florida its first lead of the game, 14–13. Auburn then retook the lead, 20–14; and after a short touchdown run by Elijah Williams, it was 21–20 at the half.
Wuerffel threw a touchdown pass to Ike Hilliard and two to Chris Doering such that early in the third quarter it was already 42–20. One more touchdown was had by Doering. Auburn scored thrice more since the half, each time failing on a two-point conversion. The Tigers' last score came on a long run by Stephen Davis.
Florida beat the Bulldogs 52–17, becoming the first visitor in Sanford Stadium history to score more than 50 points.
Florida was ahead 21–0 less than 12 minutes into the contest. Gators starting quarterback Danny Wuerffel threw for 242 yards and five touchdowns before leaving the game in the third quarter. "Danny Wuerffel was near perfect in the game," Spurrier said. "He only had one bad throw." With the Gators leading 38–17 in the fourth quarter, Gators backup quarterback Eric Kresser threw for two more touchdowns, one with 1:21 remaining, to make the final score 52–17. After the game, Gators coach Steve Spurrier stated that he had wanted to be the first opponent to hang "half a hundred" on the Bulldogs in their own stadium because "we heard no one had ever done that before." The Gators' fifty-two points remains the record for most scored against Georgia "between the hedges."
Jacquez Green 76 yard pass from Danny Wuerffel (Bart Edmiston kick)
Chris Doering 17 yard pass from Eric Kresser (Bart Edmiston kick)
Ware 18 yard pass from Damian Allen (Yenner kick)
Chris Doering was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week in the 38 to 7 win over Vanderbilt. In the second half, Vanderbilt wide receiver Fred Baker and Florida nickelback Ben Hanks were both ejected for fighting.
Ike Hilliard 74 yard pass from Danny Wuerffel (Bart Edmiston kick)
Scott Bentley 27 yard field goal
Andre Cooper 8 yard pass from Danny Kanell (Scott Bentley kick)
Danny Wuerffel threw for 453 yards and four touchdowns as Florida held off a second-half rally by Florida State and erased the memories of the "Choke at Doak" from the previous season. A 42-yard pass to Ike Hilliard, who evaded multiple defenders on the run after the catch, made it 21–6. The Gators intercepted the Noles three times in the last quarter.
Ike Hilliard 29 yard pass from Danny Wuerffel (Bart Edmiston kick)
Ben Hanks 95 yard fumble return (Bart Edmiston kick)
Bart Edmiston 20 yard field goal
The Gators faced the Arkansas Razorbacks in the SEC Championship Game. The Razorbacks led 3-0 after a long, game-opening drive on which tailback Madre Hill suffered a knee injury. Following the 36-yard field goal for Arkansas, Florida drove 80 yards in seven plays, with Wuerffel completing a 22-yard touchdown pass to Chris Doering. The Gators never looked back, scoring 34 unanswered points.
The Gators faced #1 ranked Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl for the Bowl Alliance national championship. Florida received the opening kickoff and drove to the Nebraska 5, before settling for a 23-yard Bart Edmiston field goal. Aided by good field position, the Huskers countered on their opening series with a 53-yard scoring drive, capped by a 16-yard cross-field throwback pass from Tommie Frazier to Lawrence Phillips. The Gators blocked the Huskers' extra point, and Nebraska led 6–3. Late in the period, Florida went back ahead on a short 1-yard sneak from Wuerffel and led 10–6. As the Gators scored, CBS' Terry Donahue stated, "Nebraska better not get too far behind." The Huskers then put the game out of reach with a 29-point explosion in the second quarter, making it 35–10 at the half. Florida continued to struggle against Nebraska's aggressive, blitzing defense. In the third period, on second down from the Nebraska 25, Cornhuskers quarterback Frazier ran an option play to the right, and decided to keep the ball rather than pitch. He gained 11 yards before being met by a group of Florida defenders at the 36-yard line, which he then dragged approximately 10 yards before shrugging them off and breaking free, streaking 75 yards down the sideline to give Nebraska a 49–18 lead. Frazier had broken no less than seven tackles on the play. The game ended 62 to 24.
For much of the summer of 1995, a common joke on ESPN was "Hey Gators, Nebraska just scored again." The Gators would use the Fiesta Bowl rout as a rallying point for the 1996 season, in which they won the first national championship in school history. The 1995 Nebraska squad has been voted as the greatest college football team of all-time in many surveys, including the all-time Sagarin ratings. An ESPN poll has them at #3, only behind the 1971 Huskers and 1972 USC Trojans.