1991 Florida Gators football
SEC champion
Sugar Bowl, L 28–39 vs. Notre Dame
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 8
APNo. 7
1991 record10–2 (7–0 SEC)
Head coach
Defensive coordinatorRon Zook (1st season)
CaptainBrad Culpepper
Cal Dixon
Tim Paulk
Home stadiumBen Hill Griffin Stadium
(Capacity: 83,000)[1]
Seasons
← 1990
1992 →
1991 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 7 Florida $ 7 0 0 10 2 0
No. 5 Alabama 6 1 0 11 1 0
No. 14 Tennessee 5 2 0 9 3 0
No. 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 NCAA Division I-A 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.[2]

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.[3]

Schedule

DateOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendanceSource
September 7San Jose State*No. 6W 59–2183,067
September 14No. 17 AlabamaNo. 6
  • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Gainesville, FL (rivalry)
ESPNW 35–085,069
September 21at No. 17 Syracuse*No. 5ABCL 21–3849,823[4][5]
September 28vs. No. 21 Mississippi StateNo. 14TBSW 29–769,328
October 5at LSUNo. 13PPVW 16–072,019
October 12No. 4 TennesseeNo. 10
  • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Gainesville, FL (rivalry)
ESPNW 35–1885,165
October 19Northern Illinois*daggerNo. 6
  • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Gainesville, FL
W 41–1083,708
November 2at AuburnNo. 6ABCW 31–1083,714
November 9vs. No. 23 GeorgiaNo. 6ESPNW 45–1381,679
November 16KentuckyNo. 5
  • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Gainesville, FL
W 35–2684,109
November 30No. 3 Florida State*No. 5
  • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Gainesville, FL (rivalry)
ABCW 14–985,461
January 1, 1992vs. No. 18 Notre Dame*No. 3ABCL 28–3976,477
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide.[3]

Roster

1991 Florida Gators football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB Brady Ackerman
RB Chris Bilkie
OL 69 Brian Fisher
TE Charlie Dean
QB 12 Terry Dean
C 59 Cal Dixon Sr
WR Monty Duncan
WR Tre Everett
WR Lester Ferdinand
TE Jim Franklin
WR Kevin Glenn
WR Aubrey Hill
WR 84 Harrison Houston
OL Hesham Ismail
TE Terrell Jackson
WR Willie Jackson
QB G.A. Mangus
QB 9 Shane Matthews Jr
RB Willie McClendon
RB Dexter McNabb
RB Kelvin Randolph
WR Ted Reynolds
RB 33 Errict Rhett So
OL Tony Rowell
TE George Rushing
WR Alonzo Sullivan
OL Jim Watson
OL Mark White
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DB Myrick Anderson
DB Ephesians Bartley
DL Kevin Carter
DL 50 Brad Culpepper Sr
DL William Gaines
DB Lawrence Hatch
CB Larry Kennedy
DL Tony McCoy
DE Darren Mickell
LB Carlton Miles
DB Marquette Oliver
LB Tim Paulk
LB Ed Robinson
CB Del Speer
DE Harvey Thomas
S 2 Will White
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K Arden Czyzewski
P Shayne Edge
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
  • Redshirt

Rankings

Further information: 1991 NCAA Division I-A football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. т = Tied with team above or below. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Final 
AP 5 (1) 6 6 (1) 5 (1) 14 13 10 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 3 7 
Coaches 7 6 7 5 (1) 15 13 10 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 4 8

Game summaries

San Jose State

See also: 1991 San Jose State Spartans football team


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

Alabama

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 ..."[6]

Syracuse

The 1991 season also included a disappointing 38–21 road loss to the seventeenth-ranked Syracuse Orangemen in the Carrier Dome.[3]

Mississippi State

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

LSU

Florida blanked the LSU Tigers 16–0.

Tennessee

#4 Volunteers at #10 Gators
1 234Total
Tennessee 2 1033 18
• Florida 7 1477 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.[7]

Northern Illinois

Florida beat Northern Illinois 41–10 .

Auburn

The Auburn Tigers fell to Florida 31–10.

Georgia

#6 Florida vs. #23 Georgia
1 234Total
Florida 7 21314 45
Georgia 3 370 13
  • Date: Saturday, November 9
  • Location: Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Game attendance: 81,769

See also: 1991 Georgia Bulldogs football team


The Gators defeated rival and twenty-third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs 45–13.[8]

Kentucky

Florida clinched its first SEC title with a hard-fought 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. "[9]

Florida State

See also: 1991 Florida State Seminoles football team and Florida–Florida State football rivalry

#3 Florida State Seminoles (10–1) at #5 Florida Gators (9–1)
1 2 34Total
Florida St 0 3 069
Florida 0 7 7014

at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida

Among the Gators' 1991 victories, the 14–9 defensive upset of the Florida State Seminoles was a particularly memorable victory played in front of a record home crowd (the previous record set only five weeks earlier vs. Tennessee).[3] 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 with two minutes remaining§, thus saving the victory for Florida.[10]

Sugar Bowl

1 234Total
Fighting Irish 0 71022 39
Gators 10 6012 28

Main article: 1992 Sugar Bowl

See also: 1991 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team


Postseason

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.[3] 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.[11]

References

  1. ^ University of Florida Sports Information Department. "Florida 1991 Football Guide" (PDF). floridagators.com. University Athletic, Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  2. ^ Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault, pp. 107–108.
  3. ^ a b c d e 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 107 (2015). Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Dame, Mike (22 September 1991). "Orange Crush Gators, 38-21". The Orlando Sentinel. p. 31. Retrieved 16 January 2021 – via Newspapers.com open access.
  5. ^ Sari Linn, Debra (22 September 1991). "Orangemen Offer Gators an Option". The Orlando Sentinel. p. 39. Retrieved 16 January 2021 – via Newspapers.com open access.
  6. ^ "Steve Spurrier says early '90s wins over Alabama 'got us started there at Florida'". AL.com.
  7. ^ "Florida drops UT 35-18". Ocala Star-Banner. October 13, 1991 – via Google News Archive Search.
  8. ^ Larry Savage (November 10, 1991). "No. 6 Florida rules SEC". Ocala Star-Banner – via Google News Archive Search.
  9. ^ "Gators' streak vs. 'Cats filled with close calls". Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  10. ^ Gainesville Sun. 1991 Dec 1.
  11. ^ "SEC Player of the Year Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.