11. 2006 over South Carolina in Gainesville, 17-16: This is likely the most exciting regular season game under Meyer. The only thing keeping it down on the list is the fact that the Gators should have won with ease. They were a double-digit favorite at home against an unranked South Carolina team. This game shouldn't have challenged their national title hopes, but it did.
It was still important for Meyer. Steve Spurrier beat Meyer in the two's first matchup in 2005, so 2006 was even more important for Meyer to come away with a win. Spurrier took a team that wasn't dripping with talent at almost knocked the eventual national champions off at their place.
Jarvis Moss saved Florida's dreams of a championship with a blocked field goal as time expired, and the Gators' road to Glendale didn't experience a speed bump.
10. 2005 over Florida State in Gainesville, 34-7: This was the welcome to the Urban Meyer era. The 2005 win over Tennessee served as Meyer's welcome to big time college football, but it was the win over Florida State that cemented how his teams would play. Meyer has always preached success in the rivalry games, and his first game against "The School Out West" set the tone for the rest of the times he has faced the Seminoles.
The Gators controlled the clock, played tough defense and used special teams to win the game. It was almost as if Meyer was previewing for Florida fans how his teams would win in his time in Gainesville. The Gators returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown and held the Seminoles to 3-for-11 on third-down conversions.
The only touchdown the Seminoles would score came midway through the fourth quarter when Florida already had a 34-0 lead. It served as Meyer's first victory over Florida State, and his streak is currently at five.
9. 2010 over Cincinnati in Sugar Bowl, 51-24: The turmoil around the Florida program was already thick. The last thing it needed was a loss to a program everyone in the country expected them to blow out. A week after Coach Meyer announced his resignation and decided to return, the Gators made a statement for their head coach. They weren't going anywhere.
The game also served as an emotional goodbye for the Most winning senior class of all time for any SEC program. Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes, and Riley Cooper would lead their senior class out with a dominant victory. It also served as the last game in a Florida uniform for juniors Joe Haden, Maurkice Pouncey, Carlos Dunlap, Aaron Hernandez and Major Wright.
It was a celebration for the Gator Nation. The head coach returned, the outgoing players were commemorated and the Gators could rest easy. The momentum from the Sugar Bowl carried through National Signing Day as the Gators reeled in the top class in the country, and the momentum could carry into the 2010 season.
8. 2008 over Florida State in Tallahassee, 45-15: The rainy weather was against the Gators and the home field advantage looked like it could give the Seminoles their first victory over the Gators since 2003. The Florida offense depended on speedy, shifty players who should have struggled with their footing in the sloppy conditions.
Instead, the Gators dominated both lines of scrimmage to make everyone else's job easier. For the first half, the Gators played a game they have been playing with the Seminoles for the past few meetings. Florida scored touchdowns, while Florida State kicked field goals. Florida took a 28-9 lead into halftime.
The Florida defense continued to torment the Seminoles' attack in the second half, and the Gators cruised to a 45-15 victory. But it was more about what they proved without one of their best players. Percy Harvin had his ankle rolled up on by Florida State linebacker Nigel Bradham in the second quarter of the game. After Harvin was taken out of the game, Florida outscored the Seminoles 24-9, giving the Florida offense momentum heading into the following weekend's win over Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
7. 2006 over Tennessee in Knoxville, 21-20: This was the game where most Florida fans realized how special the 2006 team would be. A veteran team took the field at Neyland Stadium, and a 21-yard touchdown reception by Jemalle Cornelius gave the Gators an early 7-0 lead. However, it was the Volunteers that took a 10-7 lead into the half and extended it to 17-7 halfway through the third quarter.
The Gators answered late in the third quarter with a fourth-down, four-yard touchdown reception by Dallas Baker to take back the momentum. Baker added a 21-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put Florida ahead 21-20. That's when the veteran defense stuck its heels in the ground. As Tennessee was driving into Florida territory, Brandon Siler came up with a first down sack that set the Volunteers' offense in a hole it couldn't dig out of. Reggie Nelson's interception on fourth down clinched the game.
From that point on, regardless of the situation, the Gators never felt they were out of any game. They went on the road in front of a crowd in excess of 106,000 and stole a victory. That style of play would stick with them throughout the season.
6. 2008 over LSU in Gainesville, 51-21: This game set the tone for the second half of the 2008 season that led to a national championship. The Gators were stunned two weeks before at home by Ole Miss, and the optimism around the Florida season slowed to a minimum. The week after losing the Ole Miss, Florida won 38-7 at Arkansas. However, even in Fayetteville, the Gators didn't ease any fears. Florida led 17-7 before exploding for 21 points in the fourth quarter against Arkansas.
The game at home against LSU got the team rolling. No one questioned the talent in orange and blue that season. The offense had explosive parts all over the field, but it didn't hit the rhythm to make the team a championship contender until that night against LSU. The Tigers came into the game ranked No. 4 in the country and were never in the game.
Percy Harvin's 70-yard touchdown catch from Tim Tebow on the third play of the game set the tone, and the Gators ran away with the game from there. Florida had a 20-7 lead at halftime and ran away in the second half. There was never a time this lead felt in danger. The Gators outscored their next six opponents by 256 points, an average of 42.7 margin of victory.
1-5 COMING SOON
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