A Dozen Unbreakable Single Season Records – 2

This week we are looking at some of the best single season records in UF Football history. Choosing just a dozen was not an easy thing to do. As you well know the Gators have had a slew of great players and great performances.

We ended up with mostly recent records, but we were able to dip into the 40's, 60's, 70's and 80's along the way. We started with one from the ‘60's and one from the ‘80's. Today, again records from a couple of different decades.

First here's a reminder of our previous selections. We encourage your feedback and, if warranted criticism.

No. 12 --- 88 receptions by Carlos Alvarez ('69), Chad Jackson ('05)
No. 11 --- 27 tackles for loss by Wilber Marshall ('81)

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No. 10 --- 9 Interceptions by Keiwan Ratliff ('03) --- John Clifford picked off seven passes in 1970 and four years later Randy Talbot matched that number. Seven remained the UF standard until the turn of the century when Ratliff set a new mark with a remarkable stretch of thievery. Ratliff had just one pick after six games, but snared two opponent passes in Florida's 19-7 upset win at LSU. The next week he was the key to the Gators win at Arkansas with three interceptions, one of which he returned for a TD in a 33-28 Florida win. Ratliff tied the school record with his seventh pick against Georgia and then broke it with a 52-yard interception for a TD against Vanderbilt. He added another interception against South Carolina and ended the year with nine. Ryan Smith snagged eight passes in 2006, but frankly I give Reggie Nelson a lot of credit for that. It's going to be tough for any DB to reach double digits these days since the best corners are often avoided by opposing passers.

No. 9 --- 24.4 yards per reception (20+ min.) by Frankie Neal ('85) --- The 1985 Gator offense was a lot different from the dominant unit of the previous year. Florida had to work harder to move the ball on the ground with the "Great Wall" having moved on. Still the Gators ran it with Neal Anderson and John L Williams, threw short to Williams and the tight ends, Rickey Nattiel ran the middle of the field and Kerwin Bell told Frankie Neal to go long. With his remarkable speed Neal was very good at carrying out that assignment and it seemed like the Gators hit at least one long ball a game. When the season was over, he had a remarkable 487 yards on just twenty catches. Only one other Gator has even topped 20 yards per catch for a season so this one may last a long time. Then again, if anyone ever becomes the designated "long man" in the Florida passing game I could see someone having a chance to give it a go.

Four down and eight to go in our countdown. Up next, the top runner in school history and a record set last season.


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