A Dozen Unbreakable Single Season Records – 3

Today, we reach the midway point of our countdown of the finest single season performances in Gator football history. So far we've had two offensive and two defensive accomplishments make the countdown, but today is all about offense.

First, let's remember the four performances already recognized.

No. 12 --- 88 receptions by Carlos Alvarez ('69), Chad Jackson ('05)
No. 11 --- 27 tackles for loss by Wilber Marshall ('81)
No. 10 --- 9 Interceptions by Keiwan Ratliff ('03)
No. 9 --- 24.4 Yards per reception (20+ min.) by Frankie Neal ('85)


No. 8 --- 68 Receptions by a TE, Aaron Hernandez ('09) --- In 1990, Kirk Kirkpatrick caught 55 passes in the first year of Steve Spurrier's "fun-and-gun" offense. He was the Gators' TE that season, but he got all those catches because he was also Florida's second best WR. Last season Hernandez shattered that record as he and Riley Cooper combined for almost as many catches (119) as the rest of the team combined (130). Hernandez was a threat in every aspect of the Florida passing game and it was clear he was one of two guys Tim Tebow really trusted. Hernandez' record will be very difficult to top because it's so unusual for a team to have just one prime threat at WR, especially a team as strong as Florida.


No. 7 --- 1,599 rushing yards by Emmitt Smith ('89) --- It's hard to imagine a running back having a better season than Smith did for the Gators in 1989. Running behind a so-so offensive line with a mediocre at best passing game to keep defenses honest, Emmitt still managed to rack up the yardage week in and week out. His finest performance was honored in our previous series when he rambled for 316 yards against New Mexico in a surprisingly difficult 27-21 win. On the year, Emmitt scored 14 touchdowns against defenses ganged up to stop him. His 1989 season is the closest thing to Herschel Walker than I had ever seen. Three guys have topped 12-hundred since then but no one has gotten within even three hundred yards of this mark. I'd have it higher up, but if a feature back ever emerges in this offense in a 14-game series it's still more reachable than some others.


We are now halfway through our countdown, leaving six of the best single season performances Florida has ever had. Up next, two all-time Gator greats.

Fightin Gators Top Stories