Florida football: Season a success, but beating FSU would add cherry on top – SECcountry.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With each week, Jim McElwain clears a new hurdle as the Florida football coach.
In 2015, UF won its first game over a ranked SEC West opponent in three years and climbed into the top 10 of the AP poll. McElwain became the first coach in school history to win 10 games in his first season and claimed Florida’s first SEC East title since 2009.
Wide receiver Antonio Callaway and running back Kelvin Taylor also etched their name in the record books for productive seasons in McElwain’s offense.
The Gators have set several team and individual highs again in 2016, including the fewest yards allowed in school history (North Texas) and notable passing marks against Kentucky and LSU.
Last Saturday’s victory against the Tigers was Florida’s first win in Death Valley since Tim Tebow played for the Gators. The upset clinched back-to-back division crowns for UF, making McElwain the first coach in SEC history to reach the conference title game in his first two years.
“I mean it was obviously a big one for a lot of reasons,” McElwain said of the LSU win. “I just know how proud I am of them and the resolve that they played with.
“To reap the benefits of doing it, to see that happen in the last game, that was pretty cool. We talk all the time about to get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”
Florida’s last SEC championship came in 2008 against Alabama, and that was also the program’s last win over a No. 1-ranked team. The Gators will have a chance to accomplish both next weekend, and defeating the Crimson Tide could earn UF a spot in the College Football Playoff.
But the first order of business is playing Saturday at Florida State, which has a three-game winning streak in the series.
“It’s always important,”