There are all kinds of records in this world – platinum records, longevity records, subpoenaed records, meaningless records and, of course, world records.
We know the cliché that records are made to be broken, but we also know that all records are not guaranteed to be broken in our lifetimes.
We know what the overall records are and can recite many without the need of Google or a media guide.
Then, there are the “cool” records.
These are the records that I have always found fascinating. Sometimes it’s because the numbers get obscene and often because there is a story behind how the number got that big.
So, in this edition of Dooley’s Dozen, I will bring you what I think are the 12 coolest records in Gator football history, in no particular order. You probably have a few of your own.
Trey Burton’s scoring record
With all of the great Gator offensive producers in this era, only Burton could find the end zone six times for 36 points, leading his team to a 48-14 win over Kentucky in 2010. Burton only ran the ball five times in the game and scored on runs of 11, 10, 9, 3 and 7 yards. He caught an 11-yard TD pass and threw for a 42-yard completion that didn’t reach the end zone. Pretty efficient night.
Errict Rhett’s versatility record
One reason I think he should be in the Ring of Honor was that he was the backbone of Florida’s SEC-dominating teams in the Steve Spurrier early years. Here’s a cool stat for you — not only is he Florida’s all-time leading rusher (no, not Emmitt Smith), he is Florida’s all-time leading receiver for a running back with 153 catches for 1,230 yards. That’s a lot of productivity.
Tim Tebow’s finale
In his last game as a Florida Gator and with his coach not all there, Tim Tebow put up a passing total that may stick around for a while. Heck, Kyle Trask tried and came close twice, but Tebow’s 482 yards passing in the Sugar Bowl is a record that came on a 31-for-35 effort through the air. Not bad for a guy so many people said was just a glorified running back.
Wes Chandler’s TD/Reception Rate
Man, it would have been fun to see him on one of those Spurrier teams or with a quarterback like Trask. But he did what he could do in the wishbone and when Florida got out of the wishbone, he sometimes played running back. But this cool record may last forever — from 1974-77, he caught a touchdown every 4.2 times he caught a pass. That’s 92 catches and 22 touchdowns.
Hal Griffin’s return game
Griffin played back in the olden days (yes, even before I was born) and excelled at returning punts in a day when there could be 10 or 12 a game. From 1946-49, he returned 26 punts for a school-record 18.6 yards a return. That included 1947 when he averaged 26.7 a return. Boys, kick it out of bounds next time.
Chris Doering’s 31 TD catches
That record was broken in the SEC two years ago, but Doering kept it for 25 years and it is still the Florida record. What is cool is the Doering was a walk-on from Gainesville and the biggest Gator fan who ever lived. And he broke the record against FSU. That is very cool.
Chris Rainey’s block party
Special teams have been a sore subject around here of late and it may be because we were exposed to some of the best during the Urban Meyer era. That would include Rainey as Florida would find a weak spot in the protection and shoot Rainey through it like a greased pig. He blocked six kicks in his career, and that record has hardly been threatened.
Sexy Rexy’s place in history
It could be that he has the record for touchdowns in a bowl game — a game he didn’t even enter until the second quarter — but to me, the reason Rex Grossman can be in the argument for best Gator quarterback ever is because he amassed the most 300-yard passing games with 17 in his career. That’s more than three Heisman winners and Kyle Trask. And everybody else.
Emmitt Smith’s craziest number
For all of the great things that Emmitt Smith did at Florida in his three years, the one that will always stand out to me is the 316-yard rushing game against New Mexico in 1989. Here’s why: it was homecoming; he was all Florida had and the game was tight; a 27-21 Florida win. Smith averaged 10.2 yards per carry to save the day.
That sounds like the name of a movie about drug cartels, but it was the number Florida had against Ole Miss in 1980. The back story is that Florida has just lost a game and its quarterback Bob Hewko the week before. The Gators turned to a freshman named Wayne Peace, who slept on the bus ride from the hotel to the stadium and then started handing the ball off so many times that it still stands as the record — and may stand forever.
Joe Brodsky’s reign of terror
In 1956, my parents knew Joe Brodsky and they piled us in the car to go to the airport to celebrate the day he had against Mississippi State. Brodsky had three interceptions in the game for a Gator record 162 yards in returns. That included a 100-yarder for a score, which is also tied for a school record. He had another one he returned for a score in a 26-0 opening day win in Starkville, Mississippi.
Oh, one more Tebow record
Let’s face it – the guy put up some incredible numbers and that’s part of the reason he has his name on the wall. To me, one of the coolest is the SEC record for 57 touchdown runs. The man he beat for the record was Herschel Walker. And he did it against Georgia. Timmy, you’re the coolest.
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