|1990 Florida Gators football|
|1990 record||9–2 (6–1 SEC)|
|Head coach||Steve Spurrier|
|Defensive coordinator||Jim Bates|
|Home stadium||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium|
|1990 SEC football standings|
|#8 Tennessee †||5||–||1||–||1||9||–||2||–||2|
|#21 Ole Miss||5||–||2||–||0||9||–||3||–||0|
|† – Conference champion |
The 1990 college football season marked the return of the Gators' Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier to his alma mater as the new head coach of the Florida Gators football team. Before Spurrier returned to Gainesville, the Gators had never won a Southeastern Conference (SEC) or national football championship; before Spurrier resigned to seek a coaching position in the National Football League in January 2002, the Gators would win six SEC titles, play for two national championships, and win one in 1996.
During Spurrier's first season, he was able to build on the strong talent recruited by departing Gators coach Galen Hall, but the Gators also reaped the benefits of Spurrier's "there are no excuses for losing" mantra. The 1990 season's highlights included a confidence-building 17–13 signature road win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which set the tone for the remainder of the season, followed by conference blowouts of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (34–21), LSU Tigers (34–8), fourth-ranked Auburn Tigers (48–7), Georgia Bulldogs (38–7) and Kentucky Wildcats (47–15). The Gators also suffered two disappointing road losses to the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers (3–45) in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the eighth-ranked Florida State Seminoles (30–45) in Tallahassee, Florida.
Even as Spurrier's new "fun 'n' gun" offensive scheme led by quarterback Shane Matthews, wide receiver Ernie Mills and tight end Kirk Kirkpatrick was breaking team scoring and yardage records, defensive coordinator Jim Bates coached one of the best defensive squads in team history, including two first-team All-Americans, defensive end Huey Richardson and safety Will White. Matthews finished the season with 2,952 passing yards and twenty-three touchdowns—then the most passing yards in Gators history.
Spurrier's 1990 Florida Gators, while ineligible to win the SEC title or receive a bowl bid because of lingering NCAA probation, nevertheless posted a best-in-the-SEC record of 6–1 and an overall record of 9–2, and laid the foundation for the Gators' run of six SEC championships and a national title during the next decade. They finished twelfth in the last Associated Press Poll.
|9–8–1990*||Oklahoma State||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida||W 50–7|
|9–15–1990||Alabama||#24||Bryant-Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, Alabama||TBS||W 17–13|
|9–22–1990*||Furman||#19||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida||W 27–3|
|9–29–1990||Mississippi State||#17||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida||TBS||W 34–21|
|10–6–1990||Louisiana State||#10||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida||ESPN||W 34–8|
|10–13–1990||#5 Tennessee||#9||Neyland Stadium • Knoxville, Tennessee||ESPN||L 3–45|
|10–20–1990*†||Akron||#17||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Fla.||W 59–0|
|11–3–1990||#4 Auburn||#15||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida||ESPN||W 48–7|
|11–10–1990||Georgia||#10||Gator Bowl Stadium • Jacksonville, Florida||TBS||W 38–7|
|11–17–1990||Kentucky||#6||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, Kentucky||TBS||W 47–15|
|12–1–1990*||#8 Florida State||#6||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, Florida||ESPN||L 30–45|
|*Non-Conference Game. †Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.|
- Chris Bromley - 2nd team All-SEC (AP)
- Brad Culpepper - 2nd team All-SEC (AP)
- Cal Dixon - 1st team All-SEC (UPI)
- Richard Fain - 2nd team All-American (UPI), 1st team All-SEC (AP, Coaches), Thorpe Award nominee
- Kirk Kirkpatrick - 2nd team All-American (AP, UPI, Sporting News, Football News), 1st team All-SEC (AP, Coaches), Fergie Ferguson Award, Ray Graves Award
- Shane Matthews - Honorable Mention All-American (UPI), 1st team All-SEC (AP, UPI, Coaches), SEC Player of the Year
- Ernie Mills - 1st team All-SEC (UPI), 2nd team All-SEC (AP)
- Mark Murray - 2nd team All-SEC (AP)
- Godfrey Myles - 1st team All-SEC (Coaches), 2nd team All-SEC (AP)
- Tim Paulk - 1st team All-SEC (UPI), 2nd team All-SEC (AP)
- Errict Rhett - SEC All-Freshman
- Huey Richardson - 1st team All-American (AP, Football News), 2nd team All-American (UPI, Sporting News), Lombardi Trophy finalist, 1st team All-SEC (AP, UPI, Coaches)
- Ed Robinson - SEC All-Freshman
- Steve Spurrier - SEC Coach of the Year (AP, UPI)
- Mark White - James W. Kynes Award
- Will White - 1st team All-American (FWAA), 2nd team All-American (UPI, Sporting News), 3rd team All-American (AP), 1st team All-SEC (AP, UPI, Coaches), Thorpe Award semifinalist
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Norm Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, pp. 104–126 (2007).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault, pp. 105–109.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 2012 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 107–116 (2012). Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- ↑ 2011 Florida football media guide.