The 1996 Gators were led by head coach Steve Spurrier to their first consensus National Championship. It was one of the University of Florida’s most thrilling seasons. They only lost one game to non-conference rival the 2 ranked Florida State Seminoles. It was the final regular season game and the Gators lost by just three points. The loss was avenged in the Sugar Bowl as the Gators defeated the then 1 ranked Seminoles to claim the National Championship. Senior Quarterback Danny Wuerffel guided the team on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. His two favorite targets were Reidel Anthony and Ike Hilliard. Both would be first round picks in the NFL amateur draft after combining for nearly 2200 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns. Running backs Elijah Williams and Fred Taylor, both Juniors, rushed for over 1300 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Gators dominated the competition on their way to winning the Southeasten Conference Championship. Wins included an early season romp over 2 ranked Tennessee. Other conference victories over 12 LSU and 16 Auburn made the Gators a solid 1 ranked team in the country. Overall the Gators would outscore opponents 559 to 201 while averaging over 500 yards of offense per game.