Florida’s 10 best wins of past 10 seasons: No. 3, Knocking down Auburn

Florida running back Lamical Perine scores the game-sealing 88-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter Saturday against Auburn at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.The Gators beat the Tigers 24-13. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

The decade was a wild one, interesting to be sure with so many ups and downs and four different head coaches for the Florida football team. We started the countdown of the 10 best wins of the decade from 2010-19:

No. 3

2019: Florida 24, Auburn 13.

 Where: Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. 

Rankings: Florida No. 10, Auburn No. 7.

The set-up: With this being the first matchup of top 10 teams in The Swamp since the 2012 UF-LSU game, Florida coach Dan Mullen called out Gator Nation early in the week, challenging the fans to bring back the special atmosphere that existed back when he was at UF along with Urban Meyer. And the fans delivered.

What happened: The Gators got off to almost a perfect start: a quick three-and-out on defense, followed by a 64-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Trask to Freddie Swain on UF’s second play from scrimmage. It was a sequence that lit up The Swamp, and it stayed lit for the rest of the afternoon. Florida’s aggressive defense, fueled by the loud and hostile atmosphere, dominated the Auburn offense, shutting out the Tigers in the decisive second half. The Gators had their offensive struggles as well against a tenacious Auburn defense, but UF came up with a huge play when it was needed — an 88-yard TD run by Lamical Perine with 9:04 left in the game that pushed the Gators’ lead to 24-13. Trask finished the game with 234 yards passing and two touchdowns, while the UF defense held the Tigers to just 269 total yards.

Telling stat: UF’s defensive plan was to make Auburn quarterback Bo Nix play like a true freshman playing in only his fifth college game. And they executed the plan to near perfection, pressuring Nix into a freshman-like performance — only 11 completions in 27 attempts for just 145 yards and three interceptions.

Quote sheet

*”Just another day at The Swamp, right? You talk about The Swamp as it used to be? This is what The Swamp is, and what we expect it to be.” — Dan Mullen

*“It almost brought tears to my eyes. Big-time atmosphere, big-time crowd. I’m glad I was able to make that big-time play.” — Lamical Perine

*”It was a tough environment. It was really loud and we had trouble hearing the clap for the cadence. Sometimes we had slow communication. Stuff like that happens. Every team that walks into The Swamp has communication issues, but we just didn’t do anything to make up for those.” — Bo Nix