Heroes of the Series explores some of the stars of past. These players or coaches either excelled for Florida or the Gators’ opponent of the week – in this case LSU. They may have been the star of the game or provided a spark that shifted momentum. They might be remembered for their entire careers or just for that single game. To get you riled up and more ready than you already are for the week’s matchup, it’s a two-part series with part one covering an opposing player and part two highlighting a Gator. For part one, looking at the Tigers’ night of fourth-down conversions, click here.
Rex Grossman’s final season in orange and blue was one to be forgotten. Really, the entire Ron Zook era was. Grossman was coming off a great 2001 in which he was a Heisman candidate and put up gaudy numbers during Steve Spurrier’s last hurrah in Gainesville. In 2002, the quarterback would return to earth looking uncomfortable at times trying to run the offense under a new coaching staff. 2001 was a great season for the gunslinger though and we’ll focus on one specific game.
Exactly 10 years ago today – October 6, 2001 – Grossman put on a passing clinic as the Gators dismantled the Tigers in Baton Rouge. As if going 22-for-32 for 464 yards wasn’t good enough, Grossman also threw five touchdowns and led Florida to a 44-15 victory. The Gators put up 632 yards of total offense in a game the Tigers were never in. In the first quarter alone, Grossman threw touchdowns of 13, 34, and 63 yards. His near perfect arm that day led to Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell both going over 100 yards receiving (164 and 120). Even tight end Aaron Walker averaged 17.6 yards on five receptions as the LSU defense could do nothing to stop Grossman and the Florida pass game.
For those of you that remember the game, it was everything we loved about the Spurrier offenses. For those of that don’t, all the highlights are in the video below.