How the Florida Gators got here
No. 5 Florida 56, Hawaii 10
The Gators kicked off the '08 campaign with a 46-point throttling of Hawaii in The Swamp. Neither team scored in the first quarter, but Florida posted back-to-back 28-point quarters in the second and the third to start the season off right.
No. 5 Florida 26, Miami 3
The Hurricanes hung around for three quarters, but Florida pulled away with a 17-point fourth quarter. The Gators' young defense made a statement against their Sunshine State rival, holding the Hurricanes to 140 total yards offense. Florida snapped a six-game losing streak to Miami that stretched to 1986.
No. 4 Florida 30, Tennessee 6
The Gators racked up 17 first-quarter points -- with the last seven coming on Brandon James' exhilarating, 78-yard punt return -- and never looked back. Truth be told, though, this game was more about Tennessee's ineptitude than Florida's dominance. The Volunteers gave the game away with unbelievably sloppy play on offense and special teams.
Ole Miss 31, No. 4 Florida 30
The Gators held a 10-point lead at the half, but failed to put Houston Nutt's squad away in the final 30 minutes. Tim Tebow fumbled the ball away in the third quarter and was stuffed on a do-or-die fourth-and-one at the Ole Miss 32 with 40 seconds remaining. After the game, Tebow apologized to Florida fans and said, "You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season."
No. 12 Florida 38, Arkansas 7
One week after losing to Ole Miss, the Gators turned to the ground game, racking up 278 yards rushing against the Razorbacks. Speedy running backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps both broke out, rushing for 103 yards apiece. The Gators earned a seventh straight win against Arkansas.
No. 11 Florida 51, No. 4 LSU 21
Florida handed the defending national champions their first loss of the season with a balanced offensive assault. Tim Tebow threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for an additional score, while Jeff Demps piled up 129 yards rushing and a touchdown on just 10 carries.
No. 5 Florida 63, Kentucky 5
After a number of sluggish starts, the Gators came out with guns-a-blazin' against the Wildcats, building a 28-0 lead through one quarter. Tim Tebow continued his return to excellence, throwing two touchdown passes and running for two scores. The Gators blocked a pair of Kentucky punts.
No. 5 Florida 49, No. 8 Georgia 10
The Gators avenged last year's 42-30 loss with a 39-point shellacking of the rival Bulldogs. Tim Tebow accounted for five touchdowns, Percy Harvin scored twice and the Gators scored 42 unanswered points.
No. 4 Florida 42, Vanderbilt 14
The Gators hit paydirt in each of their first four possessions and clinched the SEC East title for the second time in three seasons. Even though he spent most of the second half on the bench, Tim Tebow still totaled five touchdowns for the second consecutive week.
No. 3 Florida 56, No. 24 South Carolina 6
The Gators handed their old boss, Steve Spurrier, the worst loss in his playing or coaching career. Percy Harvin led the offensive onslaught, rushing for a career-high 167 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries. Florida's defense was every bit as dominant, recording three sacks, forcing four turnovers and holding the Gamecocks to 173 yards of offense.
No. 3 Florida 70, The Citadel 19
In their final home game of 2008, the Gators blew past the overmatched Bulldogs, scoring touchdowns on their first seven possessions and racking up 705 yards of offense. Nine players made it to the end zone for Florida.
No. 2 Florida 45, No. 23 Florida State 15
Bobby Bowden accurately described the game as "a good tail-whipping." In a tune-up for the SEC title game, the Gators scored their most points ever at Doak Campbell Stadium and beat Florida State for a fifth consecutive season. With 317 rushing yards, Florida outgained the Seminoles 502 to 242 in total yards.
No. 2 Florida 31, No. 1 Alabama 20
In quite possibly the most highly anticipated SEC title game ever -- seeing as the contest featured the nation's top two teams and served as a de facto BCS title semifinal -- the Gators won by following their Heisman Trophy quarterback. Florida trailed 20-17 entering the fourth quarter, but Tebow -- who finished with three passing touchdowns -- simply willed his team to victory by directing a pair of fourth-quarter scoring drives. "I've had some great players, and I've got some great players on this team," Urban Meyer said, "but I've never had one like this."