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No. 1 Florida 51, No. 16 Auburn 10

October 20, 1996

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida’s defense made Auburn quarterback Dameyune Craig eat his words. Danny Wuerffel and the Fun ‘N’ Gun offense took care of the rest.

Wuerffel threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns Saturday, and Fred Taylor and Elijah Williams ran for over 100 yards for the second straight game to lead No. 1 Florida to a 51-10 victory over 16th-ranked Auburn.

The win gave Florida (7-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) a smooth road to a Nov. 30 showdown with No. 3 Florida State.

It was the most points scored against Auburn (5-2, 3-2) since a 55-0 loss to Alabama in 1948.

The Tigers were the last team to beat Florida in the ``Swamp,″ a 36-33 victory in 1994 that knocked the Gators from No. 1.

Craig, who set a school record with 394 yards passing against Mississippi State last week, had said there was ``no doubt in my mind″ Auburn could beat the Gators again, adding that ``Florida’s defense hasn’t been tested.″

Craig was 7-of-28 for 82 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked seven times, and avoided three others by escaping just beyond the line of scrimmage.

Wuerffel broke open a 21-10 game at halftime by leading the Gators 78 yards for a field goal and then throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Reidel Anthony to make it 30-10.

The Tigers had one last chance to stay in the game. On fourth-and-7 from the Florida 43, Willie Rodgers rode Craig to the ground for an 8-yard sack.

Wuerffel threw a perfect 34-yard fade pass to Anthony on the next play, which set up Williams’ 14-yard touchdown run.

Williams had 116 yards on 16 carries, while Taylor had 110 yards on 14 carries. It was the second game in a row they had gone over the 100-yard mark, both times while Florida was running out the clock.

For the seventh time in as many games, the Gators scored a touchdown on their opening drive when Wuerffel threw a 24-yard touchdown to Anthony just four minutes into the game.

Wuerffel scored on a 1-yard sneak and had 218 yards passing at halftime, including seven completions of at least 20 yards.

But the defense had to carry its share of the load. Ed Chester sacked Craig on the first play of the game to set up a three-and-out possession. On the next Auburn drive, Anthone Lott atoned for a pass interference penalty by stopping receiver Karsten Bailey just short of a first down on a fourth-and-7.

The Tigers, who got six turnovers in beating Florida two years ago, kept it close in the first half with two more.

Jayson Bray intercepted an overthrown pass by Wuerffel, and Auburn tied the game at 7 when Markeith Cooper scored on a 7-yard run, a draw play on third down.

Takeo Spikes stopped a Florida drive late in the first half when he stripped Terry Jackson of the ball on third-and-2 from the Auburn 45. But the Gators sacked Craig on consecutive plays, and Demetric Jackson intercepted his Hail Mary pass in the end zone.

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