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19 Days to Gator football: Shane Matthews


Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Michael Shane Matthews of Cleveland and Pascagoula, Mississippi, had the distinct honor of being Gator savior, Steve Spurrier‘s first starting quarterback. On the right arm of Shane, Darth Visor rebuilt the Gator football program from 1990 to 1992. He quarterbacked the team to an SEC-best 9-2 record in 1990, but the Gators were not eligible for the SEC championship due to NCAA and school sanctions. In the following year of 1991, he led the team to a 10-2 season, 7-0 SEC, and the Gators’ first official SEC Championship. He was first-team All-SEC in ’90, ’91, and ’92, and two-time SEC Player of the Year. He finished his college career 722/1,202 attempts for 9,287 yards and 74 touchdowns, was a team captain and team MVP. He led the SEC in passing for three consecutive years (1990–1992), and finished with a career efficiency rating of 137.6. When he left UF, Matthews topped the Gator charts in rating, completions, attempts, yards, and touchdowns. He was inducted as a Gator Great into the University of Florida Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2002.

BONUS: In my list of greatest Gator passers, Shane is ranked 4th.

Year GP Comp Att % Yds TD INT TD% INT% Y/G Y/A RAT
1990 229 378 60.6 2952 23 12 6.1 3.2 268.4 7.8 139.9
1991 218 361 60.4 3130 28 18 7.8 5.0 284.5 8.7 148.8
1992 275 463 59.4 3205 23 16 5.0 3.5 267.1 6.9 127.0