clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Florida's Antonio Callaway, Kelvin Taylor among Gators to reach milestones in Citrus Bowl

A dismal day still required some editing of the record books.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

While Florida's 41-7 loss to Michigan in the 2016 Citrus Bowl on Friday obviously wasnt't the outcome that the Gators or their fans wanted, records still fell and milestones still got achieved in the game.

The most important of them might belong to Antonio Callaway now. The Gators' freshman sensation capped his breakout campaign with five catches for 75 yards, and added another 79 yards on three kick returns. The yardage gave him the most receiving yards — 678 for 2015 — by a true freshman in Florida history, though it's well off the incredible 1,184 tallied by Jabar Gaffney as a redshirt freshman.

The relatively pedestrian 15 yards per catch also knocked Callaway out of the nation's top spot in yards per catch. He now ranks 17th nationally in that statistic, at 19.37 yards per catch on the year, and that figure gives him the fourth-best performance in the statistic in Florida history. Callaway is also on pace to exceed the Florida record for receiving yardage if he stays for four years, and could top it in three years if he exceeds 1,000 yards in each of the next two seasons.

Callaway was unable to add any punt return yardage in his quest to hawk down Brandon James's top spot on that list, and so owns the No. 2 season by a punt returner in Florida history.

The other major statistical success for Florida on Friday was finally getting Kelvin Taylor over the 1,000-yard mark on the season, making him the first Florida runner to top 1,000 yards in a season since Mike Gillislee in 2012, and just the second to do so since Ciatrick Fason in 2004. Taylor didn't score a rushing touchdown, though, and finishes with 13 on the season, meaning that he will share second place on Florida's all-time list of rushing touchdowns in a season by a running back with his father Fred.

Taylor's 1,035 yards on the season edge out Neal Anderson for No. 10 on Florida's all-time single-season rushing list — by a single yard.

Callaway and Taylor also each exceeded 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2015, making them Florida's first pair of teammates to do so since Percy Harvin and Chris Rainey in 2008. (Brandon Powell was 69 yards from joining them on the 1,000-yard plateau, largely because of his duties as a kick returner.)

A poor day for Florida's defense — the Gators recorded three tackles for loss, one pass break-up, and no sacks — made milestones harder to come by on that side of the field. But Antonio Morrison still pushed past 100 tackles for the second consecutive year, and only a seeming head injury to Jarrad Davis prevented him from joining Morrison in triple digits, as he finished with 98 tackles on the year.

The duo would have been Florida's first with 100-plus tackles in more than a decade.

But yet another poor day for Florida's offense allowed Johnny Townsend to tie the school record for punts and add to his record for punt yardage in a season.

His 83 punts in 2015 now match Buster Morrison's 83 in 1972 and Bud Walton's 83 in 1938, and his 3,765 punt yards would seem nearly insurmountable: No. 2 on that list is Morrison, who had 3,187 in 1972. Townsend's 45.36 yards per punt edge out Chas Henry's 45.06 yards per punt from 2010 for second all-time, and rank behind only Kyle Christy's 45.8 yards per punt in 2012.