Earlier in the season, Florida State had beaten Florida 24-21. But the rematch in the Sugar Bowl wasn’t close at all. The Gators were the ones to hold up the national championship trophy.
No. 3 Florida demolished No. 1 Florida State 52-20, winning its first national championship in the 1996 season.
Heisman-trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel threw three touchdown passes to Ike Hilliard and ran for another score. Wuerffel became the second Heisman winner in four years to win a national championship, following Florida State QB Charlie Ward.
Third-ranked Florida was invited to the national championship game because the Pac-10 champion (Arizona State) was contractually obligated to play in the Rose Bowl. When Ohio State beat Arizona State in the Rose Bowl, Florida was assured of winning the consensus national championship.
This year’s Florida-Florida State matchup kicks off this Saturday at 3:30 p.m.