Fifteen years ago today — plus a week — the 2006 Heisman Trophy runner-up, Darren McFadden, had the game of his career against South Carolina.
The Arkansas running back broke the SEC rushing record with 321 yards on the ground on 34 carries with one score while also throwing a 23-yard TD pass in a 48-36 Razorback win on Nov. 3, 2007.
The viral performance put McFadden front and center in the Heisman conversation.
But seven days later, Florida took on those same Gamecocks and another epic performance against South Carolina may have sealed the Heisman for then-sophomore Tim Tebow.
Like the Razorbacks, the Gators already had three losses. But Tebow was in the middle of a fantastic season as a dual-threat QB and despite the losses — and the fact no underclassmen had ever won the award — was gaining steam as a Heisman contender.
Then came a road game at South Carolina against its Heisman-winning head coach Steve Spurrier on Nov. 10.
Despite playing without top target Percy Harvin (who was out sick), Tebow had the best game of his career, accounting for a whopping seven touchdowns in the Gators’ 51-31 win.
Tebow not only threw for a career-high 304 and two scores, but he rushed for 120 yards and a school-record FIVE touchdowns. He accounted for more than three-quarters of the Gator offense.
His rushing bonanza marked the school-record 11th straight game he’d scored on the ground while also continuing a streak of throwing at least one TD pass in each game that season.
Tebow’s second and last touchdowns of the game were passes of 22 and 21, respectively. His quintet of ground scores came on rushes of 5, 1, 3, 2 and 5.
In the game, he reached 42 total TDs for the season, which broke fellow Gator Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel’s 1996 SEC record of 41.
Tebow would go on to total nine more TDs (six passing, three rushing) before winning the Heisman in December. McFadden ended up finishing as the Heisman runner-up for the second straight year.