The Florida Gators are looking to win their third straight SEC East title and finally come out victorious in the conference championship game.
And while their efforts from 2016 have no stake in how the Gators will perform this season, the memories remain.
Here are five of those memories that are likely to resurface.
1.) The upset in Death Valley
The Florida-LSU rivalry began bubbling during the 2016 season.
It started with the postponed game in October due to Hurricane Matthew. It continued for the ensuing week when both schools and the SEC office bickered back and forth about how and when to reschedule the game.
It boiled over Nov. 19 in Death Valley when Florida pulled off the 16-10 upset in a home game away from home to secure the SEC East for a second straight season.
So many Florida highlights came out of that game in front of more than 100,000 people.
Vosean Joseph’s vicious hit on Danny Etling. Caleb Brantley’s forced fumble in the first half. Tyrie Cleveland’s 98-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
And, of course, the goal-line stand as time expired to secure the victory.
The tense rivalry saw an uptick when the Gators announced LSU would be their homecoming game opponent this season — a game that would have been played in Baton Rouge had the 2016 game not been postponed and eventually moved to Tiger Stadium.
Oct. 7 should be a fun one.
2.) The collapse in Neyland Stadium
Florida had an 11-game win streak in the series and a an 18-point lead heading into halftime against Tennessee on Sept. 24.
However, Tennessee dismantled the Gators in the second half and cruised to a 38-28 win in Neyland Stadium to snap Florida’s win streak.
Florida players were cocky heading into the game. Cornerback Quincy Wilson led the way with his “ducks don’t pull trucks” rant a few days before the game. Tennessee, the aforementioned “ducks” in this analogy, got the last laugh.
The teams play Sept. 16 in Gainesville.
3.) The SEC Championship Game defeat
Florida found itself in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game for the second straight year after going 6-2 in conference play.
And for the second straight year, the Gators proved to be no match for SEC West juggernaut Alabama. The final score: 54-16 Crimson Tide, Florida’s most lopsided loss since 1995 (62-24 loss to Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl). This coming a year after Alabama beat Florida 29-15 in the 2015 conference title game.
The sting of the blowout losses overshadows the accomplishment of making it to the title game and is serving as motivation for the Gators to make it a third time and win — or at least be competitive.
4.) The pick sixes
The offense had trouble scoring last season on multiple occasions.
So the defense stepped up.
All told, Florida’s defense scored 5 touchdowns in 2016, 4 of which came from interceptions returned to the end zone by four different players and either kept Florida in the respective games or were the difference maker in the Gators pulling out the win.
There was the Missouri game, in which Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson recorded pick-sixes on back-to-back drives late in the first half to give Florida a 20-point lead heading into halftime. Florida won 40-14.
In the Arkansas game, Duke Dawson intercepted a pass from Austin Allen in the first quarter and returned it 37 yards for the touchdown. It was Florida’s lone touchdown in the 31-10 defeat.
And then there was the Iowa game, in which Chauncey Gardner intercepted 2 passes in the first quarter and took the first 58 yards for a touchdown. It essentially locked up the Gators’ 30-3 win to close out the season.
5.) Extending the streak
Florida opened its SEC schedule in 2016 against Kentucky during the second week of the season. The game ended the same way the last 29 matchups did: With a Florida win.
The Gators trounced the Wildcats 45-7 to claim their 30th consecutive matchup with the Wildcats, the fourth-longest uninterrupted win streak in college football history.
The chance for consecutive win No. 31 will take place Sept. 23 in Lexington, Ky.