GAINESVILLE — Trey Burton changed his number from 13 to 8 last week, the only indication that he might have underachieved Saturday night.
"We tried to get him eight touchdowns," Florida coach Urban Meyer said, joking.
Instead, the freshman from Venice merely broke a school record held by Tim Tebow by scoring six touchdowns in Florida's 48-14 win against Kentucky. Burton's six TDs (five rushing, one receiving) in a single game put him in company with only five other SEC players, the last being former Auburn and current Buccaneer running back Cadillac Williams in 2003.
Tebow had the school's single-game TD mark with five rushing scores against South Carolina in 2007. UF's freshman TD mark for one game was four by DeShawn Wynn in 2003 vs. Florida A&M.
"It felt like a dream the whole night," said Burton, who was forced to change his number because he plays on the kickoff team alongside linebacker Dee Finley, also No. 13.
Burton was efficient, scoring on more than half of the plays he was involved in, and totaling 119 yards passing, rushing and receiving.
"Trey Burton was fantastic," Meyer said. "A lot of great players have played in this stadium, and I think he broke some record. … I thought he was a good player when we recruited him, a really good player. We had no idea what we had until we figured it out in training camp."
Burton excelled near the goal line, scoring all of his touchdowns in the red zone on 11-, 10-, 9-, 3- and 7-yard runs and an 11-yard reception. Meyer said he wanted to give Burton more action at quarterback to enhance the team's threat on option runs and to fill the void left by Tebow.
"He's the best player to ever play college football," Burton said of Tebow. "I've always looked up to him, and it's an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence."
Teammates joked with Burton that there was, in fact, 10 other Gators on the field, suggesting he should let one of them score. They also teased him for his celebrations in the end zone.
"I got told to calm down a little bit," he said. "I have a tendency to get a little too excited."
On this night, though, flaws in Burton's game were difficult to find. But he still tried, pointing to an underthrown pass to Omarius Hines. The Gators gained 42 yards, but Burton said Hines would have scored if he had thrown accurately.
"I'm not the best thrower in the world," he said. "You guys know that, and (quarterbacks) coach (Scot) Loeffler jokes with me about the way I throw."
So Burton ran for a touchdown two plays later.