GAINESVILLE - Even Dallas Baker is amazed with his recent play.
After the receiver's first 100-yard game last week against Alabama, he did it again Saturday against Mississippi State.
"It feels like a dream," the senior said. "I've been trying so hard to step up my play in the fall from the spring. Now that I'm finally doing it, it's like, "Wow!"'
Baker has a history of big spring games followed by disappointing seasons.
As a sophomore in 2003, he caught three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown in the spring game. But he had only 13 catches and one touchdown during the season. In 2004, he caught three passes for 176 yards in the spring game but had 26 catches and five touchdowns during the season. In April, he had six catches for 134 yards and three touchdowns.
He might have changed his reputation Saturday with career highs of seven catches and 123 yards and a 15-yard touchdown, giving him 28 catches for 400 yards and two touchdowns this season.
"I think Dallas Baker had a tremendous game," Gators coach Urban Meyer said. "And I think he's turning into our most polished receiver."
Baker was the only offensive player of Meyer's "Champions Club" (essentially the players of the week) last week after catching six passes for 119 yards. But for Baker, it's much more than stats.
Since Meyer arrived, Baker said he has turned his life around, including his grades.
"Before, I was trying to be one of those guys that wanted to be the class clown and kind of immature," Baker said. "Once Coach came in, he doesn't tolerate that. He expects everyone from freshmen to redshirt seniors to step up and become a man.
"I'm not trying to give myself all the credit. But ... I think I'm growing up really fast."
He picked a perfect time considering the Gators' problems at receiver. They lost starter Andre Caldwell for the season to a broken leg against Tennessee. And after Jemalle Cornelius sustained an ankle injury against Alabama, Baker and Chad Jackson were the Gators' only receivers with starting experience entering Saturday.
So after two big games, how does Baker prevent a drop-off?
"Not being happy with where I'm at," he said.
"Going out to practice acting like I only had two catches for minus-3 yards."