James ranks fourth in the SEC, and leads all conference freshmen, with a 11.6-yard punt return average (335 yards on 29 returns), while also rating 10th in the league with an 17.5-yard kick return average on 20 attempts. He established a single-game school record for punt return yards against Western Carolina, piling up 155 on six tries; the effort also marked the ninth-highest single-game total in SEC history, as well as the second-best one-game performance by a freshman in league annals. One of his punt returns against WCU was a 77-yard touchdown jaunt, making him just the second freshman in school history to take a punt back for a score, and the first Gator to do so since Lito Sheppard in 2000. He was recently named a first-team Freshman All-American by Rivals.com.
Tebow's stellar freshman campaign has seen him run the ball 79 times for 430 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns, while completing 21-of-32 passes (65.6 percent) for 357 yards and four scores. His average of 5.4 yards per carry ranks 35th nationally, and second in the country among quarterbacks; his seven rushing scores also place him eighth nationally among signal callers, and he is one of only nine quarterbacks to have two rushing touchdowns against AP top-25 competition. He is currently one TD shy of tying Jimmy Fisher's single-season school record for quarterback scores in a campaign, set in 1976. After playing a part in each of Florida's three touchdowns * two passes and a run * in its Oct. 7 win over LSU, Tebow took home SEC Freshman of the Week accolades.
Second-ranked Florida will take to the field again on Jan. 8, 2007, when it will meet Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz. UF's appearance in the BCS National Championship Game will mark the third time in school history that it has entered a bowl game with a chance to win the national title. The Gators claimed the 1996 NCAA crown with a 52-20 victory over top-ranked Florida State in the Sugar Bowl behind a three-touchdown, 306-yard performance from Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel. The Gators also played for the national championship in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl after posting a 12-0 regular-season record.