Tim Tebow started the game like he was going to have one of those nights that Gator fans would remember for years to come. He connected on 15-of-18 passes in the first half, throwing for 217 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 40 yards on six carries with another touchdown.
All his first half success, however, came crumbling down during the third quarter. Tebow completed 3-of-5 passes for 19 yards, but he also was sacked twice and managed the Gators to only one first down.
"We weren't able to manage the offense as well as we wanted to," Tebow said. "We were a little upset, not because Troy was stopping us, but because we knew that we could play better. We want to go out there and play to the best of our ability. We didn't in the second half and that was a little upsetting."
Tebow put the blame squarely on his shoulders.
"That is kind of my fault as the quarterback and leader of this team because it's my job to go out there and get first downs," he said. "I don't think guys took it off. We just had problems. No one was letting up or worried about what they were going to do after the game."
Tebow led the Gators to touchdowns on their first seven possessions of the game, building a 49-7 halftime lead, but things came apart in the second half. The Gators gained just 12 yards of total offense in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Trojans were scoring almost at will.
"Obviously in the second half the defense gave up some yardage, but I put that on the offense," Meyer said.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Tebow had enough. The quarterback who usually lets his legs do the talking willed the Gators into the end zone. On an 8-play drive, Tebow ran six times for 55 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown run. He finished the night with 93 yards rushing on 17 carries.
"I was a little frustrated going into that final drive," Tebow said. "We went out there and decided we were going to score on this drive. We ran the same play several times and were just determined to get it done."
The final numbers looked impressive for the Gator offense. They finished with 500 yards of total offense with a balanced attack – 264 rushing and 236 passing. But Tebow knows the discrepancy between the two halves and knows the Gators need to get things straightened out with Tennessee coming to Gainesville next week.
"The main thing we need to do is play for four quarters," Tebow said. "That's the name of the game. That's why you play four quarters."
Tebow Looking for Consistency
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