VETTEL: The PH Factor Changes Everything

The Florida Gators played a near perfect, yet complete game against the Tennessee Volunteers. The Florida defense stunned just about everyone by holding a superb offensive team to just one touchdown. And matching that score with a touchdown of its own.

Brandon James did his part on special teams with a punt return for a touchdown and added several excellent kickoff returns. The Florida offense was simply unstoppable with more than 500 total yards, despite Tim Tebow showing a glimpse of being a mere mortal by throwing a touchdown the other way.

There were smaller heroes like David Nelson who made a big 14-yard catch on fourth down on the final play of the third quarter. Dustin Doe got that touchdown for the Gator defense while Joe Haden made nine tackles that saved a hundred plus yards. And don't overlook kicker Joey Ijjas who still has yet to miss, and the fans in The Swamp who still have not seen the Gators come up short under Urban Meyer.

But to me, the biggest eye opener was the dazzling play of Percy Harvin.

A Tremendous Day

Statistics alone show you that Harvin was great. He had nine rushes for 75 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for another 120 yards and a score. And he had 157 of those yards in the second half when the game was won. But that only scratches the surface in showing how Harvin turned a white knuckler into a complete blowout.

After Brandon James mistakenly tried to field a punt at his own 6-yard line and muffed it, Florida had the ball at its own 1-yard line leading 35-20. If the Gators had a turnover or a three-and-out there, the Vols would be in great position to get back within a score. Instead Tim Tebow stepped back and found a streaking Harvin for a 48 yard gain to midfield. Then on the first play of the fourth quarter Harvin took the ball on a reverse and made a highlight play. The spectacular sophomore corkscrewed half the Vols defense into the turf with a succession of moves and ran into the end zone for a 42-20 Gator lead. Just for good measure, Harvin added a 49-yard reception on Florida's next play to lead to the Gators' seventh touchdown.

Hello, Downtown Athletic Club?

I'm not ready to anoint Harvin a Heisman candidate for 2007, well not yet, but I'm getting close. Through three games Harvin is proving himself to be a complete difference maker. He has rushed for 156 yards on just 16 carries (9.8) and caught ten passes for 215 yards. Nine touches a game, 13.7 yards per touch are truly remarkable numbers. It's even more impressive when you consider the way he played last year and that every defense is geared up to deal with him… or at least they try to.

Harvin and Tebow both have the opportunity to get national attention in a hurry after their performances on national television Saturday against a ranked opponent. Sure, it's tough for a sophomore since none has ever won it, but soon they'll have to be part of the conversation. They certainly dominate the discussion when opposing defensive coaches get together.

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