VETTEL: Tebow Resurrects Heisman Hopes

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow slid several spots on a number of Heisman lists recently after the Gators dropped three of four games and went from top five in the nation to top five in the SEC East.

Well, Saturday afternoon in the Swamp should do wonders for the Gator sophomore in terms of Heisman consideration.

Tebow was simply sensational as the Gator shredded the nation's No. 19 defense for some 350 yards and five touchdowns in the first half alone. The Vanderbilt Commodores had effectively shut down Georgia and South Carolina, but were no match on this day. At times Tebow looked more like a guy playing a game of darts rather than a quarterback. His precision passing made it look sooo easy as he picked apart a secondary that had 14 interceptions entering the contest. Now Tebow was clearly helped along by a superb performance from his offensive line, but the bottom line is the Gator QB Tebow was simply sensational.

When the day was done the Florida field general ended up with 22 completions in 27 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. He had one poor throw all day long. Additionally Tebow got back into the Florida running game in a limited way with 35 yards on six runs with two touchdowns.

For the season Tebow now has his hand in 35 touchdowns and has at least four more games to play. His 14 rushing touchdowns is an SEC record for a quarterback and his 21 touchdown passes against just four interceptions is just remarkable for a first year starter.

It's More Than The Numbers

On stats alone Tebow has performed as well as anyone in the country when you consider the level of competition the Gators has faced. Only one Gator opponent entered this weekend with a losing record, yet there's Tebow at the end of the day with 2,228 passing yards and 598 more on the ground. A 4,000-yard season of total offense is not out of the question, nor is having his hand in 45-50 touchdowns.

Still what stands out to me is that Tebow has quarterbacked a team that has faced a brutal schedule and taken a beating for several weeks. He (with the help of his coaches) has shown the ability to adjust his game, carrying the ball as many as 27 times and having as few as a handful of designed runs. He has shown the ability to read defenses and move the ball around, finding the all important mis-match opportunities that this offense is based on.

I vote for the Heisman and I'm not about to cast my vote for Tim Tebow or anyone else. But when you consider his body of work and the fact that his three losses came against top 20 teams, Tim Tebow has to be right in the mix for the top individual award in all of sports.

Now all he has to do is play the same way for the next three weeks.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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