UF/USC: Odds and Ends

Tim Tebow is cementing his name in the record books and he's only a sophomore.

The anguished roar could be heard through the glass of the South Carolina coaches box into the press box. "Get him! Get him!" screamed one of the Gamecock coaches as Florida's Kestahn Moore took a speed option run for 21 yards and another first down.

This was one more frustrating play on a night full of them for South Carolina, and the coach could have been yelling it at some point about almost any Gator skill player who saw time. Florida rumbled to 537 yards of offense and weren't forced to punt until 7:05 remained in the game.

Playing without star weapon Percy Harvin, the Gators never seemed to even be in jeopardy of being stopped for the vast majority of the game.

"I think they pretty much toyed with us," Steve Spurrier said after the game. "It surprises me a little bit - I thought we might force a few punts.... We're a struggling bunch defensively right now."


Tim Tebow's 5-yard first quarter touchdown run was the 11th straight game he's carried the ball into the end zone. It was Tebow's 15th rushing touchdown of the year, which gave him the Florida single season record in that category as well.

He later added another four, making it the sixth time Tebow's had multiple rushing touchdowns in one game. The final total of five turned out to mean much more than just his career high for a game.

He's now tied for the SEC record of 19 touchdown runs in a season, one he will likely shatter since he has a minimum of three games remaining. Tebow also had passed Danny Wuerffel's school record of being responsible for touchdowns combined rushing and passing. It had been 41 and now sits at 42.

"How many'd he run in, two or three?" Spurrier said. "He ran FIVE?! Heck, I lost count."


Steve Spurrier hasn't been on the receiving end of too many offensive explosions like the Gators put together Saturday night. Florida's 51 points was the most scored against a Spurrier coached team since Nebraska put 62 on the board against Florida in the Fiesta Bowl to wrap up the 1995 season.


For the second time this season, Florida lost starting right guard Maurkice Pouncey just a few plays into the game. Just as he did against Tennessee, redshirt freshman Maurice Hurt filled the void and the line appeared not to skip a beat. Tebow appreciated Hurt's impressive performance.

"For him to come in and play the way he did was great. He played with a lot of heart and intensity tonight and I'm proud of him."

According to Urban Meyer, Pouncey has a high ankle sprain and is definitely out for at least the Florida Atlantic game.


One persistent issue for Florida this season has been clock management and the use of timeouts. In this game, Florida did a better job of using them the way they should have throughout the year.

Facing a 3rd-and-3 situation at the South Carolina four, Tim Tebow opted to call timeout after not liking the defensive look he was seeing from the Gamecocks. Florida came out in a different formation, and Tebow scored a touchdown on a run up the middle after selling a handoff to the motion man.

Later in the half, Florida called a timeout with 42 seconds remaining after completing a pass in the middle of the field short of the first down marker. In previous games, they'd allowed the clock to run in similar situations.

Not everything was perfect for Florida. After opening the second half with a 55-yard completion from Tim Tebow to tight end Aaron Hernandez, it took way too long to get the play in and Florida wound up with a delay of game. This has been a recurring issue after big plays for the Gators, although they overcame the penalty and scored a touchdown on the drive.

Also, with a chance to run out the clock on the third quarter after the play clock was started with 23 seconds remaining, the Gators still snapped the ball for a third down play.


There are times watching a game where you can feel a momentum shift the second it happens. For Florida, the first four minutes of the game with South Carolina could not have gone better.

The Gators recovered a fumble on South Carolina's first snap of the game, then scored a touchdown in five plays. The next Gamecock possession led to a blocked punt by John Curtis and a touchdown pass from Time Tebow to Jarred Fayson two plays later. Williams-Brice Stadium sounded like a morgue as Joey Ijjas trotted onto the field for the extra point.

The normally reliable Ijjas clanked the extra point attempt off an upright, and the crowd immediately went crazy. When the senior followed it up with a horrible kickoff out of bounds to start South Carolina with good field position on their ensuing possession, the mood had changed.

South Carolina raced down the field to a touchdown and actually had a 14-13 lead less than nine minutes later. Florida regrouped with 14 points in the second quarter, and the Gamecocks never seriously threatened again. Ijjas shanked another one out of bounds later in the game, after which South Carolina again took advantage of the field position and scored a touchdown in six plays.


One week after using an all-blue uniform against Vanderbilt, Florida kept it monochromatic again. This time the Gators opted for the all white top and pants combination rather than wearing the orange pants they typically do away from The Swamp.

The last time they wore all white - November 12, 2005 during their last trip to Columbia.


When Florida played in Baton Rouge earlier this season, the LSU media and booster meal was chunks of alligator in a red sauce. If South Carolina was looking to set a tone with their selection, it was the wrong one. The Saturday night menu at Williams-Brice Stadium featured broiled chicken.


Florida got no help from Arkansas or Auburn on Saturday, meaning their hopes of a return trip to the SEC Championship are almost entirely in the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats. UK visits Georgia next week. If they don't knock off the Bulldogs, Florida is eliminated from the SEC race.

Even if the Wildcats should pick up a win, Florida needs a Tennessee loss in one of their final two games. Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt Saturday and will end their season in Lexington against Kentucky.

One noteworthy change due to Saturday's action is that, thanks to Kentucky's win over Vandy, if both Tennessee and Georgia lose next week Florida will go to Atlanta regardless of the outcome of Tennessee-Kentucky. A Wildcat win would set up a three way tie between them, Georgia and Florida which the Gators would win.

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