UF/FAU: Odds and Ends

It wasn't Tim Tebow's best performance of the season, but the Gator signal caller accomplished several things during Saturday's win over Florida Atlantic that no other quarterback has ever done.

First, Tim Tebow set the all-time Southeastern Conference single season record with his 20th rushing touchdown of the season. Tebow broke Garrison Hearst's record set back in 1992.

But more impressively, Tebow became the first player in NCAA history to rush and pass for 20 or more touchdowns in the same season.

"It means a lot," Tebow said after the game. "It's an honor to be the first to do it. Coach [Dan] Mullen had a lot to do with it. The other players get the credit, too."

Where were they?

Several Gator players didn't dress for Saturday's game. The biggest surprise was tailback and kick returner Brandon James. Jarred Fayson took the returning duties, returning two punts for eight yards.

"There are certain things you need to do on the field and off the field, and he didn't fulfill his obligation this week," Urban Meyer said.

Percy Harvin has been battling migraines and a sinus infection for the last week and a half and missed his second straight game.

"He was here today," Meyer said. "He should be back at practice if everything is cleared up. I want to say he's spent five days in the infirmary, and hopefully he'll be ready to go on Monday."

The Gators haven't had much trouble scoring points without Harvin, though. They've averaged 50 points in the two games that their No. 1 wide receiver has been out.

"He's one of the best players in college football," Meyer said. "You take him out of the lineup, and someone has to step up and make a play. That's the essence of football. Some guys are stepping up. Obviously, Bubba Caldwell has been out of control as far as numbers for the last couple of games."

"You miss a great player like that," Tebow said. "When someone goes down, other people need to step up and they have."

Injury bug

Meyer had no firm details after the game, but cornerback Joe Haden, defensive tackle Michael Pouncey and Lawrence Marsh all left the game early with injuries. Haden left with an ankle sprain, Pouncey with a hyper-extended knee and Marsh has a sore foot.

Brandon Spikes also left the game with some tendonitis in his knee.

Back on Offense

Markus Manson made his return to the offensive side of the ball on Saturday. He had been moved to defensive back in the spring after not seeing much time at tailback and trying to fill some holes on defense. Injuries have kept Manson out of the mix in the secondary, but Harvin's absence, coupled with James's suspension and Chevon Walker's decision to leave the team have left the Gators scrambling for running backs.

"I thought he looked pretty good running the ball," Meyer said. "We're going to keep him there for a little while. It's unselfish of Markus to go in there and help us out."

Manson rushed for 24 yards on three carries and returned a blocked punt 19 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

No more Atlanta

Georgia's 24-13 win over Kentucky on Saturday sealed the fate of the Gators. They will not make a return trip to the Georgia Dome for another shot at an SEC title.

"I'll address it with them on Monday," Meyer said. "There's still a whole world to play for – a top-ten ranking, a great bowl game and a bunch of seniors getting ready to play against our rival."

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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