The expectations were set so high for the Jacksonville-native after helping the University of Florida capture its second national title last season, but not only has Tebow met and exceeded all expectations, he's left Gator Nation wanting more.
In 12 games, Tebow tied the single season Division I mark for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 22. He broke the SEC record for total touchdowns after throwing 29 TD passes, making him responsible for 51 touchdowns. His 22 rushing touchdowns also made him the all-time leader in SEC history. He threw and rushed for at least one touchdown each in every game. He became the first Florida quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards in two games in a single season. And, Tebow rushed for five touchdowns against South Carolina, setting a new mark at UF regardless of position.
The numbers are staggering, and Tebow has said on record that he plans on staying at UF for all four years, which means he has two years to try and match the incredibly impressive stats he put up in 2007.
Here's a game-by-game look at Tebow's memorable season...
Western Kentucky -- Tebow's debut started as expected against an overmatched Western Kentucky team. Tebow threw just 17 passes, but threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns. His single game passer rating was 282.94 – the highest over the course of the season. Of his 13 completions, four passes went for 40 or more yards.
Troy -- Again Tebow tossed three touchdown passes, and again Tebow went without throwing an interception. Everyone knew what Tebow was capable of on the ground, and against the Trojans, he rushed 17 times for 93 yards and a pair of scores. He was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and led the Gators to touchdowns on their first seven possessions.
Tennessee -- The legend began to grow after the Gators blew out their SEC East rivals in front of a national television audience. Tebow completed 14-of-19 passes for 299 yards and a pair of touchdown passes and also rushed 18 times for 61 yards and another two scores. After his performance against the Vols, Tebow was named the Walter Camp Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week.
Ole Miss -- The legend grew even more against the Rebels, and Tebow solidified his nickname – Superman. He rushed 27 times, setting a new school record for carries by a quarterback. Tebow gained 166 yards on the ground for another two touchdowns. And oh yeah, he completed 20-of-34 passes for 261 yards and two more touchdowns.
Auburn -- In his first loss as a starter, Tebow was still impressive against the Tigers, mounting a fourth quarter charge. Tebow carried 19 times for 75 yards and a touchdown and also completed 20-of-27 passes for 201 yards.
LSU -- In what was his most frustrating game of the season, Tebow couldn't lead the Gators past the top-ranked team in the nation. Tebow completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes for the only time and posted his lowest passer rating of the season (114.89).
Kentucky -- For the second time in seven games, Tebow accounted for five touchdowns. He threw for a season-high four touchdowns while completing 18-of-26 passes for 256 yards. He also rushed 20 times for 78 yards, but paid the price by bruising his right shoulder. The injury would impact his next two games. Still, against the Wildcats, Tebow surpassed the 1,000 yard rushing mark and 2,000 yard passing mark.
Georgia -- Another frustrating outing for Tebow as the Gators lost their third game in four tries. Tebow completed just 14-of-22 passes against the Bulldogs for 236 yards and a touchdown. But the stat that stood out was 13 carries for minus-15 yards.
Vanderbilt -- Again the shoulder injury slowed Tebow's ground attack, but he was extremely proficient through the air. Tebow completed 22-of-27 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns in the Gators' 49-22 win over the Commodores. He managed two touchdowns on the ground on just six carries.
South Carolina -- On this chilly night in Columbia, Tebow became the front runner for the Heisman Trophy. The sophomore amassed seven touchdowns – two through the air and five on the ground. Tebow rushed for more than 100 yards and passed for more than 300 yards. His 304 passing yards was a new career mark – until the following week.
Florida Atlantic -- Tebow began to distance himself as the Heisman front runner after a solid passing performance against the Owls. He completed 25-of-34 passes for three touchdowns and carried 13 times for 31 yards and another touchdown.
Florida State -- The numbers weren't impressive, but the touchdown run in the first half where Tebow ducked away from a sack and rambled 23 yards for a touchdown clinched the Heisman vote for everyone in attendance at The Swamp. Tebow threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 13 times for 89 yards and another pair of scores.
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski
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