Odds and Ends

For most of the season Gator fans have waited for Tim Tebow to look like the quarterback he was in 2007. Tebow's numbers have still been solid this season, but he hadn't seemed to play with the same abandon as he did last year. Saturday night the fans and LSU saw the old Tebow, and Florida's offense reaped the rewards.

From the beginning of the game, it was clear Tebow was looking to throw deeper patterns. His first touchdown pass, a 70-yarder to Percy Harvin, came on a 3rd-and-12 play when he could have easily gotten a first down on a shorter throw to Jeff Demps. The play was the longest touchdown of both players career to date.

"We wanted to dominate." said Tebow. "We wanted to go out there and play physical."

Tebow's completed 14-of-21 passes for 210 yards and two scores, but his most important play of the game may well have been a four-yard run in Florida territory. LSU had mustered back-to-back scoring drives on either side of the half to climb back into the game at 20-14. With the Gators facing a 3rd-and-3 from their own 40, Tebow ran for four yards to keep the drive going. Four plays later he found Louis Murphy on a 37-yard strike down the right sideline to the LSU two. Fittingly, Tebow trotted in on a beautifully executed bootleg to make it 27-14. LSU's momentum was stopped and the Tigers never seriously threatened again.

"That was a huge drive.... we knew we had to put a drive together," Tebow said.

LSU coach Les Miles voiced his admiration for the Florida quarterback after the game, saying, "Tebow is a tremendous competitor... he fights like heck."


Linebacker Brandon Spikes got the first interception of his career near the end of the first quarter, cutting in front of a Jarrett Lee throw to the right sideline. Apparently he enjoyed it so much he did it again later in the game. This time Spikes rumbled 52 yards for a touchdown, which he celebrated with an impromptu punt of the football. The punt drew a 15-yard celebration penalty, which Spikes apologized for later.

"I'd never taken a pick to the house ever in my football career, and the passion for the game kind of took over," Spikes said.

According to Spikes, UF punter Chas Henry gave the effort a thumbs down review on the sideline, telling him "you kind of shanked it."


For the first time this season Florida scored on their opening drive. The Tebow to Harvin pass was followed by scores on the next two drives as well.

"We spotted them 20 points in the first half, and really never got out of that hole," Miles said.


Jeff Demps continues to compile eye-popping numbers in his freshman season for the Gators. His ten carries for 129 yards included a 42-yard touchdown run, his fourth rushing TD of more than 30 yards this year. Florida has just two touchdown runs longer than 30 yards last season as a team.


After being the talk of the week leading up to the game with his comments about trying to take Tim Tebow out, star LSU defensive tackle Ricky-Jean Francois did not make the trip to Gainesville due to a flareup of a previous groin injury. Asked afterward whether Francois's absence was a factor in Florida's triumph, Miles downplayed its impact.

"I don't know that it hurt us at all to be honest with you," Miles said. "I know Ricky-Jean would have certainly played well, but that's not the reason we lost."

For the game LSU sacked Tebow three times.


Florida's 51 points was the most allowed in regulation by any Les Miles team in his four years at LSU. Florida's win over LSU at The Swamp in 2006 had been the last time the Tigers lost in a game which didn't go to overtime.


Florida gets their second bye week of the season next weekend, which will allow injured players some time to rest before the final six games of the year. Kentucky is the next opponent for the Gators. Saturday the Wildcats lost their second consecutive game, 24-17, against South Carolina. An already anemic Kentucky offense may have suffered a severe blow in the game, as senior wide receiver Dicky Lyons Jr. left with an apparent severe knee injury. No other receiver for Kentucky had more than seven catches for the season entering the game.

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