Big Win Provides Boost for the Gators

Tim Tebow's numbers still weren't spectacular against LSU last Saturday, completing 14-of-21 passes for 210 yards, but the junior quarterback showed poise and leadership that don't show up in the stat sheet. With the bye week, Tebow now has some time to relax and get ready for the stretch SEC run.

"It's nice," Tebow said. "It gives us an opportunity to relax, get healthy and get ready for Kentucky."

The Gators have had their fair share of injuries this season. On offense, left guard Jim Tartt has been banged up, running back Emmanuel Moody is nursing a sore ankle and Percy Harvin is still not 100 percent.

"I think there are some guys that are sore and banged up, but that's college football," Tebow said. "It'll be nice to have everyone that much healthier when we face Kentucky."

Florida's dominating 30-point win over the Tigers is Tebow's best win as a starter. Not only did Tebow provide strong quarterback play, but he was also the emotional leader of the team, which is something he promised after Florida's loss to Ole Miss last month.

"We were extremely focused and extremely hyped coming into the game," Tebow said. "I think you saw that in the first half. I think we were playing with a sense of wanting to play dominant and wanting to play physical. We had heard all week that we had to play physical and we did."

Tebow's maturity and leadership shined the best in the third quarter. After taking a 20-point lead, LSU finished the first half with a scoring drive and added another to start the second half, narrowing Florida's margin to just six points. But Tebow led an eight-play 67-yard drive that turned the tide back in favor of the Gators.

"That was an extremely important drive and that's the difference between this year and last year," he said. "They had scored and got it within six points, but we showed we were a very calm team, a very poised team and a very mature team. We drove down the field 80 yards and got a huge score and got Brandon Spikes and the boys back out there. It was a huge momentum shift."

With Georgia still ahead on the schedule, the win against LSU gave the Gators a boost before hosting Kentucky next week.

"I don't think it changed us at all, but maybe gave us a little boost, Meyer said. "I think it gives guys that much more confidence in their ability and what they can do. Instead of going through it for the first time – the Jeff Demps and the Janoris Jenkins – and not just them but everybody, it gives us a boost, including the coaches, but those guys especially."

Tebow's stats may look nothing like they did last year, but he does lead in one major SEC category. He leads the conference with a passer rating of 152.8. Tebow also ranks second in completion percentage, completing 62.4 percent of his passes and has thrown the fewest interceptions (1) among quarterbacks with more than 100 passing attempts.

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