Tebow: The Ultimate Warrior

Don't make him angry. You won't like him when he's angry. The Florida State Seminoles did that on Saturday and it just made Florida's Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow hit another gear and made him want to beat FSU that much more. Tebow solidified a trip to New York for his second Heisman ceremony and left Florida State in his dust.

Tebow already had 101 yards of offense and a touchdown pass to his name after the first quarter and one drive into the second quarter when teammate Percy Harvin took a direct snap and headed around the left end. Harvin got five yards on the play, but was injured on the play and would not return.

That could have been unsettling for many people, but Tebow reacted to the hostile Florida State crowd who cheered the Harvin injury.

"That was one of the first times I've seen practically the whole stadium cheer when Percy got hurt," Tebow said following the Gators 45-15 beat down of the Noles. "That kind of irritated me. I told coach to give me the ball because I really just wanted to hit somebody extremely hard the next play.

"I was a little shocked. Yeah, it's a rivalry but we're still playing a game here and we're still having fun so when a guy gets hurt, when you cheer, there's never anything right about that."

Harvin got the ball to the eight yard line and two plays later Tebow bulled his way into the end zone for a touchdown. Tebow would finish accounting for two more touchdowns following that drive on the night as well as we as 80 total yards rushing and 185 yards passing. The Gators would roll on to 502 yards of total offense behind the direction of the irritated Tebow.

The game was sloppy all night and players were slipping on almost every down as rain came down continuously during the game and often more when Florida had the ball than when Florida State did. Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer said after the game he was a little reluctant to turn the ball loose in the air with the bad weather.

"It was great," Meyer said of the passing game in such bad weather. "I didn't want to throw it. (Offensive Coordinator Dan Mullen) said just run the offense, but I panicked before the game. I said single wing all the way, and he said we can manage this thing. He did and Tim did."

The Gators have spent a lot of time working on playing in bad weather conditions this year and Tebow wouldn't have it any other way.

"I always loved playing in the rain since I was a little kid so I didn't mind it too much," he said. "Playing in the rain it brings out more of the physical presence of the game and more of a toughness factor."

"We've worked on it a lot and I just tried to put it on my receivers," he said about throwing the ball in a down pour. "They did a good job making plays too. You just try not to change too much about your throwing motion in the rain. You just throw and try to make plays."

One of the big benefactors of the passing game was sophomore tight end Aaron Hernandez who had a career high two touchdown receptions and also led the team in receiving yards with 61. Tebow was able to spot the mismatch and make the throw to Hernandez four times on the night when he was wide open.

"(Aaron) stepped up, made some great plays. Hes a great weapon. You're playing a lot of man to man coverage, they have to have some of their top corners on (Louis Murphy), on (Riley Cooper), on guys like that, so you're going to have a linebacker or safety matched up on Hernandez and that's really why he got those match ups and some plays today."

Tebow earned his reputation as a bull of a quarterback by rushing for more than 800 yards last season in his Heisman campaign. It is what makes him the most unique quarterback in the country and maybe the most perfect fit in this Florida Gator offense. Tebow brings toughness and athleticism to the game that hasn't been seen at the quarterback position in a long time. He was one of very few players that wouldn't change into dry clothes at half time.

"I didn't," he said about changing from absolutely soggy clothes. "I was feeling good. I didn't change too much. They made me change my socks but that was about it."

He looked like a battle tested warrior during most of the second half covered in field paint and mud. The ladies may love him, but don't ask him to be a pretty boy quarterback on the football field.

"That's a great feeling," he said about getting dirty and looking the part of the warrior during the game. "When you go out there and you play and you have fun and roll around in the mud a little bit."

Tebow has been a part of three big victories over arch rival Florida State and the Gators have been on the better side of the score board for five consecutive seasons. Tebow has relished everyone growing up a Gator fan before he signed a scholarship to be one.

"Five years in a row, I count it," he said with smile. "It means a lot and its very fun and it's a great rivalry and they always have great teams and great athletes and they did again tonight and they were fired up and their crowd was in it and we tried to go out there and execute and to show a little bit of our toughness and our love for the game."

For all the motivation during and about the game itself, there was a little more to motivate this team this week. Mike and Maurkice Pouncey are two of Tebow's protectors on the starting offensive line and their father Rob Webster suffered a serious leg injury this week. It was enough for the Pounceys to head home and miss a day f practice and a tremendous burden n the young sophomore twins. The Gators wore wrist bands during the game to think about Mr. Webster and other team members who have been through a great deal of personal tragedy this year.

"It was really cool, for the Pounceys' dad we had them made, but also for everyone else on the team who's had family problems and illnesses in their families," Tebow said. "It's a reminder for all the guys and their families."

Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy last season because he had to do a lot of things for an offense that at times lacked play makers. This season that isn't the case and Tebow's role has changed to more of a distributor and enabler of his teammates to succeed.

After the Gators lost in their fourth game of the season to up start Ole Miss, Tim Tebow made a promise to the Gator Nation that he would push him and himself to play a better brand of football. Since that point in time, the Gators have reeled off seven games in a row where they have scored 42 points. They have outscored teams 376-90 in that period of time for an average score of (54-13).

It was after that game with Ole Miss that Tebow got angry with himself and his teammates and that was the spark that has seemed to drive him and his teammates. Ole Miss made him angry and Arkansas, LSU, Kentucky, Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, The Citadel, and Florida State have paid for that anger.


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