Odds and Ends: Don't Overlook Hernandez

Sometimes one play can make a huge difference in the momentum of a game. Georgia had scored on their second and third possessions against Florida, cutting a two touchdown Gator lead to 14-10. The Bulldog half of the crowd was roaring, and the UF offense had cooled off after a terrific start.

After a penalty and a 4-yard loss on a screen, Florida faced a 3rd-and-16 from their own 30 looking to avoid consecutive three-and-outs.  

Tim Tebow dropped back and then hit Aaron Hernandez with a middle screen. The big junior did the rest, dragging a would be Georgia tackler the final three yards to get 17 yards on the play and keep the Gator offense on the field. Florida only netted a field goal on the drive, but the Bulldog momentum was gone for good thanks to Hernandez. His numbers for the day were relatively quiet - three catches for 29 yards - but he had the key play of the game.  


Tim Tebow's recent struggles were a thing of the past as he played his final college game in his home area. He ran for two scores, giving him the SEC career touchdown record that once was Herschel Walker's, and threw for two as well. Most importantly, there were no turnovers by Tebow after his recent frustrating two games with critical giveaways.  


Florida found one way to avoid their red zone performance becoming an issue against Georgia early: never spend any time there. The Gators scored 24 first half points without ever having the ball inside the Bulldogs 20. Tim Tebow hit Riley Cooper with 22- and 29-yard touchdown passes and then ran one in from 23 yards as well. Caleb Strugis hit a 56-yard field goal, the second longest in school history, as well.  


Florida's defense feasted on Georgia's quarterbacks, with Brandon Spikes's five-yard interception return for a touchdown capping off a day that saw them pick off four passes. A.J. Jones got two, giving him three in the past two games, and senior Ryan Stamper snagged the first of his career in his hometown of Jacksonville. Defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham each had sacks of Joe Cox at key moments as well.  

Urban Meyer announced after the game that all of Florida's seniors would be getting game balls.  

"Ryan Stamper had a career day and the seniors had a career day against Georgia. I really love this team and this is probably one of the best team wins we've had at Florida."  


Georgia went for a Halloween uniform surprise by going with black helmets with red facemasks and black pants. It was the first time they had broken out black uniforms since last season's Alabama debacle when they got got down 31-0 in the first half.   

According to A.J. Jones, Brandon Spikes came up to him before the game and said, "Man, they look super clean! Too bad they're about to lose in their new uniforms!" Might be time to sell those super clean unis off on Ebay.  


With the game's outcome a settled question midway through the final quarter, both teams got some time for their youngsters. Mark Richt pulled starting quarterback Joe Cox to get backup Logan Gray his first noteworthy SEC reps. The redshirt sophomore was sacked for a five yard loss and went 0-for-3 with Brandon Spikes picking him off for a touchdown. Next year Georgia will have to start either Gray or a redshirt freshman at quarterback.  

Meanwhile, UF's backup true freshman RB Mike Gillislee raced for 57 yards on just three carries. That was just 13 less than Georgia starting tailback Washaun Ealey mustered on 17 carries in the game.  


Urban Meyer has made no secret of his admiration for Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan, and he called on him to address the team's leaders this week. Meyer wasn't willing to share extensive details on what Donovan had to say, but clearly appreciated the effort.  

"His message was to stick together and to have a resource like that is really cool. What he did for our team is real stuff - he's the best." said Meyer.  


Urban Meyer was surprised to be asked a question in the postgame press conference by current New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau. The Pats have a bye this week, so Seau came to see Florida in action. Meyer said he planned to introduce Seau to Brandon Spikes after the game.

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