WKU
20Florida
3 - 49 Final
  for this game

Florida opens title defense with rout of Western Kentucky

Sep 2, 2007 - 12:01 AM GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- The only thing that could stop Florida's high-powered offense was the weather.

In a game called midway through the fourth quarter, Tim Tebow passed for three touchdowns and 300 yards as the sixth-ranked Gators opened defense of their national championship Saturday with a 49-3 drubbing of Western Kentucky.

Following a delay of 62 minutes, officials called the game with 8:23 remaining due to severe weather in the area.

Making his first career start, Tebow was nearly flawless, completing 13-of-17 passes for 299 yards against the overmatched Hilltoppers. He also rushed for 38 yards and a score.

Tebow became the first Florida quarterback to pass for 300 or more yards in his first start since Shane Matthews threw for 332 yards in his starting debut.

"I'm feeling good, it was a lot of fun," said Tebow, a sophomore. "We just wanted to come out there and put together a great effort. There were mistakes but I think overall it was a good performance."

Kestahn Moore ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 16 carries for the Gators (1-0), who are trying to become the first team to win back-to-back national championships since Nebraska in 1994-95.

One of Florida's trademarks last season was an ability to produce big plays, and that quick-strike offense was on display again. The Gators burned Western Kentucky (0-1) with four plays of more than 40 yards in rolling up over 500 yards of total offense.

"I think he's done a very good job," Florida coach Urban Meyer said of Tebow. "I thought he probably could have done a bit more last year, but Chris Leak was our quarterback."

The Hilltoppers had a chance to take the early lead, reaching Florida's 11 on the game's opening possession. On 4th-and-2, Western Kentucky elected not to kick a field goal, and the move backfired as Tyrell Hayden was stopped a yard short of the first down.

Earlier in the drive, Western Kentucky quarterback David Wolkie suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head on a tackle and did not return.

It did not take long for Tebow to get Florida's offense rolling, hitting Andre Caldwell for 48 yards on the Gators' third play from scrimmage. That led to Tebow's one-yard TD run three plays later, and the rout was on.

Following a punt, Florida needed only four plays to get in the end zone again, grabbing a 14-0 lead on Tebow's 59-yard TD toss to Riley Cooper.

"With our defensive backs, it was just a technical issue," Western Kentucky coach David Elson said. "They got behind us, and that's not supposed to happen. That's what is really frustrating. When it was early in the game, it wasn't a fatigue issue."

Cooper (four receptions for 122 yards) and Caldwell (three catches for 103 yards) each surpassed 100 receiving yards - the first time Florida has had a pair of receivers go over the century mark since September 24, 2005.

"Definitely, obvious (Tebow can throw)," Cooper said. "If you watched the film, you know he can throw."

In the second period, Tebow tossed a 19-yard TD pass to Percy Harvin and Moore scored on a five-yard scamper to give Florida a 28-3 halftime cushion.

Tebow and Cooper connected again in the third quarter for a 42-yard score before Moore and Cameron Newton rushed for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Despite the strong effort, Tebow sees plenty of room for improvement next week, when the Gators continue their non-conference schedule against Troy.

"I think next week we'll be a lot more crisp as far as not making the mistakes," Tebow said. "They (Gators) were good today but they can get a lot better."

Wolke completed 3-of-4 passes for 43 yards on the opening drive. He was replaced by K.J. Black, who was 10-of-13 for 102 yards and seemed in awe of playing before 90,000 fans in "The Swamp."

"The first time I got out there getting ready to take the snap, the crowd kind of kicked in and I was like, 'Wow, I cannot hear myself think,'" Black said.








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WKU 0 3 0 0 3
    FLORIDA (6) 14 14 7 14 49 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, TIM TEBOW 1 YD RUN (JOEY IJJAS
    KICK), 6:11. FLORIDA 7-0
    FLORIDA - TD, RILEY COOPER 59 YD PASS FROM
    TIM TEBOW (JOEY IJJAS KICK),
    12:57. FLORIDA 14-0
    2ND QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, PERCY HARVIN 19 YD

    Sep 1 4:30 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    CAMERON NEWTON 4 YD RUN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    WKU 3
    FLORIDA (6) 49 8:23 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 3:26 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    KESTAHN MOORE 1 YD RUN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    WKU 3
    FLORIDA (6) 42 14:57 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 3:07 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WKU 0 3 0 3
    FLORIDA (6) 14 14 7 35 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, TIM TEBOW 1 YD RUN (JOEY IJJAS
    KICK), 6:11. FLORIDA 7-0
    FLORIDA - TD, RILEY COOPER 59 YD PASS FROM
    TIM TEBOW (JOEY IJJAS KICK),
    12:57. FLORIDA 14-0
    2ND QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, PE

    Sep 1 3:03 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    RILEY COOPER 42 YD PASS FROM TIM TEBOW
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    WKU 3
    FLORIDA (6) 35 4:08 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 2:50 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG WKU
    CHRIS JAMES 26 YD
    WKU 3
    FLORIDA (6) 28 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Sep 1 1:58 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG WKU
    CHRIS JAMES 26 YD
    WKU 3
    FLORIDA (6) 28 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 1:58 PM


  • NCAAF
    WKU 0
    FLORIDA (6) 28 8:11 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 1:41 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    PERCY HARVIN 19 YD PASS FROM TIM TEBOW
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    WKU 0
    FLORIDA (6) 21 13:36 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 1:21 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WKU 0 0
    FLORIDA (6) 14 14 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, TIM TEBOW 1 YD RUN (JOEY IJJAS
    KICK), 6:11. FLORIDA 7-0
    FLORIDA - TD, RILEY COOPER 59 YD PASS FROM
    TIM TEBOW (JOEY IJJAS KICK),
    12:57. FLORIDA 14-0

    Sep 1 1:11 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    RILEY COOPER 59 YD PASS FROM TIM TEBOW
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    WKU 0
    FLORIDA (6) 14 2:03 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 1:07 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    TIM TEBOW 1 YD RUN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    WKU 0
    FLORIDA (6) 7 8:49 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 12:51 PM
  • 5
    roots
    blueeyes Added 5 roots

    WKU vs. Florida(6)Sep 1 1:02 AM