for this game

Tebow torches Tennessee as Florida rolls in SEC showdown

Sep 16, 2007 - 2:07 AM GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Tim Tebow clearly was unfazed by his first big game as Florida's starting quarterback.

Tebow threw two touchdown passes and ran for a pair of scores as fifth-ranked Florida coasted to a 59-20 thrashing of No. 22 Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference opener for both schools.

It marked Florida's largest margin of victory ever with a quarterback making his SEC debut.

"It was a complete team effort out there today," Tebow said. "Our receivers found a way to get open down the field and our offensive line did a good job of forcing good running lanes."

"We wanted to pick up the slack," wide receiver Percy Harvin added. "The season is here when you face the SEC. Everyone wants to get in on the action and help the team win."

The victory also constituted Florida's biggest blowout of Tennessee since October 13 1990, when the Gators posted a 45-3 triumph.

"Certainly this wasn't the representation that we intended it to be down here today," Volunteers coach Phillip Fulmer said. "Our players did work hard in preparing for this."

A true sophomore, Tebow served primarily as a change-of-pace substitute for starter Chris Leak on the Gators' 2006 national championship squad. The 235-pound southpaw had gotten off to a tremendous start this season - albeit against inferior opponents Western Kentucky and Troy.

But Tebow once again flashed his all-around ability in this one, leading the Gators (3-0, 1-0 SEC East) to their third straight win over the Volunteers (1-2, 0-1 East).

Florida kept Tennessee off-balance with its patented shotgun spread offense and Tebow was the beneficiary, completing precision passes across the middle and downfield while finding holes when he opted to tuck and run.

"I love getting to run the ball in games," he said. "The contact felt good. When our receivers spread the defense, it leaves good running room.

"Any time you can run the ball and throw the ball well, you will be successful."

Tebow finished 14-of-19 for 299 yards and added 61 rushing yards on 18 carries. His favorite target was Harvin, who had 120 yards on just four catches and also chipped in 75 rushing yards on nine carries.

"Obviously I think you witnessed one of the best players in college football in Percy Harvin," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "He's healthy now. He had a full week of practice and he's a winner. A coach doesn't find one like that all the time."

Florida set the tone early in this one, taking the lead for good on Brandon James' 83-yard punt return for a TD just two minutes into the contest.

Tebow made it 14-3 when he lofted a perfect pass into the left corner of the end zone to Riley Cooper, who came down with a 30-yard TD with 33 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Tebow ran for a seven-yard score with 5:38 left in the half and found Cornelius Ingram for a 20-yard TD four minutes later to make it 28-6.

But Erik Ainge hooked up with tight end Chris Brown for a 15-yard TD to make it 28-13 just before the break, and cornerback Erik Berry reeled off a 96-yard interception return for a score with 8:47 left in the third quarter to pull Tennessee within 28-20.

Florida rolled from there, however, scoring the game's final 31 points to win its 18th straight home game.

Tennessee committed a costly turnover with 5:18 left in the third quarter when Arian Foster fumbled at the Volunteers' 18-yard line.

Linebacker Dustin Doe scooped up the ball and returned it for a TD, giving Florida a 35-20 lead and turning all the momentum in the Gators' favor.

"(Florida's) linebackers played great - they have tremendous speed," Ainge said. "They eliminated the chances we had."

Harvin scored on a 19-yard run just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter and Tebow added a five-yard TD run with 11:25 remaining, widening the bulge to 49-20.

Florida finished the game with 554 yards of total offense - including 255 on the ground - and converted 23 first downs en route to controlling the ball for 34:50.

"This offense is fun," Harvin said. "Just throw it, catch it and run. We have so many playmakers on this team, you never know when someone will break it open."

Ainge completed 26-of-41 passes for 249 yards with one interception and one TD. Josh Briscoe had 76 yards on eight catches for Tennessee, which fell to 19-18 all-time against Florida.








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (22) 3 10 7 0 20
    FLORIDA (5) 14 14 7 24 59 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, BRANDON JAMES 83 YD PUNT
    RETURN (JOEY IJJAS KICK),
    1:57. FLORIDA 7-0
    TENNESSEE - FG, DANIEL LINCOLN 28 YD, 13:15.
    FLORIDA 7-3
    FLORIDA - TD, RILEY COOPER 30 YD PASS FROM
    TIM TEBOW (JOEY IJ

    Sep 15 7:13 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    CAMERON NEWTON 4 YD RUN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 20
    FLORIDA (5) 59 1:13 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 7:11 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG FLORIDA
    JOEY IJJAS 25 YD
    TENNESSEE (22) 20
    FLORIDA (5) 52 4:55 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 7:00 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    TIM TEBOW 5 YD RUN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 20
    FLORIDA (5) 49 11:05 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 6:45 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    PERCY HARVIN 19 YD RUN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 20
    FLORIDA (5) 42 14:15 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 6:27 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (22) 3 10 7 20
    FLORIDA (5) 14 14 7 35 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, BRANDON JAMES 83 YD PUNT
    RETURN (JOEY IJJAS KICK),
    1:57. FLORIDA 7-0
    TENNESSEE - FG, DANIEL LINCOLN 28 YD, 13:15.
    FLORIDA 7-3
    FLORIDA - TD, RILEY COOPER 30 YD PASS FROM
    TI

    Sep 15 6:20 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    DUSTIN DOE 18 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 20
    FLORIDA (5) 35 5:18 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 6:05 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD TENNESSEE
    ERIC BERRY 96 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 20
    FLORIDA (5) 28 8:48 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 5:53 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (22) 3 10 13
    FLORIDA (5) 14 14 28 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, BRANDON JAMES 83 YD PUNT
    RETURN (JOEY IJJAS KICK),
    1:57. FLORIDA 7-0
    TENNESSEE - FG, DANIEL LINCOLN 28 YD, 13:15.
    FLORIDA 7-3
    FLORIDA - TD, RILEY COOPER 30 YD PASS FROM
    TIM TEBOW

    Sep 15 5:17 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD TENNESSEE
    CHRIS BROWN 15 YD PASS FROM ERIK AINGE
    (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 13
    FLORIDA (5) 28 0:25 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 5:15 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    CORNELIUS INGRAM 20 YD PASS FROM TIM TEBOW
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 6
    FLORIDA (5) 28 1:30 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 5:05 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    TIM TEBOW 7 YD RUN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 6
    FLORIDA (5) 21 5:38 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 4:53 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG TENNESSEE
    DANIEL LINCOLN 22 YD
    TENNESSEE (22) 6
    FLORIDA (5) 14 9:55 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 4:42 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (22) 3 3
    FLORIDA (5) 14 14 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLORIDA - TD, BRANDON JAMES 83 YD PUNT
    RETURN (JOEY IJJAS KICK),
    1:57. FLORIDA 7-0
    TENNESSEE - FG, DANIEL LINCOLN 28 YD, 13:15.
    FLORIDA 7-3
    FLORIDA - TD, RILEY COOPER 30 YD PASS FROM
    TI

    Sep 15 4:28 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    RILEY COOPER 30 YD PASS FROM TIM TEBOW
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 3
    FLORIDA (5) 14 0:55 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 4:24 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG TENNESSEE
    DANIEL LINCOLN 28 YD
    TENNESSEE (22) 3
    FLORIDA (5) 7 1:45 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 4:18 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD FLORIDA
    BRANDON JAMES 83 YD PUNT RETURN
    (JOEY IJJAS KICK)
    TENNESSEE (22) 0
    FLORIDA (5) 7 13:03 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 3:40 PM
  • 29
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 24 roots (Ranked Teams (22 v 5))

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 15 3:35 PM
  • 5
    roots
    elfabuloso Added 5 roots

    Tennessee(22) vs. Florida(5)Sep 7 5:48 PM