for this game

Tebow updates Heisman resume as Florida rolls over Florida State

Nov 25, 2007 - 5:24 AM GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Tim Tebow is leaving the competition in the dust as he sets his sights on the Heisman Trophy.

Tebow rushed for a pair of scores and passed for three more to lead 12th-ranked Florida to a 45-12 victory over in-state rival Florida State on Saturday.

Louis Murphy caught a pair of touchdowns and senior Andre Caldwell, who will graduate as the leading receiver in Florida history after this season, celebrated his Senior Day with a touchdown catch in the fourth quarter for the Gators, who will likely move into the top 10 in the nation next week and be in position for a New Year's Day bowl game.

"What a tribute to a group of seniors," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "I've always been very emotional about seniors because I know what they went through and to think those cats right there have won 31 games, three or four in a row, over a rival, a very good rival, a very talented rival, a national championship, an SEC championship and now the opportunity to go play in a good bowl game.

"Not many seniors, but that's not something that we can overlook and say get out of here and move on because we just can't do that. I want to make sure of that. I'm very pleased to coach those guys, they did a very good job in the locker room, were very thoughtful to the training staff, coaching staff and each other."

Tebow tied an NCAA record in the third quarter when he rushed for his second touchdown of the game and 22nd of the season, and pushed his season total to 51 when he connected with Caldwell for his 29th passing TD of the campaign.

"It means a lot to me," Caldwell said about becoming the Gators' leading receiver. "There have been a lot of great receivers who have played here and to be on top of that category means a lot to me."

The sophomore's most impressive play of the game came with Florida (9-3) trailing, 3-0, in the first quarter. Tebow dropped back to pass and avoided the rush before breaking a tackle and rushing straight up the middle for a 23-yard score which put the Gators on top, 7-3.

He followed that up with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Murphy of the next possession to put the Gators in firm control.

"We came out and had some nice drives and got that lead and were able to hang on to it so it was a good start for us," Tebow said.

Tebow finished the contest 19-of-28 for 262 yards and three touchdowns through the air and 13 carries for 89 yards and two scores on the ground.

Should Tebow win the Heisman this season, he will become just the fourth quarterback in history to claim the award on a team with three losses.

Paul Hornung won it with a 2-8 Notre Dame in 1956, Jim Plunkett won at Stanford in 1970 during a 9-3 campaign and Ty Detmer won for a 10-3 BYU team in 1990.

"I think about championships and those kinds of things and obviously we didn't win one," Meyer said. "I'm not a big individual award guy, but I think that Tim (Tebow) is one of the better players in America according to my knowledge. I don't really watch the other guys. I know I watched that tailback (Arkansas' Darren McFadden) the other night run against LSU and he's pretty good too. My opinion doesn't really matter, I think if I have the first draft pick I kind of like who I've got. I'm would much rather talk about the team."

Florida took control of this once-proud rivalry early and refused to relinquish control, running the score to 24-12 at the half before shutting the Seminoles out in the remaining two quarters.

The Gators outgained their rivals 540-287, and held Florida State (7-5) to just 95 total yards in the second half.

For 11 years from 1990-2001, these teams were each in the top 10 in the nation at the time of the game. But with the Seminoles falling on hard times in recent years, Saturday makes four consecutive wins by Florida by an average of 18 points.

The Gators' 33-point win today was the largest win over the Seminoles since a 53-14 drubbing in 1983.

The lone bright spot for the Seminoles came with one second remaining in the first half when kicker Gary Cismesia sent a line drive through the uprights for a career-long 60-yard field goal.

"I just went out there, didn't think about it, and treated it like a normal kick," Cismesia said. "I had the wind at my back and gave it what I had. At first, it went left. But it curved back and fell in there. I kicked a 57-yarder in high school, so this was my longest make in a game situation."