3 - 26 Final
  for this game

Tebow, defense help Florida take down Miami

Sep 7, 2008 - 6:45 AM GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Florida's stout defense outshined its high-powered offense on Saturday.

Tim Tebow tossed a touchdown pass on Florida's opening drive and the defense took over from there as the fifth-ranked Gators defeated Miami, 26-3.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow finished with two touchdown passes and Percy Harvin rushed for another score for Florida (2-0), which held the inexperienced Hurricanes to 138 total yards.

The Gators snapped a six-game losing streak to Miami (1-1) and picked up their first win over their cross-state foes since 1985 in the on-and-off series.

"I'm glad I don't have to hear about it (anymore), that's for sure," Tebow said.

Making his first collegiate start in a hostile environment, Hurricanes redshirt freshman Robert Marve completed 6-of-12 passes for 37 yards.

"The ball didn't fall our way," Marve said. "We had some plays we left out there on the field. The offense, the numbers might not look great, but we did move the ball. Then we'd get stuck."

The Gators capitalized on a short field and took a 7-0 2:36 into the game as Tebow connected with tight end Aaron Hernandez on a 14-yard TD strike.

It was all the points Florida would need, as the defense crowded the line of scrimmage for most of the night, daring the Hurricanes' young quarterback to throw the ball down the field.

Miami continued to run the ball despite the Gators' strategy, using five different rushers to gain 75 yards on 34 carries.

"Our defense played outstanding," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "I thought they played great."

With less than a minute left in the first half, Florida blocked a punt that went out of the back of the end zone for a safety, giving the Gators a 9-3 edge at the break.

Harvin's 3-yard rushing TD early in the fourth quarter gave Florida some breathing room and Tebow, who passed for 257 yards and rushed for 54 more, found Louis Murphy on a 19-yard TD to put the game away.

Miami's lone score - a 50-yard field goal by Matt Bosher - came early in the second quarter.

"We can build a lot of things off this game," Hurricanes second-year coach Randy Shannon said. "That's the one thing that we're excited about. They see where we can get better, and they also know we were able to play with a top-five team in this country and we had a shot.

"That's all you want is a shot, a chance on the road, hostile environment and we had that opportunity. But we have to capitalize on it next time."