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Rival coaches defend Meyer's decision to leave Tebow in game

Florida Today
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM
GAINESVILLE -

LSU coach Les Miles defended Florida's Urban Meyer on the decision to leave Tim Tebow in the game despite being sick in last Saturday's 41-7 win at Kentucky. And Miles said he hopes Tebow is healthy for next week's game against the Tigers in Baton Rouge.

Tebow was hurt, suffering a concussion, in the third quarter with UF ahead 31-7.

"It's always a tough thing,'' Miles said. "The main thing is you want to finish the game in solid, solid fashion how you started it. It's one where the coach weighs the responsibility of getting the starters out with the responsibility of finishing this game well.''

Added Miles of Tebow and next week's game: "We want him to play. We think he's great for college football and I know that Coach Meyer will do exactly what's right, without question.''

Alabama coach Nick Saban said that, "31-7 in the third quarter is not a game that's out of reach. One score and an onside kick and that team's right back in the game.''

Saban noted the Tide starters stayed in last week's game when Alabama had a 35-7 lead.

"I certainly wouldn't have any issue with the way that was managed at Florida,'' Saban said.

Conversations about when to take Tebow out -- or any player -- are nothing new.

"We have those discussions over the headsets,'' Meyer said Wednesday. "Mike Pouncey was battling an ankle, do we get him out? We were getting real close to doing that. When you're a three-score game, you need to make sure you take care of your business. Three scores in college football these days ... you've got to close the game out. But it's certainly something, that's not just the Kentucky game and the result of injury that we had (that conversation), that's every time we're in that situation.''

Added South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier: "You can't be worried about injuries all the time. You've got to let your guys play. But we always made sure that it was well in control before we started taking them out.''

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