Tebow Easing Into Offensive Flow
Karl HyppoliteGAINESVILLE - It appears QB Tim Tebow is going to need a few less ice packs this season.
Published: August 31, 2008
Published: August 31, 2008
Florida blasted Hawaii 56-10 on Saturday despite a largely unspectacular day for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
Tebow completed nine of 14 passes for 137 yards and didn't rush for a touchdown for the first time since the 2006 SEC Championship Game.
"It's definitely nice I didn't take too much of pounding," he said. "I'm not too sore, so I can go condition now."
The Gators pulled Tebow in favor of Cameron Newton during a goal-line situation in the third quarter, as part of an effort to keep Tebow as fresh as possible.
"It's going to be hard not to have Tebow carry the ball a certain amount of times per game," Coach Urban Meyer said. "We want to keep the wear and tear off of Tim and not lean on him too much."
BIG PLAYS ON DEFENSE: After being much maligned in 2007, Florida's defense set the tone Saturday. The Gators got off to a slow start on both sides of the ball until an Ahmad Black interception in the end zone appeared to spark the team.
The Warriors had marched to the Florida 27-yard line and seemed to be poised to score before Black's interception.
Black returned another interception for a touchdown in the third quarter.
SS Major Wright returned an interception for a touchdown as Gators safeties forced three of Hawaii's six turnovers.
"That deflates a team," Black said. "Major's really deflated them, because his was the second interception of the day. We were stopping them all day, and that just takes the air out of a team."
PENALTIES: The only blemish in the Gators' romp was penalties. Florida committed 13 for 90 yards. Meyer attributed the penalties to a lack of discipline on the part of young players.
"I have to go check it, but most of that was on young players," he said. "That's the biggest bit, but we've got a long way to go, though. We lost containment a few times and we missed some tackles."
UNEXPECTED SUCCESS: P Chas Henry made one of the biggest plays of the day when he ran 17 yards to convert a fourth-and-15 in the second quarter.
According to Meyer, it wasn't a designed fake punt, but a gutsy decision on Henry's part.
"That was his last snap at the University of Florida if he didn't get it," Meyer said jokingly. "They were loading up the left side and I've got to give Chas credit. That was not called. He saw a gap and he took it."
ETC.: TE Aaron Hernandez didn't play Saturday and Meyer was tight-lipped as to why.
"If he's ready to play, he'll play next week. He wasn't ready to play this week," Meyer said.
RB Emmanuel Moody was limited by an ankle injury and rushed twice for 2 yards.