The University of Florida football team completed its 2006 spring season
with the annual Orange
and Blue Debut in front of 45,200 fans at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday
afternoon. The Orange
emerged victorious over the Blue, 24-6.
Orange quarterback Tim Tebow
orchestrated a pair of scoring drives during the first half to lead the Orange to a 10-0 lead at
the intermission. Following an interception by Darryon
Robinson, Tebow completed five- consecutive
passes to Kenneth Tookes, Cornelius Ingram
and Cam Brewer. Chris Hetland booted a 52-yard
field goal, the longest in UF’s spring game history, to put the first points on
the board. Hetland’s successful conversion surpassed Jeff Chandler’s 51-yarder
Tebow connected on 4-of-8 passes
during a 64-yard scoring drive for the Orange
in the second quarter, highlighted by a 16-yard touchdown throw to Tookes for a 10-0 lead at the break. The
duo of running backs Markus Manson (96 yards on 10 carries) and DeShawn Wynn (23 yards) kept the Blue squad
off-balance with a steady ground attack throughout the contest.
Blue quarterback Chris Leak completed 12 of 20
passing attempts for 86 yards during the first half, with Nyan
Boateng and Louis Murphy snagging four
receptions apiece. Action was suspended for 30 minutes at halftime due to
lightning in the area. The players returned to the locker room as several waves
of heavy rain passed through.
When play resumed, Tebow and the Orange put together
another scoring drive. Tebow found Ingram on a 15-yard
screen pass and later hooked up with redshirt
freshman receiver David Nelson on a 29-yard toss. After Manson produced
a 12-yard option run to keep the defense on its heels, Wynn finished off the
drive by plunging into the end zone from one yard out.
The Blue team narrowed the deficit to 17-6 with 4:48
remaining in the game when freshman running back Anthony Gay scored on a
two-yard run. The Orange
countered with 1-yard rush into the end zone by Manson to finalize the margin
at 24-6. The final touchdown was set up by a 55-yard passing play from Tebow to
Tebow completed 15-of-21 passes for 197
yards and totaled 17 yards on 11 rushes, while Leak (17-of-33) passed for 145
yards. The Gators will open their 2006 campaign against Southern Miss on Sept.
2 in Gainesville.
1st 4:47 Orange
- Hetland, C. 52 yd. FG, Orange 3 – Blue 0
2nd 3:44 Orange - Tookes, K. 16 yd. pass from Tebow,
T. (Hetland, C. kick), Orange
10 – Blue 0
3rd 0:00 Orange - Wynn, D. 1 yd. run, (Hetland,
C. kick), Orange 17, Blue 0
Blue - Gay, A. 2 run (Nappy, E kick failed), Orange 17, Blue 6
- Manson, M. 2 run (Hetland, C. kick), Orange 24, Blue 6
and Blue Debut Postgame Notes
Hetland’s 52-yard field goal was the longest in Florida spring game
history. Jeff Chandler set the previous mark with a 51-yard field goal
during the 2001 game.
was the second-highest attendance for a spring football game at the University of Florida. The record was set last
season when the Gators drew 58,500 for Urban Meyer’s spring coaching
quarterback Tim Tebow completed his first five
passes against the Blue team’s defense. Tebow
finished the day making 15-of-21 passes for 197 yards through the air.
- Tebow and David Nelson connected on a 55-yard pass in the
fourth quarter. Nelson led all players with 90 receiving yards.
Leak passed for 145 yards on 17-of-33 attempts. Leak completed passes to
six different receivers (Louis Murphy, Nyan Boateng, Billy Latsko, Tate
Casey, Chevon Walker, Anthony Gay) on the afternoon.
- The Orange has now won
two consecutive spring games and five out of the last six. It has captured
eight spring games over the Blue since 1996.
Gators Danny Wuerffel and Chris Doering were honored at halftime along with the rest
of the University of Florida 2006 Athletic Hall of Fame class.
was suspended for 30 minutes shortly before the start of the second half
due to lightning and rain in the area. The 1985 contest was the only other
time that rain altered the course of a spring game.
- Darryon Robinson and Nick Brooks made one interception each
for their respective teams.