Saturday November 24, 2007Football Defeats Florida State To End Regular Season
Sophomore Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.) was responsible for five touchdowns, three passing and two rushing, as the Gator football team celebrated Senior Day with a 45-12 victory over Florida State in front of 90,664 fans at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. UF has now defeated the Seminoles four-straight times for the first time since 1983-86.
In yet another record-breaking performance, Tebow eclipsed the school record for total offense in a season with 3,970 yards, previously held by Rex Grossman (3,904 yards in 2001). Tebow was 19-of-28 for 262 yards passing and rushed for 89 yards with two scores. He has now passed and rushed for at least one TD in 13-straight games. Sophomore wide receiver Percy Harvin (Virginia Beach, Va.) returned to the lineup after missing two games and rushed for a career-high 157 yards on 16 attempts with one touchdown.
The Seminoles opened the scoring on their initial drive of the game when senior kicker Gary Cismesia connected on a 21-yard field goal attempt for a 3-0 lead with 9:13 remaining in the first quarter.
The Gators responded in impressive fashion after Tebow shook off a Seminole defenderís attempt at a sack and ran the ball 23 yards for a touchdown.† The 57-yard, seven-play drive was capped off by a successful point-after kick by senior Joey Ijjas (Clearwater, Fla.), giving the Gators a 7-3 lead with 6:28 remaining in the first quarter.†
With 2:46 remaining in the period, Tebow found junior wide receiver Louis Murphy (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown reception, giving the Gators a 14-3 advantage. Earlier in the drive, which spanned 68 yards in five plays, Tebow connected with senior Andre Caldwell (Tampa, Fla.) for an eight-yard completion and Harvin carried the ball for a 20-yard gain.
The aggressive Gator defense forced the Seminoles to settle for three after the offense failed to convert on third down and one to go from the Gatorsí 19-yard line. The 38-yard field goal by Cismesia narrowed the Gatorsí lead, 14-6, with 12:16 remaining in the half.
The following possession for the Gators began and ended with plays by Murphy. To begin the drive, Murphy made a one-handed completion for a gain of 11 yards and completed the drive with a 14-yard touchdown reception, his second of the night. Tebow spread the wealth in the 62-yard, nine-play scoring drive, connecting with receivers Cornelius Ingram (Hawthorne, Fla.), Caldwell and Harvin, each for gains of over 10 yards. With 8:48 left in the half, the Gators had a 21-6 advantage.†
Cismesia connected on his third field-goal attempt of the night, this one from 28 yards, after the Gator defense held the Seminoles on third down and 10 from the Gatorsí 11-yard line.† The completion narrowed the Gatorsí lead to 21-9 with 4:08 in the half.†
The hosts matched those three points with 18 seconds remaining in the half on a 35-yard field goal conversion by Ijjas, capping off a 62-yard, 10-play drive. The Gatorsí 24-9 advantage was quickly narrowed when Cismesia booted a 60-yard field goal attempt with one tick left on the clock for a 24-12 halftime score.††
The Gators increased their lead to 31-12 with 12:14 remaining in the third quarter on a five-yard touchdown run by Tebow. Florida showed its ability to run the ball in the 81-yard, six-play drive, highlighted by a 20-yard carry by junior running back Kestahn Moore (Arlington, Texas), a 21-yard rush by Harvin and a 10-yard run by Tebow. †
Both squads remained scoreless for the remainder of the third quarter and into the fourth until the Gators added another seven points to increase their lead, 38-12, with 8:20 left in the game. The score came off of a 31-yard reception by Caldwell and capped a 58-yard, five-play scoring drive.†
After the Seminoles failed to convert on fourth and two, the Gators regained possession at the Seminolesí 27-yard line. UF quickly took advantage with two impressive runs by Harvin; the first, a 40-yard carry and the second a 24-yard touchdown run. The touchdown extended the Gatorsí lead 45-12 and proved to be the final score of the game.†