The University of Florida football team concluded its 2008 spring
season with the annual Orange
and Blue Debut Saturday afternoon in front of a record crowd of 61,000 fans.
Blue defeated Orange,
28-14, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium before the highest-attended spring game,
eclipsing the previous record of 58,500 in head coach Urban Meyer’s 2005 debut.
Blue won its second straight spring contest and has won
three out of the last five Orange
and Blue Debuts. The contest featured several events on the day before a
national television audience on ESPN and with ESPN College GameDay
Junior quarterback Tim
Fla.) led the Blue team and
finished 13-of-21 for 200 yards and two passing touchdowns. Sophomore
quarterback Cameron Newton (College Park, Ga.) of
the Orange team was 6-of-18 for 53 yards.
Sophomore running back Emmanuel Moody
(Coppell, Tex.) of the Orange turned in a game-high 111 yards rushing on 14
carries with one score. Freshman running back Chris Rainey (Lakeland,
Fla.) added 76 yards on the
ground and accounted for one of the Blue’s four touchdowns.
Sophomore running back Mon
Williams (Mesquite, Tex.) put Blue on the scoreboard first
with a 9-yard TD rush with 7:17 remaining in the first quarter. Tebow’s throw intended for wide receiver Butch Rowley (Orlando,
Fla.) on Blue’s second possession was
picked off by cornerback Ahmad Black (Lakeland, Fla.)
– his first interception in three spring games. Orange could not take advantage of the pick,
and Rainey later caught a 65-yard pass for Blue’s second touchdown with 0:44
left in the first quarter. The Tebow-to-Rainey
connection marked the longest play in an Orange
and Blue Debut since 2001.
Struggling a bit in the first half, Newton
was 6-of-11 and sacked three times, all of which came from freshman defensive
end Carlos Dunlap (North Charleston, S.C.).
Dunlap finished with a game-high six tackles and a spring game record four
sacks. Tebow was intercepted a second time by
freshman linebacker Lorenzo Edwards (Orlando, Fla.)
in the second quarter. Edwards returned the pick 50 yards for an Orange
touchdown, and the ensuing point after by freshman Caleb Sturgis (St. Augustine,
Fla.) brought the score to
Sophomore wide receiver Riley
Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) caught a 14-yard TD pass across
the middle from Tebow late in the third quarter to
put the game out of reach. The Orange squad
accounted for its first offensive touchdown of the game on a 10-yard TD rush up
the middle by Moody with 1:41 left in the contest. It marked the final score of
the game as Blue ran out the clock to preserve the 28-14 win.
commanded Blue for the final drive, rushing for 24 yards and yielding one
The Gators open their 2008 regular season against Hawaii on Aug. 30 at Ben
Hill Griffin Stadium.
- UF -