Saturday September 12, 2009No. 1 Gators Top Troy, 56-6, Saturday
Florida senior quarterback Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.) threw four touchdowns and rushed for another as the No. 1 Gators chalked up their second win of the 2009 season, their 12th straight, with a, 56-6, victory over the Troy Trojans (0-2) Saturday afternoon in front of 90,349 fans at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
For the second time in the quarterback’s career, Tebow threw four touchdown passes in a single game, the last being the 45-37 win at Kentucky in 2007. Tebow hooked up twice with redshirt sophomore Deonte Thompson (Belle Glade, Fla.), who caught a career-high two touchdown passes for 69 yards, while additionally connecting with senior wide receivers Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) and Brandon James (St. Augustine, Fla.) for scores. Tebow racked up 237 yards in the air, completing 15-of-24 passes to accompany the four scores, while keeping his nation-leading 30-game streak with a touchdown pass alive.
Under clouds and rainy conditions, both teams got off to a slow start. The Gator defense held the Trojans to three straight three-and-out possessions, while both teams surrendered fumbles. UF senior defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (Stone Mountain, Ga.) caused the first, a drop by Troy’s DuJuan Harris, which was recovered by junior defensive end Justin Trattou (Ramsey, N.J.).
The fumble and recovery led to Florida’s first score when the Gators put together a four-play, 29-yard drive capped off by a six-yard pass from Tebow to Thompson. The score gave UF a 7-0 advantage after redshirt senior Jonathan Phillips (Wellington, Fla.) found the uprights.
Redshirt junior linebacker A.J. Jones (Tampa, Fla.) came up with a key quarterback sack on Troy’s fourth possession, putting the Gators back in control, but a fumble by redshirt junior Emmanuel Moody (Coppell, Texas) allowed the Trojans’ senior Sam Glusman to connect on a 45-yard field-goal to put Troy on the board, 7-3.
After a Tebow fumble in the wet conditions, the Trojans faltered on a another field-goal attempt when holder Austin Silvoy fumbled the snap, allowing the Gators to take advantage of the field position as Tebow sent a 36-yard bomb to Cooper in the endzone, extending the margin to 14-3.
Another three-and-out Troy possession gave Tebow the go-ahead on a four-yard quarterback keeper, the 45th rushing touchdown of his career, elevating him to third all-time in Southeastern Conference history for rushing touchdowns (tied with Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, Auburn, 2001-04), as UF moved ahead, 21-3.
Florida capitalized on back-to-back Troy errors in the last six minutes of the second quarter to go up, 35-3, when Trattou deflected a quarterback Levi Brown pass, setting up a sophomore cornerback Janoris Jenkins (Pahokee, Fla.) interception. Jenkins’ interception marked the 14th straight game the Orange & Blue have come up with an interception, an NCAA-leading figure, while setting up a 33-yard Thompson touchdown grab, his second of the day on only his second catch.
On the ensuing stanza, the Trojans faced a fourth-and-one situation on their own 40-yardline. After trying some trickery for a first down, Troy’s Harris fumbled the snap, allowing Cunningham to count the recovery. When Florida took possession, a 24-yard run by sophomore Jeff Demps (Winter Garden, Fla.) took the Gators into the locker room with a 32-point lead at the half.
Florida received the ball to begin the second half, immediately marching downfield for a 32-yard touchdown pass from Tebow to James. The Orange and Blue held the Trojans to yet another three-and-out, setting up a 62-yard, seven-play drive that led to a one-yard scurry by redshirt sophomore running back Chris Rainey (Lakeland, Fla.) and put Florida ahead, 49-3, following the extra point.
With just over six minutes to go in the third quarter, redshirt sophomore John Brantley (Ocala, Fla.) took over at quarterback, finishing the day for the Gators with 135 yards after completing 10-of-12 passes and throwing one touchdown.
The Trojans and Glusman tacked on another three points with 38 seconds to go in the third with a 42-yard field-goal that brought the score to 49-6. Florida added another seven points when freshman Mike Gillislee (DeLand, Fla.) caught a six-yard pass from Brantley, his first receiving touchdown and the second touchdown of his career at UF, resulting in the final margin in favor of the Gators, 56-6.
Florida continues its home stand Sept. 19 when it opens up 2009 SEC play with Tennessee at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally by CBS.