Archive for Friday, January 9, 2009

National chomps

Tebow leads Gators to BCS title

Florida's Tim Tebow celebrates during the fourth quarter of the BCS Championship NCAA college football game against Oklahoma in Miami, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. Florida defeated Oklahoma 24-14.

Florida's Tim Tebow celebrates during the fourth quarter of the BCS Championship NCAA college football game against Oklahoma in Miami, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. Florida defeated Oklahoma 24-14.

January 9, 2009

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— Tim Tebow gave Florida the jolt it needed to become a national champion.

But all his efforts in a sloppy, choppy BCS championship game likely did little to quiet fans of Utah, Southern California and Texas, all of whom already claimed the top spot.

“I’ll tell you, we’re going to enjoy a big win, we’re going to enjoy the national championship,” coach Urban Meyer said after the Gators beat No. 2 Oklahoma, 24-14, on Thursday night. “Let someone else worry about that. Gators are No. 1.”

The high-scoring shootout between Heisman Trophy winners Sam Bradford and Tebow never materialized.

Tebow, however, shook off a career-high two interceptions to rescue the top-ranked Gators (13-1). He drove them to the clinching score — he took two hard steps toward the line, jumped and zipped a 4-yard touchdown pass to David Nelson with 3:07 left to make it 24-14.

Percy Harvin returned from an ankle injury and dashed for 122 yards on only nine carries for the Gators. His 52-yard gallop set up Jonathan Phillips’ 27-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter for a 17-14 lead.

Tebow added to the title he helped the Gators win in 2006 with a rout of Ohio State and, one season after winning the Heisman, brought home another trophy.

“Tebow, just call him Superman,” Harvin said.

National chomps, indeed!

The Gators finished far ahead of the Utes in the final Associated Press poll today, receiving 48 of 65 first-place votes.

Tebow was picked the game’s most outstanding player, running for 109 yards. His passing wasn’t so precise — 18-for-30 — yet it was his sheer will that kept the Gators going.

“I was already motivated for a national championship game. But you know, there was some trash talking going on, and it just gets me going during the game,” Tebow said.

It was Florida’s third national title overall, and the third straight for a team from the Southeastern Conference, and it was the Sooners’ fifth straight loss in a BCS game. Oklahoma (12-2) set a modern record for scoring with 702 points this season and put up at least 60 points in its last five games, yet never found its rhythm.

“In the end, I’ll be glad to try again next year,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “If that’s the biggest burden I have to bear in my life, I’m a pretty lucky guy.”

Bradford, who beat out Tebow for the Heisman, was a disappointing 26-for-41 with two interceptions. Like Tebow, he’s going to explore his potential for the NFL draft — not exactly the performance he wanted.

“Obviously, they’re a great defense. I think just a couple times we got ourselves in trouble,” Bradford said.

These teams totaled an average of 99 points per game, but wound up with a scoreless first quarter. In the second quarter, Florida’s defense made a pair of goal line stands that left it 7-all at halftime.

By then, college football fans around the country were certainly wondering whether these were indeed the two best teams. And it surely gave steam to the suggestion by President-elect Barack Obama and others that a playoff system is needed.

Cheered on by a flock of rooters who made the five-hour drive from The Swamp in Gainesville, the Gators became the second team in the 11-year history of the BCS to win two titles.

Nicknamed “Big Game Bob” for his early success, Stoops lost for the third time with a national championship on the line. This was the first time Florida and Oklahoma played — Stoops was the Gators’ defensive coordinator when Steve Spurrier led them to the 1996 title.

Tebow struggled throughout the first half, his lone highlight a 20-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy for a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. Bradford came right back with a swift 65-yard drive, capped by his 6-yard TD toss to Jermaine Gresham.

Florida’s defense, rather than Tebow, Harvin and its speedsters on the other side of the ball, kept the Gators close.

Poised to break the tie midway through the second quarter, Oklahoma owned a first-and-goal at the 9. Chris Brown carried four straight times and the Gators stood up the 1,100-yard rusher, twice stuffing him from the 1.

Rarely turned back in the red zone this season, the Sooners let it happen to them again in the final minute before halftime.

There were 10 seconds left and Oklahoma was out of timeouts when Bradford dropped back from the 6. He tried to hit Manuel Johnson at the goal line, but the pass deflected off him and the Gators ran a perfect tip drill, with three defenders touching the ball before Major Wright had the interception.

The interceptions were bad picks, too — Tebow telegraphed a long, cross-field throw that Nic Harris easily grabbed and later made a short flip over the middle right to Gerald McCoy.

Were the Gators out of whack? Hard to tell, though offensive coordinator Dan Mullen certainly had a lot to think about. Hired recently by Mississippi State, he becomes the Bulldogs’ full-time head coach Friday.

Both teams seemed to have trouble with the game officials. The crew kept interrupting play for various reasons, and the result was a sloppy, scoreless first quarter.

Stoops and Meyer took turns hollering at ACC referee Ron Cherry, as if to tell him “Let ’em play!”

Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes was equally vocal. A few days after calling Big 12 defenses “a joke,” he got into a couple of early shouting and shoving skirmishes with the Sooners. It was even a bit edgy before the game — warming up in the end zone, an Oklahoma kicker rolled his eyes when two Gators leaned against the goal post right behind him.

Comments

TheDefinition 6 years, 5 months ago

Tebow is a mediocre quarterback surrounded by Olympic speed. They only ran about 5 plays last night and OU couldn't figure a way to defend them. The screen pass and shovel pass fooled them every time. Oklahoma's offensive and defensive coordinators need to look back at the numerous mistakes they made last night. Also, you have the Heisman trophy winner on your squad and you run the ball on 3rd AND 4th down? Sure the running game was working when the field was spread, but you got to go with your strengths when you need a score. Congratulations to Urban Meyer and the Florida Defense. Hopefully the BCS will finally see they need to reevaluate how they pick the two teams for the Nat'l Championship. OU never delivers when it's on the line.

thanksforcoming 6 years, 5 months ago

It wasn't a shovel pass it was a creative triple option. That was a sweet play. I wish I would have thought of it. I think OU made the adjustment on how to defend it at halftime but when you have your middle guys flowing out and have never had option responsibilities it's hard to break old habits during a halftime speech.Running the ball on 3rd and short isn't a bad play if you run the right run play. Something that hits quick and gets the runner down hill ASAP is better than trying to get to the corner in that situation. I believe OU did try to throw at the end of the half down by the goal line and the Heisman winner stuck it in where others wouldn't have even tried. He threw a strike to the receiver, hit him in the hands and then a volleyball game breaks out and Florida comes down with it. Hard to blame the QB when he is doing what is asked of him.I had fun watching the game and I think the BCS got it right with these two teams. I was kind of on the Utah bandwagon before the game but I don't think they would have matched up well with either UofF or OU.

hesshawk 6 years, 5 months ago

How will we ever know if the BCS dudes got it right? Did anyone actually think Utah would practically dominate, let alone just beat Alabama? This game was just the final cash grab of the season for the BCS conferences. They're never going to allow a true National Championship tournament because of the $$ they'll lose. Remember the phrase "On any given Day". That might explain Utah beating Alabama, but we'll never know for sure since they didn't get a chance to back it up in the next round of a true playoff bracket. Put the top 8 or even 16 in a true bracket based on seeding similar to how NCAA basketball does it and turn 'em loose. Then I'll be willing to talk about who should be in the final game

maxcrabb 6 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone know why Tim Tebow has Jack and John written in his eye shadow?

craigers 6 years, 5 months ago

Yep, it couldn't possibly be that he genuinely loves His Savior and shares it openly with people dispite guaranteed ridicule. He must be pretentious. (Huge eye roll!)

gogoplata 6 years, 5 months ago

Utah (Undefeated) - The Real National Champs

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 5 months ago

and Utah beat Alabama by 3 more points than Florida did...

PapaHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Logicsound,First of all, how are names Bible verses and secondly, There is no Book of Jack (unless someone misread it on his face), in the Christian Bible.FYI,

jonas_opines 6 years, 5 months ago

must. . . resist. . . urge. . . to. . . flame. . . .

PapaHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

So, I did some further checking and it is John 3:16 on Tebow's face. It is a Bible verse after all. Jonas, who were you wanting to flame?

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 5 months ago

Bob~cuckle~ I assume you're joking about the announcers...pretty much the worst I've ever heard...

justaverage 6 years, 5 months ago

Utah should be # 1. OU's offense was offensive in the redzone twice! Bad play selection. Should have pitched out to Brown on the long side of the field and have him run to the pylon both times. OU choked big time.

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 5 months ago

Babboyyou know... I have never been a Musberger fan but in all the years he's done games... hundreds of games... I don't believe Brent ever was so lost on what down it was or how many yards there were to go...and did anyone else catch one of them say early on that Oklahoma had put up record numbers “at Kansas”… I suppose he meant K State… but how damn sloppy…on top of that... regardless of how good Tebow might be and what a great guy he is those jackasses last night were totally unprofessional in their gushing over the guy all game long...truly… that was the worst sports announcing I have ever heard…

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 5 months ago

Bob~laughing~ yeah... damn... how pathetic was that?

jengaman 6 years, 5 months ago

Here's to hoping Tebow gets hit by a bus sometime soon. Maybe then ESPN will stop talking about him like he's the second coming of christ...or is he?

jengaman 6 years, 5 months ago

Take it easy cheesy...did I wish death? I missed that part. Nothing wrong with a good running over!Since you know Tebow first hand I will take it from you that he is first-class. Don't forget that ESPN is telling you all these wonderful things about him, which was part of my point. Should we all assume that he's first-rate since he says "god bless" at the end of press conferences and writes "John 3:16" on his eye black? Maybe...maybe not. I had similar feelings about Mike Sweeney. He was a gem too.And yes, I've done my fair share of Charity work thank you very much. Still do to this day. Too bad I don't have 15 photographers, 6 cameras and an ESPN crew there to show everyone my good deeds. And you're right...I'd much rather kids look up to Charles Barkley or someone like that.

jengaman 6 years, 5 months ago

The mentioning of Barkley was just a crack at your statements above. Charles was "supposedly" a drunken, gamling fool before and now it's just confirmed that he's at the very least drunk AND stupid. When will these celebs figure out how to flag a cab? I don't really have a problem with TO or Ocho. Most of the stupid stuff they're known for revolves around their low IQ and not shutting up. To me that isn't bad as being caught in "weed friendly" room at the NBA Pre-Draft camp. Oh wait, those guys are supposed to be role models for our kids here in KS. Whoops!I've been looking for some kind of "christian record" on Tebow and have found little. Seems to me that his parents were missionaries and he followed them around for a while...so maybe he gets a free pass. Oh wait, it appears he played a small role in a church play some time ago. That's so adorable so I'll give him that one! But wait...I've done that too?!?!?!

magonamon_16 6 years, 5 months ago

i was kinda cheering for OU and Flordia at the same time, cuz i have loved ones that went to OU and i think Flordia is such a good team so i was going to be happy with whatever the end score was :)

jonas_opines 6 years, 5 months ago

Maybe he should have gone with Matthew 6.5"And whenever you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they will be seen by people. I tell you with certainty, they have their full reward!"

jengaman 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm with you logic! Kirk Cameron???Hey cheesy, if you're gonna go outside the discussion of athletes why not bring someone up like the Pope? You had me at Kirk...too funny!Touche jonas...touche.

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