Phil Fulmer had his third string quarterback dress up as Super Man in practice before the Gator game to show them that Tebow was not invincible. The Vols were tired of hearing about Tebow, and how good he was, but that won't stop anytime soon now that he led the Gators to a dominating victory over the Vols. Tebow accounted for 4 touchdowns, two in the air and two on the ground, in a rout of the Vols, which was supposed to be the first test for the Gators. Maybe more impressive than the Tebow led offense was how well the young defense played on the day. Tennessee looked dominating on offense against Cal, but only mustered 13 points on offense against the Gators. The Gators dominated every facet of the game and Urban Meyer kept is undefeated at home streak alive.
The Gators were able to get out to a fats start thanks to return man Brandon James. James returned the Vols first punt of the game 83 yards for a touchdown. James continually gave the Gators great field position all day with his punt and kick returns. It has long been said that special teams can make or break a game and James showed up big for the Gators. He seems to see every hole that is there, follows his blocks perfectly, and has the speed and elusiveness that is needed to be a great return man. Last season James had at least three returns that went for touchdowns called back due to penalties. If the Gators can keep the penalties to a minimum, James could be in for a great year and help the Gators have a short field all season.
The offense looked great against a weak Tennessee defense. The Gators ran for over 200 yards and Tebow three for 299. With Caldewell out of the game the Gators needed a wide out to step up and Percy Harvin was that guy. Harvin showed that his freshman year was no fluke as he not only went over 100 yards receiving, but ran the ball effectively as well. He made guys miss when they thought they had him and showed the explosiveness that makes him one of the most exciting players on college football. Cornelius Ingram also came up big with some key grabs, including one for a touchdown. Ingram has become a huge option for Tebow and he seems to find him anywhere on the field. While the Gators ran for over 200 yards, they still went with a committee rush approach. Kestahn Moore, the starting running back, had the third most yards behind Tebow and Harvin. The Gators have said they want to run the ball more effectively with Moore and will need him to run better later in the season. Although Moore did not have a great game, the rotation of athletes that the Gators play in the backfield make it almost impossible to defend the offense. Jared Fayson had some great runs as did Percy Harvin. The Gators have many play makers, and they got them all involved yesterday.
The young Gator defense grew up in a hurry. They held Arian Foster to 26 yards on 11 carries after had had games of 90 and 125. The Gator defenders were flying to the ball and making plays all over the field. The Gators finally replaced Kyle Jackson with Major Wright after Jackson missed multiple tackles in the beginning of the game. Wright, a true freshman, has great speed, hits hard, tackles well, and is a much better athlete than Kyle Jackson. Wright made plays all over the field and did not miss tackles like Jackson ha previously in the game. Dustin Doe and Brandon Spikes continued their outstanding linebacker play by making tackles all over the field, and Doe's fumble return for a touchdown turned the tide in the game. If the Gator's can continue to play this well on defense they have a great shot of making it to Atlanta to play in the SEC championship game.
Although the Gators won the game, not everything was great. The Gators had three significant injuries that could effect them in the future. Offensive Gaurd Maurkice Pouncey left the game early in the first half after rolling his ankle. Pouncey is in replacing Trautwein who is out with a stress fracture in his foot. Marikhe Anderson injured the same knee that had kept him out the first two games of the season, but it looks to only be a bruise. The mos serious injury came with only 2 minutes left in the game when Jerimy Finch went down with an ankle injury. Finch, a true freshman, has played great in his limited time and hurt himself on an interception return. Urban Meyer does not seem to optimistic about his injury saying "Jerimy Finch is not good." Hopefully Anderson and Pouncey will be ready to play next week when the Gators travel to Mississippi.