Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tebow Shines in Opener

Tim Tebow showed critics that he is not a fullback playing quarterback yesterday. Sports writers/casters have commented on the fact that Tebow will have to throw this year and they didn't think he could do it, I hope they watched the game yesterday. Tebow went 13/17 for 300 yards and three TDs in the game. In the first quarter Tebow threw the ball about 50 yards on the fly to Andre Caldwell and it looked real easy. Tebow also made some outstanding short throws with zip on the ball and he had his patented running plays in which he ran over people.

The Gator offense looked good all game long as they scored on almost every possession. Riley Cooper showed that he has the speed to run past pretty much anyone and also has good hands. Kestahn Moore was impressive running the ball and did not fumble the ball, which was the concern with him last year. Moore vowed in the off season to be a better back and he looked good in the first game running hard and pushing people over. The retooled offensive line looked good in pass protection and open holes for the running game, but they had some mental errors which led to penalties and killed one of the Gator offensive drives.

The defense was up and down, which is to be expected with this young group. The gators had to replace 9 starters and 11 of their top 13 tacklers this season. Linebackers Dustin Doe and Brandon Spikes played outstanding games and will have Gator fans forgetting about Earl Everett and Brandon Siler very soon. The two linebackers combined for 12 solo tackles and 6 assists. The defensive line put some pressure on the quarterback and played well against the run for the most part. The defense did come out flat though as the WKU offense drove down the field before being stopped on fourth down deep in Gator territory. WKU lost their starting QB in the drive and he never returned to the game after suffering a concussion.

One thing that bothered me was how the WKU players seemed to try and take shots at Tebow whenever they could. One player on WKU pushed Tebow down after he was already out of bounds and he fell over a bench. Later in the game Tebow was trying to stop after going out of bounds when a WKU lineman got off of the bench and drilled him when he was out of bounds. The final major play came late in the game when a WKU linebacker kept trying to pull him down after the whistle had blown. There were other plays, but none were as big as those three. It starts to make you wonder if other teams will try to go after him in the same way just because of who he is. Tebow obviously is held in high regard by gator fans and many other teams are looking to take their shot and taking him down, but some of the plays seemed unnecessary and were done just to take a shot at him.

The Gators have one more "preseason" game next week against Troy before Tennessee comes to the swamp September 22. Tennessee's offense looked very good against Cal on Saturday, but their defense looked horrible. The game may be more high scoring than we are used too and hopefully the Gators will pull it out. The Gators need to make sure they do not overlook Troy because Michigan proved yesterday that anyone can lose at anytime to anyone.

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