Wednesday, December 2, 2009
It's getting close to 'Tim Tebow Time'
By Chris Low ESPN.com
In the football vernacular, it’s called "Tim Tebow Time."
And more specifically, you might hear it referred to as “Third-and-Tebow.”
It’s what makes him one of the best college football players of our era. He’s good all the time, but he’s at his best on third down or in those situations when Florida needs a drive or needs a touchdown.
Tim Tebow has rushed for at least 69 yards in eight of the Gators' games this season.
In a lot of ways, this has been a circa-2007 version of Tebow. He hasn’t held anything back, and he hasn’t been shy about running the football.
The Gators haven’t been shy about running him, either.
Even with the concussion he suffered against Kentucky back on Sept. 26, Tebow is on track to carry the ball more times in a season than he ever has. He had 210 rushing attempts during his 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning season. He has 193 attempts heading into Saturday’s SEC championship game.
There was a time this season that Tebow might have scaled back his running right after his concussion, and it was pretty obvious against LSU that the Gators were somewhat conservative with him.
But as this season has worn on and this game has approached, it’s been a familiar version of Tebow that has romped his way to 13 touchdowns and 796 rushing yards.
The only SEC quarterback who’s rushed for more yards in a season was Tebow in 2007 when he had 895.
The Gators’ limitations on offense this season have called for Tebow to do more than he did a year ago. At times, he might have tried to do too much.
Go back to the Mississippi State game when he threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
But more so than the Florida team that mauled everybody in its path last season on its way to the national championship, this team has had to grind its way just to get to this point.
Tebow, whose performance in the fourth quarter last year against Alabama was the difference in that game, thinks everything the Gators have gone through this season will pay dividends this Saturday in the Georgia Dome.
“The thing about our team is we’re not as flashy as we've been, probably [not as] potent offensively as we have been in scoring points in some games,” Tebow said. “But what we do have is we have the character when we need to, when our backs are against the wall, to really find ways to get things done.
“And I think that's the character of this team, when we have to get things done, we get it done.”