Following Saturday's loss, my friend Natalie and I broke down Tim Tebow;
mlmintampa: "I thought we'd get it," Tebow said. "I thought I'd will myself to the first down. We just didn't do it."
mlmintampa: it's Year 3 of Timmy Tebow, people are figuring him out
nataliza: that he runs on faith? well that and you can't run up the middle
mlmintampa: no, on sheer determination, but you make a good point, seriously, like profound
nataliza: give me credit on alligator army
And it is with that we swing our attention to today's game at Arkansas and the psyche of a team bruised by not meeting expectations. Great teams do not underestimate opponents. Good teams do and think that sheer will, a talent advantage or praying harder will be the ultimate edge. With Urban Meyer, Dan Mullen and Tim Tebow, you have all of those things.
Like Billy Donovan last season, there have been points this season where Urban has looked frustrated because the Gators were not crushing like they should be. It was evidenced against Ole Miss when was seen 10 yards on the field, waving his arms to get his team excited and the muted student section who saw the writing on the wall. College students are keenly aware of a peer not being able to meet a particular challenge, despite their talent, because they know the same feeling. Saturday's game was a lesson for Urban and it made him realize that this is still a young team who sometimes cannot rise to the occasion.
Florida clearly has one of the most talented offenses in the country. How many schools have two legit Heisman guys (Tebow, Harvin), the US high school 100-m dash record holder (Jeff Demps), and a USC transfer (Emmanuel Moody) which is the equivalent of a blockbuster NFL free agency signing. The problem is for Mullen is that drawing lines on paper, creating plays that work fantastically against 180 pound d-ends on the scout team, is not working as it should in game play. Ole Miss realized it didn't take much to throw UF off stride. A few well timed blitzes and Mullen did not know what to do. After all, that two yard sneak from a shotgun formation always works in practice.
For Tim Tebow, this season has been painful. Not because of the Ole Miss loss, but because the same tricks and moves don't work anymore. I don't know if Tebow thinks he would have gotten that last first down because he's just more powerful or has God backing him up. At this point, that doesn't matter. Because Tebow has to start thinking about the game. Quarterbacks are beloved for being unique. But unique quarterbacks don't win. Running around the pocket or assuming your frozen rope will get between the corner's hands or that your tight end runs fast enough to get under that ball does not win games. It didn't last year and it won't this season. He needs to start thinking like Chris Leak or Danny Wuerffel. Both of those guys would take what the defense would give them, then hit the bomb. Tebow wasn't doing that consistently until the fourth quarter last week. And don't get me wrong; this isn't spread vs. pro-style. It's intelligence vs. intensity.
Today's game against Arkansas is the Gators' first step in washing the stench of the crap fest that was the Ole Miss game. If the Gators do not come out with guns blazing and dominate the worst team in the SEC, Colonel Reb will haunt this team all the way to the Capital One Bowl.