I came into this game not sure of what to think, and I leave it exactly the same way. It’s hard to say who outplayed who, or whether LSU self-destructed or Florida caused them to. It was a sloppy, bizarre game but the good guys came out on top.
I guess I’ll start with what I do know for sure, and that’s Tim Tebow was the player of the game. There were questions as to whether DeShawn Wynn or Percy Harvin would play, and if Chris Leak would be effective against the LSU defense. As it turns out, Tebow and his one-man play action game was the highlight of the game for the Gator offense. Leak was solid but not spectacular, and the running game never really got going. This could have been a very different game without the plays he was making.
As I said before, it was not a pretty game. Both running games could get nothing done. LSU had 5 turnovers again (assuming the fumbled punt and kick count, I can’t remember the rule on that). Florida’s offense could only get things going in fits and starts. Florida’s pass defense played Charmin soft but still allowed only one touchdown pass. There were penalties galore, and there were some that shouldn’t have been called and others that should have been. I’m telling you, these SEC refs are terrible, but at least they’re being mostly neutral in their awfulness.
This was a huge game for the morale of the Florida fans though. All of the people I heard talking while leaving the stadium and campus were giddy. They weren’t complaining about the offense, swearing about the defensive backs, or critiquing the play calling. They were laughing. They were high-fiving strangers. They were talking about passing West Virginia, whether Oregon or Cal would beat USC, and some of the finer points of the Ohio State – Michigan rivalry. They were chanting “SEC” near the end of the game, and completely forgetting about it afterward for even bigger things. While the fans have always wanted national titles, they’re really starting to believe now.
Now, Auburn’s loss to Arkansas does hurt the Gators’ cause and strength of schedule. South Carolina and Arkansas both showed how to attack the Tigers’ defense. Their offense also has been struggling. Simply put, Auburn hasn’t looked this beatable in a while. I’m feeling much better about this game, but the team must stay as focused as ever because it’s still an SEC road game and Auburn is still a very good team. There’s no GameDay again, but it is going to be another edition of ESPN Full Circle.
After this game, even some of the most crotchety Gator fans on the post-game call in show said that they were at last sold on Urban Meyer as the coach. The rest of the fans were really getting into the two-quarterback system. The Facebook group/GameDay sign “Leak Pass, Tebow Smash” is looking better and better.
Yes, it’s great to be a Florida Gator tonight. It’s easy to get carried away with a win like this, but you know, it’s finally nice to get a reason to get carried away with a win again. UF is 6-0 for the first time since 1996. We are on a 13-game winning streak. We haven’t lost at home in two years. We are getting lots of accolades from the national press, and they are discovering just how many playmakers we have on offense. Neath the orange and blue victorious, we celebrate a big win over a tough team. Go Gators!