(Saturday, September 6th)
Final Score: (5) Florida 26, Miami-Florida 3
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Tim Tebow threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns as the Florida Gators overcame a sluggish start to down the Miami Hurricanes for the first time since 1985 with a 26-3 victory.
Tebow was 21-of-35 passing and ran for 55 yards on 13 carries while Louis Murphy hauled in four grabs for 77 yards and a score. Aaron Hernandez had five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown for the fifth-ranked Gators (2-0). Percy Harvin, who missed the season-opening blowout of Hawaii recovering from surgery on his heel, found the end zone on five carries for 27 yards.
"Our defense has played outstanding two weeks in a row," said Florida coach Urban Meyer. "We stand out like a sore thumb if we don't go hard. They had us on the ropes in the first half. We covered their receivers very well. It's really great progress from last year."
Robert Marve, who was suspended for the Hurricanes' 52-7 thrashing of Charleston Southern in the season opener, was just 10-of-18 for 69 yards in his first career start. Graig Cooper ran for 31 yards on 15 carries and Derron Thomas gained 22 yards on seven carries in place of starter Javarris James, who left the game early with an undisclosed injury. Leonard Hankerson and Kayne Farquharson each caught three passes for 22 yards for Miami (1-1).
"After the game, we talked about how there are situations offensively that when we cross the 50-yard line, we have to make sure that we capitalize and score out of it," said Miami coach Randy Shannon. "Defensively, when we have somebody backed up, we have to keep them backed up."
The Gators jumped out to a 7-0 lead, scoring on their first possession when Tebow capped a five-play, 35-yard drive by finding his tight end Hernandez for a 14-yard touchdown. Miami punter Matt Bosher shanked a punt off the side of his foot giving Florida the ball deep in Miami territory.
The Hurricanes embarked on a 16-play, 42-yard drive with 6:33 remaining in the first quarter and finished it off with a 50-yard field goal from Bosher just over two minutes into the second stanza.
Gator punter Chas Henry pinned Miami on its own one-yard line with 4:17 to play in the half and after seven plays gained nine yards, Bosher had his punt blocked. Both teams scrambled for the ball in the end zone but the pile of players rolled past the back end line of the end zone for a Gators safety with 47 seconds to go and the score remained 9-3 at halftime.
The punters remained busy in the second half as the game evolved further into an offensive struggle with a scoreless third quarter.
However, the Gators played to their No. 5 ranking in the final stanza. A 12- play, 86-yard scoring drive that began with 4:09 remaining in the third, buoyed by a short catch and run crossing pattern from Tebow to Hernandez that netted 38 yards. Harvin eventually found the end zone from two yards out as Florida took a 16-3 lead with 13:19 left to play.
Florida then showed what a truly explosive offense is capable of by going 95 yards in just 1:34 with Tebow ultimately hooking up with Murphy on a 19-yard touchdown with 8:59 to play.
"We had to pick up the blitz," said Tebow. "Once we did that, we just had to throw and catch. Unfortunately, we didn't execute early, but we got it going in the second half."
A 29-yard field goal from Jonathan Phillips with less than a minute to play provided the final tally and a 26-3 Gator victory as the Hurricanes could muster only one first down in the fourth.
This game marked the 54th all-time meeting between the two teams. Miami has dominated the series of late and holds a 28-26 all-time edge, thanks to wins in six straight meetings before losing Saturday...Miami, which held Charleston Southern to a mere 126 total yards, including just 49 on the ground in the season opener, held its own on the defensive side of the ball again. The Hurricanes held Florida's potent offense to nine points through three quarters and to just 89 total net yards on the ground. Conversely, Florida's defense was equally stingy holding the Hurricanes to 140 total net yards of offense for the game...Miami won the time of possession 31:06 to 28:54.
09/07 02:59:59 ET