Tag:Tim Tebow
Posted on: November 29, 2009 12:29 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2009 12:32 pm

Breaking Down Florida-Alabama: Duel in the ATL

     Now that Florida and Alabama have cruised (well, Florida at least) through their "Rivalry Game", the stage is set for the game of the year so far next Saturday in Atlanta. The Number 1 Gators will take on the Number 2 (or 3) Crimson Tide in a rematch of last year's SEC Championship game. Alabama, with a revamped offense still maintains its power run game, and Florida, led by Heisman Candidate, Tim Tebow, are coming off of their two best offensive games against FIU and FSU respectively.

     Alabama is a ball control team that relies heavily on their power running game and wearing down the other team. The leader of this assault is their own Heisman candidate, running back, Mark Ingram. The 5'10, 212 pound sophomore is coming off of a less than stellar performance against arch-rival Auburn in the annual "Iron Bowl". Even with the disappointing performance, Ingram is still averaging an astounding six and a half yards per carry. Ingram is a bull-dozer of a back that is a beast to take down, and gets many of his yards after contact. He's got a crazy-good motor that has torched top defenses such as South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Where this game really will hinge though for the Tide's offense is the play of their senior quarterback, Greg McElroy. The heralded "game manager" is quietly having a very nice year. He's throw for 16 touchdowns and ran for another. All while only throwing four interceptions on the year. He's coming off of a solid performance against the Tigers in which he completed 68% of his passes for 220 yards and a pair of scores. Florida's main goal will be to stop the run, so McElroy will need to step up against Florida's top ranked secondary.

     Offensively for Florida, I don't think there's any debate who number one is. He's a Heisman winner and a National Champion. Only Lebron James rivals him in media attention. He wears number 15. He is, Tim Tebow. The dual-threat star from Jacksonville has been under fire all season long for what people call a "less than expected" senior season. In his down year, Tebow has accounted for 30 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He's dealt with mechanical issues, sketchy play calling, and inconsistent receiver play all season long. Against cross-state foe, Florida State, the Gator offense finally showed up. Tebow accounted for over 300 yards of total offense and 5 scores: two short passes to tight end Aaron Hernandez, a long throw to Riley Cooper, and two runs of one and 18 yards. With the defense of Alabama keying on Tebow, the Gators' three headed monster at running back is going to have to provide some support. Jeffery Demps, Chris Rainey, and Emmanuel Moody have all split time at tail back this season. Demps is the starter and home run hitter. Rainey is the scat-back with the moves. And Moody, a transfer from USC, is the fourth quarter closer. All three have a yards per carry of above six and a half yards per touch. The Gators' backs' ability to spread the field and take pressure off of Tebow will be key in how far the Gator offense can go.

     Now we move onto the defenses. Alabama and Florida are number one and number two in the nation defensively. Florida number one in scoring, number two overall. Alabama is number one overall. Bama stops you from the inside out. Manning the nose guard in Nick Saban's vaunted 3-4 scheme is the Mountain himself, Terrence Cody. Cody, a 6'5, 354 pound senior, clogs the middle better than anyone in the country. Although he's not what you'd call a play-maker such as Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska, Cody is the prototypical 3-4 nose guard. He takes up a lot of space and gets great push. He'll be going against Florida's best two offensive linemen, the Pouncey Twins, all game long. Talk about a fight in the trenches. Right behind Mount Cody is the super-star middle linebacker, Rolando McClain. On the year, McClain has 94 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions. He also has a forced fumble. McClain's biggest job will be shutting down Florida's run game which is ranked ninth nationally. Enemy numero uno for McClain is Tim Tebow. Expect these two to clash more than once, and who wins these battles may win the game. On the corner for the tide is one, Javier Arenas. Arenas, along with being one of the best punt returners in the nation, may be the country's best blitzing cornerback. He's accumulated five sacks on the season. If he can come off the corner and get to Tebow a couple times, watch out! Florida may be in some trouble. When he's not blitzing, Arenas will be taking on Riley Cooper on the perimeter.

     When the Bama defense isn't on the field, the audience will be witnessing another top unit. The Gators are, as previously mentioned, the number one scoring defense in the land. The heart and soul of this unit is Brandon Spikes. Spikes, a 6'4 senior from Shelby, North Carolina, has dealt with injuries and a suspension all season. In his limited playing time, Spikes has accounted for 43 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. Spikes brought both interceptions back for touchdowns. However, if Spikes is the heart, Ryan Stamper, his linebacker teammate, is the brain. Stamper, another senior, has filled in for Spikes at middle backer this year, but he's also a starter on the outside. Stamper has 68 tackles, two sacks, and two interceptions. He's a sure tackler that makes smart plays. He and Spikes will need to keep Ingram bottled up to get themselves off the field. The Gator pass defense is highlighted by their super-star defensive ends, and their future first round pick at cornerback. Coming off the edge for Florida is their tag team duo of Dunlap and Cunnigham. Cunningham, a senior who was part of the last two national title teams, has seven sacks and a forced fumble on the year. He's mostly a speed rusher with a nice spin move. Dunlap, a 6'7, 290 pound freak of a man, also has seven sacks on the season. Dunlap also is a speed rusher, but his great strength and size give him a punishing bull rush. What really makes the Florida pass defense so intimidating however, is the man who some call the best corner in college football. Junior, Joe Haden, is atop most NFL scout draft boards for his position. He's a big time play maker with 53 tackles, three sacks, and five interceptions. Haden will mostly deal with Julio Jones, and with so much attention thrown at stopping the run game, how Haden contains Jones, and how Dunlap and Cunningham attack McElroy, will be big time keys.
Keys to Victory for Alabama: 
  1. Ball Control - It's the one way teams have competed with Florida this season. They've milked the clock. Alabama has a top running game, and this is their best bet.
  2. Get Julio Involved - He's had a disappointing season thus far. He's still a big time player. Florida wants to stop the run. Julio needs to take advantage.
  3. Stop Tebow - Throwing and running, Tebow must be stopped for Alabama to win. In last year's SEC title game, Tebow had a superb game. He fit balls into tight windows and gave Bama fits. If Bama contains him, that slows down a lot of what Florida wants to do offensively.
Keys to Victory for Florida:
  1. Get Out Early - The Gators need to start fast. They need to come out with a bang. That first drive, they must send a message. Whether it be a three and out on defense or putting points on the board offensively, that first drive is huge.
  2. Make McElroy Beat You - He's not a bad player, but Alabama is a run first team that wants to wear you out. Florida has a very good secondary and if they can stop Ingram and Richardson, Haden and Jenkins can do enough to keep Florida on top.
  3. Brandon James Must Show Up - The nation's best return man has had his troubles this year. He's done pretty good on kick returns, but has had a horrendous year on punts. Special teams is as important as offense and defense. Field position will be huge. James needs to show up.
  • Florida - 24
  • Alabama - 13
     Alabama is a very strong football team. Their defense is great. Their running game is fantastic. However, I still see them much like last year's team, except that Julio Jones doesn't appear like Julio Jones anymore. Jones was the one thing that Florida had trouble with last year, but with the progression of Haden and the fading of Jones, that mismatch doesn't appear to be there anymore. Alabama will have some success running the ball, but not enough to where they can just dig their cleats in and run every down and wear the Gators out. Florida's offense seems to finally be peaking right now. I know it was FSU and FIU, but the execution is looking so much crisper. Even against Troy and Charleston Southern earlier in the year, the team wasn't looking this good. Florida won't have a field day offensively, but I feel like they'll get a couple big plays for scoring drives and either a turnover from the defense or a big return from James will set up the game clinching drive. This will be a great game with Florida sealing it late.
Posted on: August 8, 2009 4:05 pm

Can Someone Explain the Vince Young Hype?????

First let me state that I like Vince Young. I wish him the best with the Titans. The kid's a pretty good talent and a tremendous athlete. I was cheering for them against USC b/c I was sick of the USC hype, specifically Reggie Bush. That lateral, which is the ONLY reason Vince Young is remembered was my second favorite Bush play, behind his lateral attempt against my Buccaneers, which again, happened while his team was running out the clock and again cost his team the game.

However, I don't get why this guy is even in the running for QB of the decade. I mean, I realize it's not all about numbers. If it was, Timmy Chang, Colt Brennan, or Sam Bradford would have won it. However, when you have numbers like this, why do people consider you so freaking great? These are his two years as a starter.
  • 360/575 = 63% completion passer
  • 4885 yards passing (13.6 yards per completion)(8.5 yards per attempt)
  • 38 TDs
  • 21 INTs
  • 146.16 passer rating
  • 322 carries
  • 2129 yards (6.6 ypc)
  • 26 career TDs
  • 1 National Championship
  • 0 Heisman's
  • 0 Maxwell Awards
I'm sorry, but 64 career TDs compared to 21 INTs, although not bad, is not the best of the decade. And everyone says that Young did it by himself. Well, if that were the case, wouldn't he have scored more? He was even SHUT OUT during a game. A 12-0 loss to Oklahoma. The greatest player of the decade's offense get SHUT OUT? That doesn't make much sense to me.

Here are Tebow's numbers from his two years as a starter (not including his freshman year where he was a role player and more of a change of pace goalline guy......who single handily pwned LSU)
  • 426/648 = 66% completion passer
  • 6032 yards passing (14.1 yards per completion)(9.3 yards per attempt)
  • 62 TDs
  • 10 INTs
  • 172.42 passer rating
  • 386 carries
  • 1538 yards (4.0 yards per carry)
  • 35 TDs
  • 1 National Championship
  • 1 Heisman
  • 2 Maxwell awards
Again, I know it's not all about numbers, but Tebow has him beat everywhere other than YPC and rushing yards. Passer rating is 26 points higher. 33 more touchdowns. 11 less interceptions. Seems pretty obvious to me. Tim Tebow > Vince Young.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 5, 2009 2:54 pm

Top 10 Sporting Events I've Attended

Ok, so last night I was at the Rays/Red Sox 13 inning circus that included 4 solo home runs. An MVP grounding into a double play with a man on 3rd. One team leaving the bases loaded with no body out TWICE, fan interference, and last but not least a walk-off home run. It was a great game, and maybe even the best baseball game I've ever been to. So, it got me thinking. What are the top 10 sporting events I've seen live? Here's my list.

#10: March 17, 2006 (not actual video. Just highlights)
  • I was on Spring Break when my dad and my friends and their dads decided to take a trip up to Orlando for an Amp'd Mobile Supercross event in the Citrus Bowl. It was and still remains the only supercross/motocross event I've been to in my life and it was a great experience. Going in and really still to this day, the only rider I'd ever heard of was Ricky Carmichael. Unfortunately, Ricky didn't win this race sending me home less happy. A rising star at the time, James Stewart was the winner. We had left the stadium a little bit early to avoid traffic on the hour or so drive back down to St. Pete, but I remember listening to the final call announcing Stewart's victory. I'm not a supercross/motocross fan by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a unique experience in itself and definitely deserving of the top 10.

#9: August 4, 2009
  • Well, this was last night. Rays vs Red Sox. What a game this was. It was probably the most exciting game I've ever been to, but it fails in comparison with the baseball games that made the top 8. Anyways, it was a re-match of the ALCS, where Tampa Bay closed out the Red Sox in a fantastic game 7 with David Price shutting the door. And speaking of that Game 7, we had the same pitching matchup. Jon Lester from the Sox and Matt Garza for the Rays. Once again, they did not disappoint. Garza went 7 innings and gave up 2 earned. Both on solo shots. One to Kevin Youkilis and the other to Dustin Pedroia. Lester gave up one earned in 6+ innings of work. His final act was a pitch that hit Carlos Pena. Pena turned into the Rays first run on a Jason Bartlett infield single. Evan Longoria tied the game up in the 8th with a solo shot off of the center field Restraunt to tie it up at 2-2. After leaving the bases loaded twice, Longoria final struck again in the bottom of the 13th with 2 outs and Joe Dillon at third. A two run bomb to left field sent the good guys home happy.
#8: August 8, 2007
  • We were in San Francisco on vacation. Earlier that month, I had been on stub hub or some other ticket site looking for seats to a Giants game. We were about purchase tickets to the August 7th game. We'd have been sitting in right field. Try and guess which section (wink, wink). However, a friend called and said that he was going to be in town at the same time so we decided to wait an extra day. Needless to say, Bonds hit 756 the day we were supposed to go into the section we were supposed to sit. Bummer. Haha. Anyways, we went the next night and sat down the 3rd base line in the outfield. On that night, Bonds became the first person to break the new home run record as he lifted his 757th HR into McCovey cove. The game was quite forgettable as I don't really remember who won. I believe the Giants did, but to be there when Bonds hit 757 was quite special and easily in the top 10.
#7: January 1, 2008
  • New Years day. A college football fans Thanksgiving. So many bowl games with so many great matchups. The Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida was no exception. It was my first bowl game and the atmosphere was great. 50-50 crowd, Lloyd Carr's last game. The Heisman trophy winner. All in all, it couldn't have been better..... but Florida lost. In a great shoot-out, the under-dog Wolverines, led by Chad Henne, upset the Gators 41-35. This is a game where a lot of people say it could've been worse, but Michigan kept turning the ball over. What people miss is the fact that Florida would start their drives after the turnovers inside their 3 yard line where it was really try and avoid a safety then punt. After the punt, Michigan would score anyway, so all was what it should be. Even with the Gators loss, it was still a great day.
#6: May 22, 2004
  • First, I would like to say I do not consider myself anything but a fairweather hockey fan. However, number 6 on my list needs to go to the NHL. May 22nd marked the day where the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched their first Stanley Cup Finals berth. I was there, and it was crazy. Ruslan Fedtenko started the scoring in the first period to make it 1-0 Lightning. Early in the second, Mr. Slap Shot, Freddy Modin made it 2-0, a lead the Lightning would never give up. With 9:54 left in the period, the Flyers' Kim Johnsson made it 2-1, but that's as close as the Flyers would get. I can still remember the end of the game. The Flyers relentlessly attacking the Lightning goal trying desperately to get themselves back in it. Luckily for the Bay area, they didn't and the Lightning went on to win their first and only Stanley Cup against the Calgary Flames in 7 games.
#5: October 22, 2008
  • Another loss for the good guys here. This was game 1 of the 2008 World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, I know what you're probably thinking. "How is the first World Series game in Tampa Bay history only number 5?". Well, It's because A)we lost and B)the atmosphere wasn't as intense as the top 4. In this game, we had Cole Hamels facing off against Scott Kazmir. Kazmir's last outing had been the biggest collapse in ALCS history. But, let's not talk about that, ok? Haha. Kazmir gave up 3 earned in 6 innings of work while Hamels gave up only 2 earned in 7 innings of work. The Phillies first two runs came off of a Chase Utley two run homer. The last on a Carlos Ruiz grounder. The Rays runs came on a Carl Crawford homer and an Akinori Iwamura RBI double. Even though the Rays lost, the fact that it was our first ever World Series game here in St. Pete., it deserves to be mentioned in the top 5.
#4: January 12, 2003
  • This here was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs the San Francisco 49ers in the 2002-2003 NFL playoffs. This game itself wasn't the greatest thing ever as the Buccaneers had control from the very beginning on their way to a 31-6 route of the 49ers and Jeff Garcia. The Buccaneers top rated defense crushed Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens and company on their way to 4 turnovers and only allowing 227 total net yards (some of which were gained in garbage time). The Bucs went into halftime leading 28-6 on two Brad Johnson touch down passes and two Mike "A-Train" Alstott touch down runs. Derrick Brooks picked off one Garcia pass and also recovered a fumble forced by sack machine Simeon Rice. Martin "Automatica" Gramatica added a field goal to make it a 31-6 ball game. This was the Buccaneers last home game of the season. They next went on to dump the Philadelphia Eagles. That game being clinched on the Ronde Barber interception return. After that, the Buccaneers travelled to San Diego where they made mince-meat of the Oakland Raiders and their top ranked offense. The Buccaneers brought back 3 Rich Gannon interceptions for touch downs. Two by Dwight Smith and 1 by 2002-2003 NFL DPOTY Derrick Brooks. Dexter Jackson, who intercepted two earlier Gannon passes was named Super Bowl XXXVII MVP.
#3: October 2/3, 2008
  • I combined two events into one right here so call me a cheater. The reason being is that game 1 was important because it was the Bay Area's first MLB playoff game. However, it was game 2 that got the excitement really going. In game 1, the Rays were given a gift by the touted young Rookie/All Star, Evan Logoria. Longoria became the second player EVER to hit home runs in his first to playoff at bats. James Shields went 6 and a third innings giving up 3 runs. All of which were on a Dwyane Wise 3 run homer. When Shields left, the bases were juiced and obviously, only one out. Grant Balfour, who had been the Rays "stopper" all year came in and struck Juan Uribe and then Orlando Cabrerra out to end the threat. In game 2, Scott Kazmir battled control issues early but still managed to give up only two runs in 5 and a third innings of work. Grang Balfour came in again to hold off a threat. In the 7th, J.P. Howell came in to settle Balfour's mess. Going into the 8th, it was 3-2 Rays. Akinori Iwamura had hit a home-run to give the Rays a lead. In the 8th, the Rays scored 3 runs. It was a 6-2 game, but what made this game special was a record set that was totally unrelated to baseball. In this 8th inning, Tropicana field set the record for second loudest stadium ever. Ask anyone that was there, it was mayhem...good mayhem. The Rays would lose game 3 but finish off the White Sox in game 4. This set up one of the great ALCS of all time against the Boston Red Sox.
#2: January 8, 2009
  • Anyone care to try and venture a guess as to what this game may be? I know, It's obvious. January 8th, marks the day that Florida defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 in the National Championship game in Miami, Florida. In a dead-locked first half, neither team really could get anything going offensively. Oklahoma was stopped twice at the goal line. Once on an interception by Major Wright, and the other a 4th down stop by Torey Davis. Tim Tebow struggled mightily. He threw two terrible interceptions. One to Nic Harris and the other to Gerald McCoy. The trademark play of the game took place on Oklahoma's first drive. Heisman Trophy winner, Sam Bradford flung a ball deep to WR Manny Johnson. Safe to say, I highly doubt Johnson remembers this play and he was highly ineffective the rest of the way. The second half was where it really came together for the Gators. Although the scoreboard doesn't say so, this game was over in the 3rd quarter. Mid-way through, it became Tebow-Time. It seemed like every play was a QB draw, designed or not. And every time he got good yardage and/or ran over a OU defender. There was a sense of "awe" in the crowd that this game was done. A Jonathan Phillips field goal gave the Gators a 17-14 lead. On OU's next possession, Ahmad Black made the game changing play (at around 1:55 in that video). Florida took the ball. After driving down to the goal line, Tebow and the Gators put the dagger in the Sooners with the famous Tebow Jump Pass. This time, 6'5 Carl Moore was the target. After OU failed to score again, Florida ran out the clock in Good Ole' Gator Fashion.
#1: September 28, 2007
  • I really don't expect anyone to agree that this should be the number 1 moment in a GATOR fan's sports attending life, but this really was a "you had to be there" moment. It was a beautiful Thursday night in Tampa, Florida. The 5th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers were coming in to face the 18th ranked University of South Florida Bulls. This was the first time in Bulls history that the upper-deck at Raymond James Stadium (also home of the Buccaneers) had been opened up for one of their games. It's also the only sell-out in USF history. Needless to say, this game was a big deal for the Bull faithful (I am not. Outside of Grothe/Selvie, I can't name many more). Walking up to the stadium, there were countless "Grothe > insert great QB" shirts and "Go home couch burners" shirts. It was a fantastic atmosphere. We sat to the left of the endzone (if you're facing the endzone from the other) and on the Pirate Ship side. For those of you that don't go or have never been to a USF game, we were right next to the student section. The Bulls started the game off with a bang. Pat White dropped back and threw an interception to Bulls middle-linebacker and then though of as model citizen, Ben Moffit. Moffit ran left (towards us) and returned the interception for a touchdown. The crowd went ballistic. The only songs that I can remember them playing on the stadium PA was "Party Like a Rock Star" and "Crank Dat Soulja Boy - Travis Barker Mix". It didn't matter though. Whenever the songs would play, the bass was going and the student section was rocking. In this game, Matt Grothe may have made the play of the year. Somehow avoiding a sack, Grothe does this. A Jamar Taylor 19 run score made it 21-3 and the rest is history. The part of this game that was most exciting had to have been the aftermath. During the 4th quarter, the stadium made the mistake of "asking" fans to celebrate in the stands. All that did was give them the idea. When the final seconds ticked off, the stadium emptied.....on to the field. This gave us one of the more memorable images of the college football season where Grothe surrounded by fans waives up at a camera right above him and gives the "number 1" sign. USF would ride this momentum to climb all the way up to number 2 in the polls at one point becoming the fastest school to ever do so. However, the second half of the season wasn't as kind to the Bulls as they struggled down the stretch and got pummeled by Oregon in their bowl game.
Anyway, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed.
Posted on: July 29, 2008 3:06 pm

College Football Top 10

  1. Georgia Bulldogs - They return a lot of starters, including arguably the nation's best back in Knowshon Moreno. This team went on a huge run at the end of the year almost putting themselves in the NCG. Stafford has a gun and should be able to take advantage of teams crowding the box.
  2. USC Trojan - USC always re-loads, and the biggest question mark is the QB. Sanchez got good playing time last year and has the experience. Mich Mustain should give him a run. The defense should be great. Ray Maluga is a great linebacker, and Taylor Mays could be a playmaker at safety.
  3. Florida Gators - They bring back the He15man Trophy winner Tim Tebow. They finally have a runningback in Emanuel Moody, and red-shirt freshman Chris Rainey is electrifying. Percy Harvin, arguably the nation's fastest player returns. And Brandon Spikes leads a defense that needs to improve for the Gators to have a shot.
  4. Ohio State Buckeyes - A team that looks solid on paper, but they've been embarassed the last two years against Florida and LSU. I expect Ohio State to lose to USC, but then to roll through it's conference and have another shot at the NCG. Laurinitas is a solid LB. Beanie Wells is, in my opinion, the best back in the country, and is by far ohio states' best weapon on offense. Does the big 11 really lack speed?
  5. Oklahoma Sooners - I think I have this team ranked a little high. They lost a good amount of talent in the draft, but they have a solid QB in Sam Bradford. The defense should be solid again.
  6. West Virginia Mountaineers - They lose Steve Slaton, but arguably improve with Noel Devine. They lose their fullback, but Devine and Pat White are two of the most athletic players in college football and may have to carry the team this year. If WVU can get over the USF hump, they could be a national title contender.
  7. LSU Tigers - LSU lost a TON of talent in the draft. They have the proper players waiting in the wings. The defensive line may be the best in college football. The biggest question mark for this team is quarterback. No Ryan Periloux. Can Andrew Hatch carry the offense? If he can, LSU will be a big threat.
  8. Mizzouri Tigers - Mizzouri lost some luster in my mind when they failed to beat Oklahoma again, but gained it back with a beatdown of Arkansas. Chase Daniel is a solid QB and a great leader. MAclin has speed and should tear threw most secondaries. Can Mizzorui crack the BCS Bowls this year?
  9. Clemson Tigers - This team is a solid team in probabally the weakest conference. James Davis and C.J. Spiller make up the best 1/2 RB combo in college football. They are both top 5 backs. Clemson should be able to take advantage of a weaker conference and their superior running game.
  10. Auburn Tigers - Auburn is an interesting team. They bring back good talent. But, they bring IN a new offense. Kodi Burns is supposed to be the dual-threat QB to run that offense. Trey Blackmon is the MLB on the defense and if he can live up to the hype, Aubrun will be a very scary team. They also have good running backs with Tate leading the way, but will fumblitis strike again?
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com