About an hour after Florida's stunning loss at home to Mississippi last season, Tebow stood before reporters, apologized to Florida fans, then promised that no team or player would work harder or push his teammates harder than he would the remainder of the season. The Gators did not lose another game. The speech is immortalized on the brick wall outside of Florida's Heavener Football Complex.
With the Gators trailing on the road in 2006 at Tennessee, Tebow converted a crucial fourth-and-1 play, rushing for 2 yards on Florida's winning drive.
With 22 seconds remaining in the first half, then-freshman Tebow entered the 2006 game against LSU, started to run into the line, jumped and pumped before hitting tight end Tate Casey for a 1-yard touchdown.
Tebow at Doak
After a torrential storm soaked the field at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee in 2008, Tebow helped lead the Gators to a 45-15 victory over FSU. With his uniform and face covered in garnet paint, he finished with one rushing and three passing touchdowns in the victory that ensured the Gators would remain in the national title hunt.
With 23 seconds remaining in the 2006 season BCS title game against Ohio State, Tebow, a freshman backup, connected on a touchdown pass to receiver Andre Caldwell to give the Gators an insurmountable 34-14 lead.
With Heisman buzz all around him, Tebow essentially sealed the trophy with his five-touchdown performance in 2007 against South Carolina and former UF coach Steve Spurrier. He set the UF single-game rushing touchdown record and accounted for seven touchdowns overall.
With last season's BCS title game tied at 7, Tebow gathered his teammates in the locker room with the rally cry of "30 minutes." He asked them to dig deep inside themselves for just 30 minutes (the second half), and if they could do that, they would have the lifetime memories of winning a national championship. He took responsibility for their offensive struggles in the first half, then promised they'd get the ball, "hit them in the mouth'' and score.
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Antonya English can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3389.