STARKVILLE, Miss. — With his 26-yard touchdown run with 13:16 remaining in the first half Saturday night, Florida senior QB Tim Tebow joined former Georgia All-American RB Herschel Walker atop the SEC list for career rushing touchdowns.
It was also the longest touchdown run of Tebow's career.
Tebow and Walker each have 49 career rushing touchdowns. Walker achieved the feat in just three seasons — 1980-82.
Florida coach Urban Meyer called it an amazing accomplishment for his quarterback.
"I was a Herschel Walker fan, like nuts about him when I grew up," Meyer said. "He was (in college) right at the point I was in high school. I was actually a huge Georgia Bulldogs fan because of Herschel Walker. I got to meet him at the Heisman ceremony and sat and talked to him.
"Everything I know about him, he's first class. He represents Georgia, he represents the Southeastern Conference. My era was Herschel Walker and I was in awe of, (and) here's Tim Tebow in the same, I get to see him every day, and you're matching him in a rushing record that's the same as Herschel Walker. That's pretty powerful."
Tebow gets a chance to break the record next week in Jacksonville … against Georgia.
RED ZONE WOES: Florida's struggles inside the red zone continued. Coming in, the Gators scored touchdowns inside the red zone just 50 percent of the time this season (15-of-30). Through the first half Saturday, the Gators were inside the red zone four times with the following results: two field goals, one missed field goal and an interception that was returned 100 yards for a score by Mississippi State DB Jonathan Banks.
STREAK ENDS AT LAST: The Gators finished 3-0 against the SEC West, ending a decade-long streak that had plagued them. Florida had lost to at least one West team each of the past 10 years. The breakdown: 1999 — Alabama, 40-39 in OT (and again 34-7 in the SEC title game); 2000 — Mississippi State, 47-35; 2001 — Auburn, 23-20; 2002 — Ole Miss, 17-14, and LSU — 36-7; 2003 — Ole Miss, 20-17; 2004 — LSU, 24-21, and Mississippi State, 38-31; 2005 — Alabama, 31-3, and LSU, 21-17; 2006 — Auburn, 27-17; 2007 — Auburn, 20-17, and LSU, 28-24; 2008 — Ole Miss, 31-30.
FEELING THE HEAT: The constant attention and off-the-chain expectations might be taking a toll on the Gators, Meyer said this week. The fifth-year Gator coach said he has noticed that everyone associated with the program, from football office secretaries to coaches and players, are all showing signs of the pressure associated with this season.
"I think there's tremendous pressure on this team to perform at a very high level …," Meyer said. "My job is to make sure that I tell them constantly you don't have to be perfect, you just have to be the better team on the field that day."