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Summer workouts served as reminder for Florida Gators

JACKSONVILLE — Forget all that stuff you heard last week about how Florida hadn't been thinking about Georgia until the week leading up to the game, and how last year's loss and the end zone celebration wasn't a factor in Saturday's game.

You had better believe it was a factor.

So much so, the Gators' summer conditioning workouts with trainer Mickey Marotti included some Georgia stats: 188 — the number of rushing yards Bulldogs RB Knownshon Moreno gained against the Gators last season.

They came in evenly divided reps on weights, pushups, crunches and sit-ups.

"It was all the numbers from the stuff we got embarrassed by," UF quarterback Tim Tebow said. "We worked on that. And I think it's been a lot on our minds all year."

The memory motivated the Gators, they now admit.

"Was it motivation for the summer? Yeah, it was," Meyer said. "It was. It was the only rival we lost to a year ago and losing doesn't set well with our team. And that's a good thing."

TIMEOUT?: If you're wondering why Florida called two timeouts in the final 44 seconds — with a 49-10 lead — it all depends on whom you asked.

Meyer said he was trying to get more work for RB Emmanuel Moody, who just returned from an ankle injury.

"I thought he deserved that chance," Meyer said. "We were just trying to win a game."

But Tebow and junior WR Percy Harvin seemed to think it was an opportunity to allow the players and Florida fans a few more moments to savor the victory.

"We looked at the sideline and saw that all their (Georgia) fans had gone and we saw our fans still there," said Harvin, who scored a touchdown in his 10th straight game. "We just wanted to rub it in a little bit. Not too much, but it was great for us."

MURPHY'S REWARD: St. Petersburg native Louis Murphy got the opportunity to walk off the field as a winner in his last game against Georgia.

Murphy, a wide receiver, had one of the game's biggest plays, a 44-yard touchdown reception from Tebow.

"We were ready more than ever," said Murphy, a former Lakewood High standout. "We came out and hit on all cylinders and we played a great game. I didn't see this (lopsided score), but I knew we had the potential."

Harvin said he was especially happy for Murphy because of all he has been through in the past year. His mother, Filomena, died in February.

"This was the game that she started to get sick (last season), and I think it meant more to him," Harvin said. "It meant a lot to all of us, our staff, but I know it meant a lot to him."

TEBOW SLIGHTLY INJURED: Tebow stood at a podium about 30 minutes after the Gators' victory wearing a protective boot on his left foot.

Tebow said he sprained his left ankle on the play just before his touchdown pass to Murphy with 5:33 remaining in the third quarter.

The ankle didn't stop Tebow from doing a victory lap around Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to slap hands with Florida fans — and he said it won't stop him from playing in next week's Vanderbilt game.

"I just sprained it a little bit, but it's fine," Tebow said. "This (boot) is just to keep pressure off of it."

Summer workouts served as reminder for Florida Gators 11/01/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 1, 2008 11:08pm]
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