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Greg McElroy: ‘I wanted to beat Tim Tebow’

The Alabama-Florida 2009 SEC championship was personal for McElroy.
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy (12) looks for a receiver during the NCAA college football SEC championship game against Florida at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Alabama won 32-13. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy (12) looks for a receiver during the NCAA college football SEC championship game against Florida at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Alabama won 32-13. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Published Jul. 22, 2019

When Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy thinks back to the Crimson Tide’s perfect 2009 season, he comes back to what he called “the Florida hump.”

There was more to it than just wanting to beat the Gators and win the SEC.

“On a personal level, I wanted to beat Tim Tebow,” McElroy said. “Tim knows this. It’s no secret.”

It was news to me and some of my colleagues at SEC media days in Hoover, Ala. And interesting, too, given how McElroy and Tebow have both worked for the SEC Network (where McElroy is still an analyst).

Related: RELATED: Greg McElroy on Florida Gator Feleipe Franks: ‘Sky’s the limit’

Anyway, McElroy continued his story about his rivalry with Tebow.

“He was the guy that Alabama had recruited and prioritized in recruiting,” McElroy said. “I was the backup plan.

“So all I wanted my entire career was a chance, the chance to play against a team that he was leading. To play the way we did in that game, to play for each other the way we did in that game was really special.”

Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy had plenty to celebrate after being the Gators and Tim Tebow in 2009. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy had plenty to celebrate after being the Gators and Tim Tebow in 2009. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

McElroy finished 12-of-18 passing for 239 yards and a touchdown in that game. Tebow was 20-of-35 for 247 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and he led UF with 63 rushing yards on 10 carries.

But McElroy’s team won, 32-13, giving him a team and personal victory he’s still proud of a decade later.

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