Notebook: Joiner's kiss gets national exposure


Published: Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 11:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 11:49 p.m.

Tony Joiner approached Tim Tebow, placed his hand on top of Tebow's head, leaned forward, and kissed the Gator quarterback on the cheek.

The public display of affection, coming on Florida's sideline following Tebow's second quarter touchdown pass to Cornelius Ingram, seemed innocent enough.

However, the kiss was caught by CBS cameras and replayed several times on national television.

"It was?" Tebow said after the Gators' 59-20 victory. "Oh, I'm going to have to get on him for that."

Joiner, who is Tebow's roommate, said the kiss was his way of showing his love for his friend and roommate.

"That's my roommate. I love him," Joiner said. "We've grown close. That's not the first time I've kissed him."

Asked if he's ever kissed other men, Joiner smiled.

"Not many," he said. "Probably just my dad and Tim Tebow."

Gators lose two starters to injury

A pair of Florida's starters left Saturday's game with injuries while another highly regarded freshman was carted off the field.

Right guard Maurkice Pouncey left the game in the first quarter with a leg injury. Pouncey, a freshman, has been forced into action due to a stress fracture suffered by Phil Trautwein earlier this season. Gators coach Urban Meyer said X-rays on Pouncey's leg were negative.

"Maurkice is fairly positive," Meyer said.

Sophomore cornerback Markihe Anderson also left the game with a leg injury, but X-rays on him were also negative, Meyer said. Anderson was a projected starter heading into the season before suffering an MCL sprain. He saw his first action against Troy in a limited role.

Florida's most serious injury Saturday was to freshman linebacker Jerimy Finch, who was carted off the field in the final minutes. Meyer said an apparent leg injury to Finch could be serious.

"Finch is not good," Meyer said. "Chance he's out for a while."

Jackson benched, freshman Wright in

Kyle Jackson missed a tackle. Then he lost some playing time.

Jackson, Florida's senior strong safety, missed a tackle on Vols receiver Lucas Taylor that allowed Tennessee to convert a key third-and-12 in the first quarter. Then, Tennessee's Josh Briscoe caught a 16-yard pass on the next play. That's when freshman Major Wright was inserted for Jackson. Jackson never returned.

"Major stepping in was a big deal," Joiner said. "Kyle had a couple missed tackles and the coaches felt like it was best for Major to come in. For a freshman to come in and play like that against Tennessee is a big deal."

Wright finished the game with six tackles, the third highest total for UF, and was also credited with a pass break up.

Injured Caldwell is cover boy

Andre Caldwell was a part of Saturday's Florida-Tennessee game after all.

Caldwell was featured on the cover of Saturday's game program even though the senior wide receiver missed the game with a sprained MCL.

Caldwell injured his knee during Florida's win over Troy last week. Because the game programs are printed weeks in advance, Florida was unable to change the cover of Saturday's program.

Tebow's interception not his fault

Tim Tebow's third quarter interception was not his fault, Meyer said.

The intended receiver on the play, sophomore Riley Cooper, cut his route short and allowed Tennessee's Eric Berry to jump inside and pick off the pass. Berry returned the ball 96 yards for a touchdown.

"(Cooper) is supposed to bend across," Meyer said. "That's a young player making a mistake. That was a major error right there."

Etc.

Florida has opened the season with 45 or more points in the first three games for the first time in school history. ... Urban Meyer joined Steve Spurrier and Georgia's Mark Richt as the only coaches to defeat Tennessee under Phillip Fulmer in three straight seasons. ... Florida has now won 18 straight at home, two shy of the school record set from 1909-17. ... Among the notable faces on the sidelines Saturday was former Gator quarterback Chris Leak and former Ohio State and NFL wide receiver Cris Carter. ... Tebow's third quarter interception was his first in 79 attempts dating back to last year's Central Florida game.

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