Tebow suffers through dismal day
Published: Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 9:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 9:52 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE — Tim Tebow was emotionally hurt. The Florida quarterback choked back tears when asked to describe the heartache of Florida's 42-30 loss to Georgia Saturday.
Tebow was also in physical pain. The right shoulder contusion suffered the previous week against Kentucky prevented Florida's Heisman Trophy candidate from running the ball effectively against the Bulldogs.
"He's hurting," Gators coach Urban Meyer said of Tebow's shoulder. "He won't tell you. He keeps saying, 'I'm fine, I'm fine. I'm fine.' "
Tebow even admitted afterward his shoulder was in pain.
"It bothered me a little bit," Tebow said. "You're going to have bumps and bruises throughout the year."
This was a big bruise for Tebow. Making his first start in his hometown, Tebow rushed 13 times for negative-15 yards and was sacked six times. Tebow had only been sacked five times all season entering Saturday's game.
"Georgia did a good job of mixing up their blitzes," Tebow said. "I should have done a better job of making better protection calls and get the ball out. Something we're going to have to work on."
For most of this season, though, Tebow has been able to avoid sacks by using his legs to run when protection breaks down. That didn't happen against Georgia.
"Tim wasn't as mobile as he's been," Meyer said.
Asked if the injury was something Tebow will have to deal with the rest of the season, Meyer answered, "I don't know."
Tebow's inability to run changed Meyer's gameplan "a little bit," the coach said. But it seemed to change it a lot. Tebow's first true rush occurred in the final minute of the first half.
Tebow, though, was effective in goal-line situations. The sophomore carried the ball for touchdown runs of two and three yards in the second half.
The amount of pain Tebow was in became evident after one of his second-half touchdown runs when he jumped back to Florida's sideline waving his left arm up and down while his right arm stayed by his side.
"During the week, he's been grimacing a little bit," roommate and safety Tony Joiner said. "He's been holding his right shoulder."
Tebow's dismal day came to a frustrating conclusion when he and center Drew Miller got mixed up on a snap at Georgia's 11-yard-line causing a fumble Bulldogs linebacker Dannell Ellerbe recovered.
"We are already running late with the play clock," Tebow said. "We had to get set, had to motion someone, then Drew just snapped it. He tried to hold it a little bit. It just happened."
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