Tebow will be Tebow


Tim Tebow runs for 10 yards during the third quarter against Hawaii Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Brandon Kruse/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 2:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 2:53 p.m.

The same guy who accounted for 4,181 yards and 55 touchdowns last season opened the new year with game stats that could be confused with his numbers for a single quarter in 2007.

In Florida’s 56-10 victory over Hawaii, Heisman winner Tim Tebow carried the ball only nine times for 37 yards and threw only 14 passes, completing nine for 137. And here’s probably the most astonishing stat of all: only one touchdown, through the air, and no rushing attempts on the goal line.

So, is this the new Tim Tebow?

Tebow Lite?

No, Urban Meyer said Monday.

“We have not cut back,” Meyer said. “I get asked that question a lot. Are you saving Tim or not? No, we have 100 plays and some very good runners, so we’re going to hand them the ball. But we’re going to do what we have to do to win the game.”

The Gators did not need Tebow running between the tackles to win Saturday’s opener. So, when the Gators got inside the 5-yard line, the call went to tailback Brandon James for one touchdown, then to backup quarterback Cam Newton for another. Newton came into the game to replace Tebow, much like Tebow did for Chris Leak in 2006.

Overall, Tebow wasn’t asked to do much Saturday, especially compared to a year ago.

But given the toughness of UF’s schedule, starting with Miami on Saturday, Tebow Lite probably won’t be a regular item on the menu.

“We’re not going to let him not be Tim,” Meyer said. “That’s the best way to say it. Tim Tebow is going to be Tim Tebow.”

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