Notebook: Tebow sticking to pledge


Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 12:26 a.m.

Tim Tebow isn't guaranteeing better offensive production or a victory Saturday against Arkansas, but he's sticking to his vow that the Gators will play harder in the aftermath of the stunning upset loss to Ole Miss.

"I did not promise we're going to score all the time or win every game," Tebow said after Wednesday's practice. "But we're going to go as hard as we can, and we will be known as the team that will play extremely hard and has a lot of heart."

Tebow made his promise to the Gator Nation in the post-game press conference Saturday after the 31-30 loss to the Rebels. Tebow vowed that he and the Gators would learn from the defeat and play much harder the remainder of the season.

In his first interview since Saturday, Tebow said the Gators have been carrying out the plan this week in practice.

"I think it's everything," Tebow said. "The work ethic, the determination of the players to go out there and practice and get ready to play Arkansas. I think we've had that.

"We haven't executed perfectly, but the intensity has been there for sure. It's been a little more intense this week."

UF coach Urban Meyer said he will know more about his team's chemistry in the next few days.

"We practice so hard around here," Meyer said. "The offense is on one side and the defense is on the other going as hard as they can. We'll know more (today) and Friday when they come together as a team."

FOUR PLAYERS OUT: Meyer announced that starting offensive guard Jim Tartt, guard Marcus Gilbert, tailback Emmanuel Moody and starting outside linebacker Dustin Doe will miss Saturday's game with injuries.

"Out, out, out, out," Meyer said.

Tartt continues to battle a chronic sore shoulder, while Gilbert and Moody sustained ankle sprains in last Saturday's game. Doe will undergo surgery to repair a double hernia and will be out for at least two weeks.

Meyer said outside linebacker Ryan Stamper (ankle) is questionable for Saturday's game. "He did some work today, but he's not 100 percent," Meyer said.

TOUGH TAPE TO WATCH: Meyer said the Gators had more overall breakdowns in Saturday's game than they've had since a 31-3 loss to Alabama in his first season.

"I don't think we've ever had more (than in the Alabama game)," he said. "We had some breakdown against Kentucky (last season) on defense, but I don't think we turned the ball over in that game. When you talk about special teams (in Saturday's loss), we had miscues there, too."

Meyer said all the mistakes were not a result of the Gators feeling too full of themselves coming off the 30-6 victory at Tennessee.

"I don't think so," he said. "We just have a way of doing things around here and make things as hard as possible so you don't get full of yourselves."

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