Another championship for Titletown

Published: Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 2:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 2:01 p.m.

MIAMI Since 2006, it really has been great to be a Florida Gator.

First, there was the NCAA men's basketball championship won by UF that April. The next January, the football team followed up with a BCS title of its own. Three months later, Billy Donovan's guys won their second straight.

And then there was Thursday night.

The Gators defeated Oklahoma, 24-14, at Dolphin Stadium on Thursday night to give the football team its second BCS championship in three seasons.

Most outstanding offensive player Tim Tebow who would have been the fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12, according to OU cornerback Dominique Franks showed why teammate Percy Harvin said after the win "you give me a championship (game) and I'll take Tebow over anybody."

In putting up 340 all-purpose yards, Tebow more than fulfilled the promise he made Sept. 27 after a 31-30 loss to Mississippi that no one in the country would play harder than him the rest of the way.

The defense, led by defensive Most Outstanding Player Carlos Dunlap, was stout. It limited a Sooners team that had scored at least 58 points in six straight games, to a pair of touchdowns and 363 total yards.

Some of that effort may have come about from a challenge issued by defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.

"I told them 'if you don't play well, you have a national audience and a national stage and you will get embarrassed,'" Strong said.

Consider all challenges answered.

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