Tebow frustrated with play


Tim Tebow looks up to the media board to watch a replay of his interception in the fourth quarter of their game against Mississippi State.

Tricia Coyne/Staff photographer
Published: Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 26, 2009 at 12:00 a.m.

Following an atypically subpar performance in Saturday’s 29-19 victory at Mississippi State, Tim Tebow was not made available to speak to the media.

On his Sunday morning conference call with reporters, Gator coach Urban Meyer said his ultra-competitive senior quarterback was not happy with the outing.

“He’s very frustrated,” Meyer said. “He’s used to playing at a certain level.”

Against the Bulldogs, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner completed 12-of-22 passes for 127 yards, no touchdowns and a pair of interceptions freshman safety Johnthan Banks returned 100 and 20 yards for scores.

For the game Tebow had a passing efficiency rating of 84.85. His previous low this season was 114 against Tennessee and his average is 151.33.

Meyer said Tebow’s reliance on favorite targets Aaron Hernandez (five receptions for 32 yards) and Riley Cooper (four catches for 63 yards) is something that has to change for the offense to improve. No other player caught more than one pass.

“There’s no chemistry issue (between Tebow and the other receivers),” Meyer said. “We just need to do a better job spreading it around a bit.”

Even with work to do, Meyer said he is confident Tebow will rebound.

“I’m not worried about Tim,” Meyer said. “He’s a very secure grown man.”

SPECIAL GROUP: Meyer praised the Gators’ play on special teams against Mississippi State.

Caleb Sturgis made three of his four field goal attempts, Chas Henry averaged 43.2 yards on four punts and Chris Rainey blocked his second punt of the season (William Green recovered on the MSU 7).

Meyer said 15 special teamers are playing at a champion’s level. He specifically pointed out Dee Finley, Adrian Bushell, David Nelson, Joe Haden Carlos Dunlap and Rainey.

Of Dunlap, who added three sacks at defensive end, Meyer said “boy, he played great Saturday.”

EXTRA POINTS: Meyer said tailback Jeff Demps sprained his neck against MSU, but should be OK by Wednesday. Defensive lineman Brandon Antwine also re-injured his shoulder. Meyer did not say whether the injury would keep Antwine out of action, but did add UF expects its injured defensive linemen Lawrence Marsh and Jaye Howard, as well as linebacker Brandon Spikes, back for the Georgia game. ... On the plane flight back from Starkville, Meyer said receiver Riley Cooper and safety Major Wright talked about how the Georgia game is their favorite each year. ... Meyer said he has spoken with his players about the best ways to word answers when talking to the media. He said the team has great chemistry and he doesn’t want that affected by someone misspeaking on an answer or misconstruing a question. ... Meyer said receiver Frankie Hammond “made a good push” in practice last week. ... Meyer said his thoughts haven’t wandered towards a potential meeting with Alabama in the SEC Championship Game - “not once,” he said.

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