A sweet finish for UF football

Published: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 2:20 a.m.

NEW ORLEANS - For a game so many Gator fans chose not to attend, the ones who were in the Louisiana Superdome didn't want to leave Friday night.

Gator fans stayed well past the end of the Sugar Bowl, chanting coach Urban Meyer's name and roaring approval with his every word.

Especially when he said he plans to be back to coach the Gators.

No. 5 Florida handily beat No. 4 Cincinnati 51-24 in a fitting end to the unparalleled career of these Florida seniors.

"They cemented their legacy," Meyer said.

Florida became the first Division-I school to win 13 games in consecutive seasons.

"When we practice like we did, that's a hard team to beat," Meyer said.

Meyer didn't indicate that there were any changes in his plans for the future, that he plans to take his leave of absence.

"In my gut, I feel like I'll be back in the fall," he said.

Florida blitzed previously unbeaten Cincinnati (12-1) with a 30-point first half despite a blocked extra point and a missed field goal.


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Tebow's statistics in the first half were mind-blowing. He completed 20 of 23 passes for 320 yards and threw three touchdown passes.

The third was the real dagger, a perfect strike to roommate Riley Cooper one play after Cincinnati scored on a field goal. The play covered 80 yards, Florida's second longest ever in a bowl game.

Tebow later broke Rex Grossman's eight-year-old UF record for passing yards in a game and set the BCS bowl total offense record.

He added a rushing touchdown with 2:06 remaining in the third quarter.

Tebow finished with 482 passing yards as Florida tied its BCS record for total yards in a game with 659. Tebow was named Most Valuable Player, one final piece of hardware as a college player.

It was quite a finale for the senior.

Well after the awards ceremony, Tebow emerged from the locker room for one final victory lap, slapping hands with Gator fans one last time.

At the postgame podium, Meyer said he wasn't sure what he would be doing in the upcoming days.

"You better be getting ready to get beat in some golf," Tebow said.

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