25 Best Moments in The Swamp: No. 18 — The first jump pass

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Florida quarterback Tim Tebow throws a touchdown pass to Tate Casey (84) in the final seconds of the second quarter to make it 14-7 Florida. UF played their homecoming game against LSU on Oct. 7, 2006 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Doug Engle/Staff photographer]

It was June of 1992 when Steve Spurrier, fresh off Florida’s first official SEC title, called The Sun columnist Mike Bianchi with a new name for the stadium that would eventually bear his name.

The Swamp. 

In the years that followed, there have been some unbelievable games and players. Sun writers Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu came up with their rankings of the 25 best moments since 1992 when Spurrier gave it that moniker.

No. 18 — Oct. 7, 2006

The first jump pass

The set-up: It was typical Florida-LSU in that both teams were ranked in the top 10 (Florida 5th and LSU 9th) and the stadium was buzzing with CBS in the house. The Gators scored on a 1-yard run by Tim Tebow, but LSU tied it heading into the last part of the first half.

The moment: Florida lined up for a second-and-goal with only 28 seconds left in the half after a long drive that included a 3-and-15 conversion by quarterback Chris Leak. Tebow was in the game and everyone expected a run up the middle, but the freshman stopped at the line and rose to try a jump pass. Tight end Tate Casey was the target, but he struggled to get free at the line. Tebow hesitated in mid-air, gave it a double pump and finally lofted the ball to Casey, who caught it stumbling to the ground in the end zone.

The result: Tebow would throw a second-half TD pass to Louis Murphy so he accounted for all three touchdowns in a 23-10 win, as Florida went to 6-0 for the first time in 10 years. The Gators would go on to win their second national title that season. Tebow took his first step toward legendary status in this game.

The quote: “We used that play to win the Mountain West title against Air Force in 2003. We didn’t have it in for the first year at Florida, because we didn’t have that style of quarterback. But once we had Tim, we put it back in the offense. 

“It was right before halftime and Urban (Meyer) called time-out. It was the perfect time to run it, because you are looking for the right moment and that was it, right before halftime. Of course, Tate not getting a release and stumbling added to the drama.” — UF coach Dan Mullen, then Florida’s offensive coordinator. 

Editor’s note: You have one Swamp game moment that comes to mind? Tell us what it is.Maybe it’s already on our Top 25 list. We’ll update readers on top moments from fans as the countdown proceeds.

3 COMMENTS

  1. If memory is still good on this I almost remember that Casey could have been held in his move. Was a great Tebow highlight and traveling is a good bb call. The jump pass has been done a lot over the last few years but none where as memorable as this one.