Two games in a row now, the Gators have had success in the red zone with quarterback Tim Tebow lining up under center. The Gators scored a touchdown from the formation against Mississippi State two weeks ago, with Chris Rainey taking a hand-off from Tebow and going in untouched from 8 yards out. UF set up a 5-yard TD run by Tebow against Georgia after two consecutive Jeff Demps runs with Tebow under center.
It’s working, so we’ll probably see more of it.
“It’s not the most thrilling, exciting style, but it’s a mindset,” UF coach Urban Meyer said Monday. “We need to be able to do that. With our personnel, we should be able to do that. I’m very pleased with what we’ve done (with Tebow under center). You might see more. I made the comment before the season, if it helps us win a game, we’re going to do it. We’re not in this for other reasons.
“Tim is getting more comfortable under center. The first thing is always ball security, and we’ve got two pretty trustworthy people (Tebow and center Maurkice Pouncey) managing that part of it.”
Tebow went under center in the opening seconds of the third quarter after linebacker A.J. Jones tipped and intercepted a pass, giving the Gators the ball on the Georgia 19. On first down, Demps gained 9 yards. He picked up 5 more on second. Tebow then lined up in the shotgun and scored on an option run.
Tebow said Monday he actually made a mistake by lining up under center when he did.
“I actually was supposed to be in the shotgun,” he said. “I thought the play was called for me to be under center, but it wasn’t. When I got back to the sideline, (the coaches) were saying they didn’t know what to do, should they call a timeout. But we got a 9-yard gain and it ended up being OK.”
Tebow said lining up under center has taken opposing defenses by surprise.
“I think it gives us a different look,” he said. “It’s something teams don’t prepare for a lot against us.”
In the few times Tebow has lined up under center, the Gators have looked like a very good power running team. So, it should be a regular part of the game plan from here on out.