A sun-splashed crowd of 47,500 gathered in the “The Swamp” for a glimpse of the 2007 defending national champion Florida football team. Quarterback
Tim Tebow led the Blue squad to a 27-21 victory over the Orange.
Tebow completed 17 of 27 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore seemingly made all of the correct reads and ran the the Florida offense as sound as you’d expect for a young player with only a spring under his belt as the starter.
“I am very pleased with that scrimmage,” Meyer said. “I was very pleased with the way Tim Tebow managed the offense…Just the way he’s thrown the short ball has been very impressive and the way that he gets the ball out. His last week and a half were tremendous. He’s ready to go. Tim Tebow is ready to go play quarterback for Florida.”
He also ran for 41 yards on just eight carries. Tebow worked behind an offensive line that consisted predominantly of second teamers, including Jim Barrie, Corey Hobbs, Kyle Newell, Brad Hiers, and the Pouncey twins.
Junior wide receiver Louis Murphy was Tebow’s favorite target. Murphy hauled in eight passes for 129 yards. Perhaps most impressive was Murphy’s concentration on the task at hand. He caught two passes down the sidelines with a cornerback in good position. However, Murphy took possession of the football and made the big catch.
“Louis Murphy earned a spot as a starting wide receiver at Florida,” Meyer stated. “I thought that he had a heck of a day and a heck of a spring. He’s been battling injuries and he’s really grown up. I’m very proud of him.”
The Blue also churned up 139 yards on the ground. They were led by sophomore reserve running back Chevon Walker who finished as the leading rusher in the game with 74 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
The Orange struggled throughout the first half. In fact, they trailed 27-0 at the intermission.
Sophomore Jarred Fayson caught Meyer’s eye as a playmaker. Fayson hauled in five passes for 75 yards. He also had one carry for two yards, but that play could just as easily been for a loss.
“I think Jarred Fayson has also earned a spot as a starting wide receiver.,” Meyer said in his post game press conference. “He’s going to be a slash utility player for us, running the ball as well.”
True freshman Cameron Newton did not fare well at all in the first half completing just 7 of 13 passes for 78 yards. With some adjustments courtesy of the coaching staff, Newton hit 13 of 17 for 197 yards and a touchdown in the second half.
“I was very disappointed in Cameron Newton in the first half,” Meyer added. “However, second half (improved). That’s the first time in front of that kind of crowd. That’s where we’ve got an advantage getting these young players ready to play in front of these kind of crowds in the SEC and what they’re going to be exposed to. I think having that opportunity is invaluable. That’s why we kept it going with Cameron. You can’t simulate that and we obviously don’t want him to play like in the first game when he plays.”
Junior David Nelson led the Orange with eight receptions for 90 yards. Redshirt freshman Justin Williams had four catches for 55 yards.
Sophomore running back Brandon James found little in the way of running room against the (Orange ) first team defensive front seven. He had nine carries for just 15 yards and a score. He caught two passes for 46 yards, including a spectacular 39 yard catch and run for his second score with James finishing by taking off his helmet and bowing to the crowd in the North End Zone.
The Florida Sports Information department said that tickets were still being sold well after the start of the contest in part because of a deadly accident on I-75.
We’ll have a much more on the Orange and Blue Game throughout the weekend.