LEXINGTON- Two highly recruited high school quarterbacks, who are now among the best in college football. Both are ranked among the best in the land in total offense and most importantly have their respective teams in the chase for an SEC Eastern Division title. Kentucky’s Andre Woodson and Florida’s Tim Tebow took center stage before a record crowd of 71,024 at Commonwealth Stadium to the tune of 10 touchdowns, 671 passing yards, and the game’s leading rusher. They fired until they ran out of ammunition in a quarterback battle for the ages won by the Gators 45-37.
No quarterback had thrown four or more touchdown passes against a Top 25 team this season. Tebow (4) and Woodson (5) were the first to accomplish the feat and they did so in the same game.
Both quarterbacks displayed tremendous arsenals, using everything their supporting cast had to offer. The young Florida southpaw relied on his powerful legs and strong arm to lead the Gators to an important Eastern Division victory over the ever impressive senior from the Bluegrass State. Neither quarterback turned the ball over, while surgically carving up the other’s defense.
Woodson and the Wildcats scored their final touchdown to close the gap on the final play of the game when he found Keenan Burton for a six yard scoring strike.
“We heard the whistle blow, so everybody on defense stopped,” linebacker Dustin Doe said of the play. “We weren’t quite sure what was going on. We don’t want to give up any touchdowns at any point during a game.”
Still, the defensive coordinators in this game have a lot of work to do. Kentucky torched the Gators defense for the most total yards (512), most yards passing (415), most points (37) of the season. Thankfully, neither squad is likely to face a quarterback on the remaining schedule as talented as the player under center today.
Tebow was the game’s leading rusher with 78 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown on the ground. He completed 18 of 26 (69%) for 256 yards and four touchdowns. He accounted for 334 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, Woodson connected on 35 of 50 (70%) for 415 yards and five touchdowns. He was sacked six times for -38 yards by the Florida defense. The Wildcats had two receivers haul in eight passes and go over the century mark in receiving yards- Steve Johnson (128) and Dickey Lyons with 124 yards.
“We made a couple of comments throughout the week that we saw this Kentucky team a couple of years ago and that’s one of the best coached teams,” Florida head coach Urban Meyer said. “Rich Brooks is a good friend of mine. Obviously, that offense personnel has greatly improved as well as, the entire team personnel. So, we saw that coming a couple of years ago when we played them here. That was a great win over a quality football team, a very quality football team.”
Tebow hurt his right shoulder. However, he told Meyer that he was fine and ready to go. He didn’t appear to be slowed in any way by any problem.
“He’s as a competitive of a human being as I’ve ever been around,” Meyer said of Tebow. He’s a great leader He gives you a weapon on offense. Someone said, “Can he throw?” Yes, he can throw very well. Eighteen of twenty six for 256 and four touchdowns, And I think the thing that makes Tebow really good too is the fact that he has some very good personnel around him. I don’t want to get on this, Tebow that, Tebow this. He’s got very good personnel around him. Quarterbacks tend to dry up when the personnel around them dries up. We’re protecting him decent, but he’s got some guys outside making plays too.”
This was the best passing demonstration in the country to date. Tebow picked up the win and most definitely added to his already growing reputation. While team objectives are the only ones you’ll hear expressed by the Florida coaches, I envision a post season trip to New York, New York. And maybe trip to Gotham will determine once and for all what kind of pajamas Superman wears.