The Gators (5-0, 3-0) have their first quality win under their belt after going to Baton Rouge and taking care of No. 4-ranked LSU 13-3 in the toughest of environments. Urban Meyer took the route he did in the Florida-Tennessee game by not taking any chances and letting the defense win the thing.
Viewers expecting Tim Tebow to come back and lead the Gators to 40 points may have been unimpressed by Florida’s performance Saturday. Yet despite leading by just one score for much of the second half, the outcome never seemed in doubt. Tebow showed no signs of the concussion that sent him to the hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. He finished with 134 passing yards and 36 rushing yards with one touchdown and one INT, but his eight-play, 80-yard drive for the game-winning score will stick out in voters’ minds.
Several LSU players congratulated Tebow after the game. Some LSU players even waited for Tebow to finish some postgame interviews in order to shake his hand and hug him.
“He’s unbelievable,” LSU linebacker Jacob Cutrera said. “You have to keep your eye on him every play.” Tim Tebow doesn’t get to display NFL skills on a regular basis but there’s something to be said about four years of success and stats. (A senior and third-year starter, Tebow has not missed a start since the first game of his sophomore season (32 games).)
The Gators (5-0, 3-0) have won 15 in a row dating back to last season, the nation’s longest winning streak.
“Defensively, it was one of the best efforts I’ve ever seen at containing athletes,” said Meyer, whose Gators have still only given up two touchdowns in five games. LSU’s offense has not scored so few points at home since a 31-0 loss to Alabama in 2002.
UF’s jailbreak defense, which returned every starter and virtually every backup from last season’s national championship team, is now the best in the country. The Gators are ranked No. 1 nationally in four major defensive categories: scoring (6.4 points per game), total defense (202.60 yards per game), passing defense (115.2 ypg) and pass-efficiency defense (78.32 opponents’ quarterback rating). Florida is ranked 11th nationally in rushing defense (87.4 ypg) and second in first-downs allowed (12.4 per game).
Brandon Spikes, the senior All-American, earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week after catapulting the Gators to a 13-3 victory over LSU with his best performance of the season.
Between them, the Florida and Alabama defenses gave up just one third-down conversion Saturday.