• 43°

College Football: Florida 13, LSU 3

By Ralph Russo
Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. ó Tim Tebow arrived at raucous Death Valley ready to play. Then No. 1 Florida’s defense left No. 4 LSU in a daze.
Two weeks after suffering a concussion, Tebow ó with plenty of help from the Gators’ swarming defense ó silenced the largest crowd in the history of Tiger Stadium with a 13-3 victory Saturday night.
The day began with Tebow’s status uncertain for what looked like the defending national champions’ toughest regular-season test.
By the time it was over, Tebow had thrown a touchdown pass and Brandon Spikes had led a Florida defense that sacked Jordan Jefferson five times.
“I’m feeling great,” Tebow said. “The doctors did a great job. I just want to thank them for the work they put in on me the last two weeks, our trainers, and then all the fans that were praying for me.”
Most of the 93,129 fans who partied all day and roared like a jet engine after kickoff were heading for the exits with 21/2 minutes left, quiet and dejected.
Florida (5-0, 3-0 SEC) has won 15 straight games, the best in the nation. LSU (5-1, 3-1) had its 32-game winning streak in Saturday night home games snapped.
Tebow completed 11 of 16 passes for 134 yards with an interception, and ran for 38 yards on 17 carries. Far from his best game, but more than good enough.
After a conservative start, he bounced off tacklers, scrambled away from pass rushers and generally looked like the guy Florida fans have grown to adore and SEC defenses have not quite figured out how to stop.
“On offense, we didn’t execute the best but we played really hard,” Tebow said.
When he was done beating the Tigers, several of them waited around for him to finish an interview so they could shake his hand at midfield.
The LSU offense looked all too familiar as well. The Tigers came in ranked last in the SEC in total offense and managed only 162 yards. They never even threatened to score in the second half.
The Tebow mystery ó would he play or sit for the first time in his college career ó raised the drama for a game that hardly needed a subplot to energize the LSU fans. The last time two teams so highly ranked played at Tiger Stadium was 1959, when No. 1 LSU played No. 3 Mississippi.
Tebow took a double-shot to the head ó front and back ó against Kentucky two weeks ago. He spent the night in a Lexington hospital. During part of the Gators’ week off, he was not even permitted to watch TV.
He returned to practice on Tuesday, but Florida made it clear it would take all the time it had to decide whether their star would play.
“You know Tim,” coach Urban Meyer said. “It was, ‘Let me play. Let me play.’ Nonstop.”
Tebow was cleared to play before he arrived at Tiger Stadium.
He was the last Gator off the team bus, drawing wild cheers from Florida fans and the loudest “Tiger Bait” taunts from the LSU fans.
He was the last Florida player to jog on the field for pregame warmups. He chugged out of the tunnel to cheers from the Florida fans.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds