Despite a subpar game from quarterback Tim Tebow and a determined effort from the host Mississippi State Bulldogs, the Florida Gators remained undefeated by scrapping out a 29-19 victory. Florida led by only 3 points at halftime before pulling away in the fourth quarter. The usually efficient and accurate Tebow had two touchdowns returned for interceptions and passed for only 127 yards with no touchdowns. The usually accommodating Tebow left the stadium without speaking to reporters, clearly upset with his performance. Florida improved to 7-0 while Mississippi State dropped to 3-5.
College football betting enthusiasts who took the +22′ with Mississippi State as a home underdog enjoyed an easy pointspread cover. The Bulldogs improved their ATS record to 4-3 with the cover, while Florida evened their college football pointspread record to 3-3. The 48 combined points scored just managed to stay UNDER the posted total of 50.
While Tebow wasn’t talking, head coach Urban Meyer accepted much of the blame for his team’s substandard performance:
“I did not coach well tonight. I put Tim in some tough situations. As an offense, we’re not well right now. Tim’s not trying to be a hero. But we might be asking him to do too much.”
The Gators’ are 76th in the nation in red zone efficiency, and Meyer took the blame for that fact as well:
“The problem is they’ve got a coach that wants to score so damn bad that he’s pressing them and some of those guys aren’t ready for that.”
Defensive end Pernell McPhee gave Tebow fits all night and talked about his team’s effort after the game:
“We knew they liked to get the ball to Tebow there. I felt like we frustrated them and made them do some new things they did not usually do tonight. They got in the I formation tonight and that is the first time I have ever seen them do that.”
Florida led by only 3 points heading into the final quarter but used a Chris Raney 8 yard rush and a Dustin Doe interception return for a touchdown to open up some breathing room. Jonathan Banks cut into the lead for Mississippi State late in the game with an interception return for touchdown of his own.
The Gators face a tough challenge next weekend as they enter into their matchup against University of Georgia-what used to be known as ‘The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party’ until officials of both schools thought that portrayed a negative (though largely accurate) image of the colleges. They’ll face Vanderbilt the next week before heading to Columbia, SC for a game against the University of South Carolina and their longtime coach Steve Spurrier. Mississippi State will play at Kentucky next weekend before a bye week. They’ll return to action on November–th at home against the University of Alabama.