Tim Tebow keys Broncos victory on Gator Day

By Adam Silverstein
October 23, 2011

Inefficient for three-and-a-half quarters on Sunday in South Florida, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow engineered two touchdowns drives in just over five minutes to tie the Miami Dolphins 15-15 and force an overtime that saw Denver complete an improbable comeback 18-15 victory.

Miami scored the first 15 points of the contest and led late in the fourth quarter before punting the ball away with just over five minutes left in the game.

Though Tebow struggled mightily for most of the game save a few dynamic runs, he engineered an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that cut the Broncos’ deficit nearly in half with over two minutes remaining.

Denver recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, and Tebow once again led his team on a 10-play, 56-yard drive that ended in his second-straight passing touchdown and a two-point conversion that he ran in on a quarterback draw.

Tebow combined to go 9/13 for 121 yards on those two drives for and also ran the ball twice for nine yards not counting his game-tying conversion. He finished 13/27 for 161 yards with eight carries for 65 yards and a quarterback rating of 91.7.

All of this occurred as the Dolphins hosted Gator Day at the stadium, a special celebration that honored the 2008 national championship team at halftime of the game. Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer was in attendance and spoke during the celebration, calling his team “one of the greatest in college football history.”

The occasion also featured a performance from the Pride of the Sunshine marching band and an appearance by more than two dozen former players. Miami handed the University of Florida a $25,000 check for their scholarship fund, and the band even played the Dolphins’ fight song as halftime was coming to a close.

Meyer was on Denver’s sideline before the game and stood on Miami’s sideline for the duration of the game, including in the waning minutes of the contest.

Following the contest, Tebow, Meyer, Dolphins center Mike Pouncey and the other former UF players in attendance had the opportunity to meet briefly on the field and exchange pleasantries (picture).

Tebow and the Gators got a mixed reception throughout the course of the afternoon. He was booed early by the crowd but chants of “Tebow, Tebow” were audible both late in the fourth quarter and at the end of the game. Meyer and the former Florida players were booed heavily during the halftime celebration, which lasted approximately six minutes.

While the crowd was obviously made up of mostly Dolphins fans, thousands of Tebow jerseys could be spotted in the stands. There were, of course, other fans wearing non-Tebow Broncos jerseys and others donning non-Tebow Gators jerseys.

[EXPAND Click to expand for some photos and post-game quotes]Some of the players in attendance (in alphabetical order):
Markihe Anderson, Brandon Antwine, Tate Casey, Lorenzo Edwards, Javier Estopinan, Brandon Hicks, A.J. Jones, Bobby Kane, Kestahn Moore, Kyle Newell, Jonathan Phillips, Butch Rowley, Terron Sanders, Ryan Stamper

Thanks to Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson for sending along the photos.

POST-GAME QUOTES

Tebow: “You can’t lose confidence in yourself, or you’ve lost already. When you get knocked down, you’ve got to keep getting back up.”

Pouncey: “It’s tough to say, but man, Timmy did a great job. Hopefully the critics will get off him about what he can’t do and talk about the things that he can do, and that’s figure out a way to win the game, no matter what.”[/EXPAND]

15 Comments

  1. GatorsAlumLA says:

    It sounded like a very hostile, anti-Gator crowd.

    You stay classy Miami.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    rough start for him, but how does a QB get off to a good start when halfway through the 3rd qtr he only threw 6 passes? How do you get into a rhythm at all? Great way to end it, though. Tough, never gives up, doesn’t care what other people think.

  3. scooterp says:

    Nice to see, especially when Fox/Elway are doing everything they can to allow him to fail.

  4. blippman says:

    Urban watched the whole game from the Dolphins sideline 30 yd line and the only times he ever moved from that spot were halftime where he went to midfield and end of the game…and Tebow had more than 6 passes after the 1st quarter?? Tebow is just a winner he’s not a great nfl qb but he knows how to win games I wouldn’t say they are setting him up to fail but it doesn’t help when you trade away your best receiver (in their defense he was about to be a FA and wouldn’t have resigned)

  5. John S says:

    What a turn around, he played terrible for 90% of the game, one of his worst performances ever. You could tell the commentators were licking their chops. Then he orchestrates a come back, evading another three sacks and delivering clutch throws. Unfortunately, you could see disappointment in the Denver coaching staff.

    What a crazy game…hang in there Tebow.

    • El Meester says:

      Dude, come on. I thought the commentators called the game exactly the way we all saw it. You can’t deny that Tebow looked absolutely terrible for most of the game. When Tebow led the Broncos back, they gave him full credit for it. “The Broncos and Tebow win!” I believe was what the color guy said when the field goal went through. The disappointment in the Denver coaching staff? Seriously, what are you referring to? Look at the 2nd video at 1:05 and tell me that’s disappointment.

      I love Tebow and I want him to succeed as much as the next UF alum. I agree that there are a TON of haters out there, but don’t make a hater out of those who aren’t.

      Go Timmy! Go Gators!

      • John S says:

        I said he was terrible. By commentators I mean the halftime and post game studio summaries. I thought the fellas calling the game were actually pro Tebow (they needed to be, only people watching this would be there for the Tebow element). You could tell that they had prepared a non-highlight film with all of his bad throws and sacks, and they looked disappointed because they couldn’t use it after he got the win. I think Tebow is the most hated player in the league, who else (anyone) receives as much criticism as he does? It’s not my imagination.

        I’m rooting for him, but Fox looks frustrated and stuck to me.

  6. Gator John says:

    I think Tim was a little too hyped up for this game and wanted to prove himself so badly, that he pressed too much. He made some horrible throws early, which is probably why he only had so many attempts the first half. Plus his offensive line didn’t do him any favors. The last 5 minutes, his receivers helped him out alot by making some difficult catches. Don’t get me wrong, I really want to see him succeed, but he still has a long way to go. This was a storybook win and will only add to his mystique. Go Gators!

    • Ken (CA) says:

      he was actually 4/5 at one point, all very short passes, though. then he threw about 3 more passes total (all incompleete) until about midway through the third.then when they opened it up, how was he supposed to be in any kind of rhythm at all? It’s like Boom bringing in Driskel to do nothing but handoff all year, then expecting him to come in against Bama and have any in-game accuracy at all.

  7. Daniel M. says:

    Denver lined up in the spread when they went for the tying 2-point conversion. Not many teams, if any, can try that in the NFL. That is what I would call the Tim Tebow factor.

    If the O-lineman hold their blocks, that formation is a very high percentage play as there were no LB’s back there. I guess defenses will adjust to that in the future. As it was though, that play was a slam dunk and it is a direct result of having Tim Tebow.

  8. aziatic41 says:

    TIm Tebow is a winner. Theres nothing more you can say about this guy besides that at the end of the day. Playing qb is not all about arm strength and accuracy. The “most important” thing about playing qb is “leading” your team to victories, and that is what Tebow has done his entire career.

  9. HardToKillGator says:

    The Tebow haters look at him and see everything they aren’t and run him down to build their self worth back up. How pitiful.

  10. jay d says:

    Vintage tebow…but unless he recieves some help from his o-line and recievers…it might not get better than what we saw which put into perspective…a come from behind win agaisnt miami …arguably the worst team in the NFL..hopefully fox realized after this game he will have to tailor the offense to fit tebows strengths..untill other players start to step up

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