TWO BITS: Gators, ‘Noles gear up for showdown

By Adam Silverstein
November 27, 2009

1 » Saturday’s Florida Gators vs. Florida State Seminoles game carries a lot of implications. The Gators’ undefeated season and National Championship hopes are on the line. Senior quarterback Tim Tebow and more than a dozen of his teammates will be playing their last game in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Senior Day. Recruits will be in attendance from all across the country to watch both teams play. Above all else, it is the in-state rivalry and familiarity that fuels the passion behind this game. “It’s not solely that if you beat them it makes your season a success,” Tebow said, “but it helps but a smile on your face, that’s for sure.” Senior linebacker Ryan Stamper has even more motivation. “I actually have three high school teammates that play for Florida State,” Stamper said. “So it’s like playing against your friends. You really want to beat them. It’s like a love-hate thing.” Senior wide receiver David Nelson concurs. “Every time you talk to fans, every time you talk to people associated with this program, the one team they really talk about is Florida State,” Nelson said. “It’s bragging rights for a whole year, it helps your recruiting.” The Gators have owned these bragging rights for five straight years, winning its games against the Seminoles by a combined 90-27 in that time span.

2 » If Florida State plans to take down Florida on Saturday, stopping Tebow will be the first thing the defense has to do. Think doing it during the game is tough? FSU has had problems finding someone to replicate Tebow on its scout team for practices leading up to the game. “I guess we can try to find somebody,” safety Jamie Robinson said earlier in the week. “But we haven’t had anybody in the past try to get us a Tim Tebow look.”

Don’t forget: » Florida basketball (4-0) takes on the No. 2/2 Michigan State Spartans (4-0) in the first game of the 2009 Legends Classic Friday night at 8 p.m. OGGOA will have a game story up after the contest is over, though no live coverage will be offered tonight as I am attending a wedding rehearsal dinner. Weak, I know.

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