Streaks and records following Florida vs. FSU

- Defeating the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, the No. 1 Florida Gators posted a 12-0 regular-season record for the first time in school history. The Gators also extended their nation-leading, school-record win streak to 22 games, 21 of which have been by a double digit margin.

- Florida won their sixth straight game against Florida State, outscoring them 182-58 since 2006 under head coach Urban Meyer. The Gators are now 33-19-2 all-time against the Seminoles, holding a 20-8-1 record at home in The Swamp.

- 90,907 fans attended the Florida-Florida State game on Saturday, a new Ben Hill Griffin Stadium record.

- The Gators 2009 senior class, the winningest senior class in Southeastern Conference history, improved to 47-6 in their careers, two games better than the previous record.

- Florida’s defense held their opponent to under 100 rushing yards for the fourth straight game and ninth in 2009.

- The Gators were 10-for-13 on third-down conversions, while the defense held the Seminoles to only 2-of-11 in the same scenario.

- Struggling in the red zone early in the season, Florida is now 11-of-14 in the red zone over the past three games. Two of the three empty possessions were the Gators running out the clock. On Saturday, Florida was 4-for-4 in red zone opportunities.

- The Gators have only yielded 11 touchdowns in 2009, with two coming on pick-sixes. This is four fewer than the next lowest total in the nation. Florida has allowed a mere 118 points in 12 games (9.8 average), also good for lowest in the nation.

- A 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter was the Gators’ longest of the season. It resulted in an 18-yard rushing TD by senior quarterback Tim Tebow.

- Tebow broke QB Chris Leak‘s SEC and Florida total offensive yards records, bringing his career total to 11,389 yards after a 311 combined yardage performance.

- Senior kick returner Brandon James broke the SEC career kickoff return record with the 108th of his career on Saturday.

- Sophomore running back Jeff Demps tied his career long with a 62-yard run on Saturday. He topped 100 yards for the third time in his career (106).

- Redshirt freshman cornerback Adrian Bushell made his first career interception on Florida State’s last play of the game.

- 25 seniors were honored before the game on Senior Day. The class’ numerous accomplishments can be found here.

- The Gators wore special Nike Pro Combat uniforms for the game.

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Gator Bites for Sunday, November 29th

From time to time, OGGOA will come across too many news items we want to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

- On NBC’s Football Night in America, Peter King said he spoke to 17 NFL general managers about Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Asking them where they projected him being drafted, King said the average came out to No. 33 overall. However, two coaches of winning teams told King that he would not get past their pick in the first round. No surprise there. Almost the entire group of commentators on The OT on FOX agreed that Florida will beat the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday. Some claimed the Gators were poised to win the National Championship while others said Tebow deserves the Heisman Trophy.

- Rolling up 545 yards of total offense on the Florida State Seminoles, the Gators unit looks the most comfortable it has the entire season. Consider the fact that it rolled up 584 yards against the Florida International Golden Panthers the week prior.

Be sure to check out the seven additional Gator Bites after the jump…
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Sunday, November 29th

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Tebow shines as Gators top ‘Noles on Senior Day

Senior quarterback Tim Tebow knew his farewell in The Swamp was going to be an emotional one. What he may not have known was that his sendoff would include a five-touchdown performance en route to a 37-10 No. 1 Florida Gators (12-0, 8-0 SEC) victory over the in-state rival Florida State Seminoles (6-6, 4-4 ACC). The win marked Florida’s sixth straight against Florida State, their 20th all-time in Gainesville, FL.

Tebow went 17-for-21 for 221 yards and three touchdowns through the air, also rushing 15 times for 90 yards and two TDs in front of a Ben Hill Griffin Stadium-record crowd of 90,907. His numbers moved him into sole possession of the Southeastern Conference and Florida records in total offense with 11,389 career yards. He, along with the 24 other seniors, won their 47th career game, extending their dominance as the winningest senior class in SEC history. The win was the Gators’ 22nd consecutive victory and 12th of the season, marking the first time that the Orange and Blue has posted a 12-0 regular season record.

Junior tight end Aaron Hernandez was Tebow’s favorite target on Saturday, registering five receptions for 83 yards and two TDs. His two scores came on pitches, one of which he took for 37 yards into the end zone. Hernandez then threw the ball into the stands, a common move by players who score in their final home game. Sophomore running back Jeff Demps shined in the backfield, totaling 106 yards on seven carries with a career-tying long of 62. Redshirt sophomore RB Chris Rainey was also impressive, earning 73 yards on eight carries with a long of 45. Tebow had a dynamic 47-yard run of his own, but fumbled the ball at the conclusion of the play, turning it over to Florida State.

The Gators took a 30-0 lead into the end of the third quarter, when Seminoles kicker Dustin Hopkins hit a 20-yard field goal to end the shutout. FSU also scored on a nine-yard pass from QB E.J. Manuel to wide receiver Jarmon Forston against Florida’s second-string defense with 6:03 left in the fourth. Aside from those scores, the Gators defense dominated the Seminoles. Senior linebacker Ryan Stamper and junior Brandon Hicks each registered seven tackles, though two of Hicks’ were for a loss. He also forced a fumble and had two sacks on the afternoon. Junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap had three tackles (one for a loss) and a sack, while junior cornerback Joe Haden and freshman Adrian Bushell each nabbed an interception.

Florida will take on the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0 SEC) in the 2009 SEC Championship on Saturday at 4 p.m. from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA.

Senior Day Celebration: Watch

Urban Meyer Postgame Press Conference: Watch

Tim Tebow Postgame Press Conference: Watch

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Week 13: No. 1 Florida Gators vs. FSU Seminoles

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Time: 3:30 p.m. (EST)
Weather Forecast: 60°F – Partly Sunny

TV: CBS / CBSHD
Online: CBSSports.com.
Sirius: 218; XM: 201

Florida Gators Florida State Seminoles
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Bobby Bowden
Record: 11-0 (8-0) Record: 6-5 (4-4)
Division: SEC East Division: ACC Atlantic
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -24.5, O/U 56
Head-to-Head Stats: Gainesville Sun

KEEP AN EYE ON…
- Florida’s 2009 senior class…who set the Southeastern Conference record for winningest class with their 46th win last Saturday and will be honored on Senior Day. 25 seniors will be playing their last game in The Swamp, and the University of Florida has set aside 10 minutes prior to the game to recognize each player.
- Senior quarterback Tim Tebow…who has already broken the SEC rushing touchdown record (Herschel Walker, Georgia) and touchdowns-scored record (Kevin Faulk, LSU) with 54, set the SEC career record for rushing yards by a QB with 2,743 and has a 169.3 career rating good for No. 1 in conference history.
- Senior defensive end Jermaine Cunningham…who leads the team with seven sacks.
- Senior linebacker Ryan Stamper…who is tops on the Gators with 64 tackles.
- Senior kick returner Brandon James…who set the SEC record for kickoff return yards last week with 2,538 yards on 105 returns. He has also set the SEC all-time kick return mark (combined) with 3,930 yards and all-time punt return mark with 1,339 yards.

STREAKS:
- The Gators are in the middle of the longest winning streak in school history with 21 consecutive victories. They also hold the longest active winning streak in the NCAA and the best in the nation in the last 15 years. 20 of Florida’s 21 wins have been by a double digit margin. The team is also 11-0 for the second time in school history.
- The Gators lead the SEC in rushing offense (229.9) and third-down efficiency (.475). They also come in No. 2 in total offense (442.8) and scoring offense (36.5). Florida’s offense is one of two teams nationally that has posted at least 2,500 rushing yards and 2,300 passing yards (TCU).
- On defense, the Gators have only surrendered ten touchdowns all season (fewest of any team in the nation). The unit has also only allowed 13 field goals for a total of 108 points (9.8 points per game) – this also leads the nation.
- Florida has held three straight opponents and seven this season under 100 yards rushing.
- The Gators lead the all-time series against the Seminoles 32-19-2 with a 19-8-1 record in Gainesville, FL. UF has also won the last five consecutive meetings between the schools with a 90-27 combined margin of victory over that time span.

SENIORS:
The Gators 2009 senior class is the winningest class in SEC history with a 46-6 record in their time in the Orange and Blue. However, that is not the only accomplishment the class has made in the last four years. The senior class has:

Three All-Americans – Five All-SEC Members – 12 SEC Academic Honor Roll Members – Two SEC Championships – Three SEC Eastern Division titles – Two National Championships – 27-5 SEC record – 25-2 record at The Swamp – 14-3 (.823) vs. ranked teams, the top winning pct. for a UF senior class – 11-1 vs. rivals (Tennessee, Georgia, Florida State and Miami) – National Defensive POY – Heisman Trophy Winner

* Markihe Anderson – #14 – CB – Fort Myers, Fla.
* Jim Barrie – #68 – OL – Tampa, Fla.
* Andrew Blaylock – #14 – QB – Durham, N.C.
* Rick Burgess – #48 – FB – Jupiter, Fla.
* Christopher Coleman – #84 – TE – Lake City, Fla.
* Riley Cooper – #11 – WR – Clearwater, Fla.
* Dustin Doe – #32 – LB – Jasper, Fla.
* Jermaine Cunningham – #49 – DE – Stone Mountain, Ga.
* Troy Epps – #98 – DT – Union, S.C.
* John Fairbanks – #59 – LS – Celebration, Fla.
* Michael Guilford – #46 – QB – Quincy, Fla.
* Corey Hobbs – #79 – OL – Oviedo, Fla.
* Cade Holliday – #22 – WR – Gainesville, Fla.
* Brandon James – #25 – ATH – St. Augustine, Fla.
* Dorian Munroe – #20 – S – Miami, Fla.
* David Nelson – #83 – WR – Wichita Falls, Texas
* Jonathan Phillips – #38 – K – Wellington, Fla.
* Wondy Pierre-Louis – #4 – CB – Naples, Fla.
* Chris Pintado – #30 – LB – Miami, Fla.
* Christopher Scott – #29 – RB – Englewood, Fla.
* Joey Sorrentino – #39 – WR – Ocala, Fla.
* Brandon Spikes – #51 – LB – Shelby, N.C.
* Ryan Stamper – #41 – LB – Jacksonville, Fla.
* Tim Tebow – #15 – QB – Jacksonville, Fla.
* Mike Williamson – #53 – LS – Winter Park, Fla.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. FSU Seminoles preview after the jump…

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TWO BITS: Gators, ‘Noles gear up for showdown

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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FOUR BITS: Meyer to NFL? Bowden’s last trip? Tebow’s legacy. ’06 class. Hobbs quits.

1 » Speculation surrounded Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s future this week, forcing him to (for the third time in six months) declare he has no intention of coaching the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and plans to remain in Gainesville, FL. Would that declaration stop the talk of Meyer leaving? Of course not. Now we have Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com telling Gators fans that Meyer’s next destination will be the NFL and the Dallas Cowboysas soon as next year. While we here at OGGOA do believe the NFL is in Meyer’s future, we see him as the future successor to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick…half a decade from now.

2 » While on the subject of coaching, plenty is being said about Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden this week. One article focuses on the fact that Saturday’s game will probably be Bowden’s last trip to The Swamp. “[I’ve thought about it] a little bit,” Bowden said. “Not enough to distract me. But I’ve thought about it, yeah. Thought about how this might even be the last time I’m ever in Gainesville.” Another explains how Bowden never had a chance in recruiting Florida senior quarterback Tim Tebow. “We never had a chance,” he said. “Mom and dad went there, and I remember Bob Tebow saying that since Tim was little, that he wanted to play at Florida. To me, it was cut and dried.”

3 » With Tebow closing out his career, there are four years of memories and accomplishments to look back on. The Palm Beach Post writes that Tebow will leave a strong impression on Gator Nation and the state of Florida long after he has graduated. Everyone from teammates, coaches, teachers and school officials to analysts, ministers, mothers and even Governor Charlie Christ seems to agree. For a guy’s whose career is already unparalleled, Tebow will have success in life even if it is not in the NFL.

4 » Following up on our BIT from Thursday about the massive success of the 2006 recruiting class, the Gainesville Sun has gone as far as to declare it “the greatest recruiting class in school history – and one of the greatest in the history of college football.” One member of that class is redshirt junior offensive lineman Corey Hobbs, a four-star recruit who has only seen action in 11 games in his Florida career. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting Hobbs has decided to quit the football team following this season. Hobbs, who will be honored on Senior Day along with some of his other teammates, has decided to begin law school next semester.

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FOUR BITS: FSU smack talk, ’06 recruits, updates

1 » Florida Gators fans who follow recruiting closely will certainly know the name Greg Reid. For those of who don’t, Reid was a four-star cornerback who committed to Florida but eventually turned his back on the Gators to sign with the Florida State Seminoles this year. Now that he is set to play Florida for the first time, Reid is spouting off at the mouth about UF and head coach Urban Meyer. “Hopefully they’ll punt the ball to me,” Reid said. “I ain’t scared of [Meyer], I ain’t afraid of him. I know he wants to kind of get some payback. So I hope he brings it. I hope they punt the ball to me maybe three or four times. Out of them, I’m gonna take one to the house, I know that.” On decommitting from the Gators, Reid continued talking. “It was kind of disappointing. [Meyer] was talking to me like Florida was the world. But, I mean, I don’t too much like cockiness.” Are you saying Meyer is cocky? “I ain’t afraid to say that.” The last Seminole to talk smack of this level against Florida was linebacker Geno Hayes. “Tim Tebow’s going down,” Hayes said in 2007. “The bigger they are, the harder the fall. Hopefully we can go out there and shatter his dream.” In case you need a reminder of Tebow’s response, here it is:

2 » Florida State running back Jermaine Thomas, who injured his ribs last Saturday against the Maryland Terrapins, is “100 percent” for the Florida game on Saturday. However, the Seminoles will already be playing without three starters as quarterback Christian Ponder and tight end Caz Piuowski are out and left guard Rodney Hudson is “very doubtful” for for the game.

3 » Meyer has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, especially the fact that his 2006 recruiting class appears to be the best ever assembled at Florida. Consisting of Tebow, linebackers Brandon Spikes and A.J. Jones, wide receivers Percy Harvin and Riley Cooper, offensive linemen Carl Johnson and Marcus Gilbert, defensive lineman Jermaine Cunningham and kick returner Brandon James, it is certainly a worthwhile argument. “There are many guys in that class that have done a great job,” Meyer said.

4 » According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the Gators have strong interest in South Carolina Gamecocks four-star OL commit Eric Mack (St. Matthews, SC). The paper reports that Mack was invited for and accepted an official visit to Gainesville, FL, the same weekend as the North-South game.

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FOUR BITS: Deal, FSU offense, Heisman, cake

1 » Some of you may have noticed the new advertisement in the right column for the OGGOA Gator SportShop. For opening a store with them, th affiliate has decided to provide us with two special promotions to share with OGGOA’s readers. Take advantage of them now before they expire on 11/30/09, especially if you wish to purchase a Tim Tebow jersey or some of the new Nike Pro Combat merchandise. Enjoy!
(1) Free Shipping Over $50 With Coupon Code: FreeShip
(2) 20% Off All Clearance Items (No Coupon).

2 » The Florida State Seminoles may have a 6-5 record, but Florida Gators junior cornerback Joe Haden sees a bunch of talented, athletic players that pose a threat to his team’s 21-game winning streak. “They look a lot better than 6-5,” Haden said. “They have athletes. A couple of plays here and there and they could have a lot better record than they have now. They have the same athletes [they used to have]. Their record isn’t as good, but they have the players. Head coach Urban Meyer agrees. “There is a lot of concern. [E.J. Manuel] is a really athletic guy, and they’re running a lot of triple option. What makes FSU dangerous is their athletes.”

3 » Senior quarterback Tim Tebow continues to lose ground in the Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll. Though he accounted for three touchdowns on Saturday, Tebow is in a tie for No. 2 on the list, earning two first-place votes. Ahead of Tebow is Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram (5) while Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy (2) shares the second spot. Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum (1) and Stanford Cardinal RB Toby Gerhart (0) round out the top five. Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking a top five.

4 » Unfortunate circumstances for me this weekend as I will be attending a wedding while the Florida vs. Florida State game is going on. Ironically, another Web site posted on Wednesday what appears to be the absolute greatest wedding cake of all time. Why? Well it is Gators-themed, of course. Check out one of the pictures below, then head over to the original site and find out more about it.

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