BREAKING NEWS: Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow cleared to play Saturday by team medical staff

No. 1 Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow has been cleared to play by Florida’s medical staff for Saturday night’s game against No. 4 LSU Tigers, according to Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun. Now the decision of whether or not Tebow will play in the game is left up to head coach Urban Meyer, who informed the Sun of Tebow’s clearance. Early Saturday, Meyer told Tom Rinaldi of ESPN during an interview for College GameDay that, “If Tim is ready to play, cleared to play, we’re going to play him.”

Stay with OGGOA throughout the day for an official announcement from Meyer. LIVE updates during Saturday night’s game will be available via OGGOA on twitter.

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Week 6: No. 1 Florida Gators at No. 4 LSU Tigers

Location: Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, LA [Capacity: 92,400]
Time: 8:00 p.m. (EST)
Weather Forecast: 72-65°F – 40% chance of precipitation

TV: CBS-HD
Sirius XM: XM 215 (Gators), XM 214 (Tigers)

Florida Gators LSU Tigers
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Les Miles
Record: 4-0 (2-0) Record: 5-0 (3-0)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC West
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -9, O/U 45.5
Head-to-Head Stats: Gainesville Sun

KEEP AN EYE ON…
- Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow…who is currently second all-time to former Georgia Bulldogs running back Herschel Walker in Southeastern Conference rushing touchdowns with 48. He needs one more to tie Walker’s record.
- Wide receiver Deonte Thompson…who makes his return to the Gators after injuring his hamstring against the Troy Trojans in the second week of the season. With Thompson out and both WR Riley Cooper and tight end Aaron Hernandez ill a few weeks ago, Florida’s receiving core is finally healthy and looking to break out.
- LSU Tigers running back Charles Scott…who had season highs of 19 carries and 95 yards last week against Georgia. The Tigers want to get him more involved.
- The winner of the Florida/LSU game…who has gone on to win the National Championship each of the last three seasons.

STREAKS:
- The Gators are in the middle of their longest winning streak in school history with 14 consecutive victories. They also hold the longest active winning streak in the NCAA.
- Florida holds a 29-23-3 series lead over LSU in 55 all-time meetings.
- The Tigers have won 32 consecutive Saturday night games in Tiger Stadium, a streak that has been going on since 2002.
- LSU is listed as an underdog for only the fourth time in the last nine seasons when playing at home. The Tigers are winless in their last three meetings as home underdogs.
- Since joining the Gators, head coach Urban Meyer has a 6-1 record against opponents ranked in the top five and a 10-2 streak against top 10 teams.
- When ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, Florida is 18-4 all-time. LSU is 2-8-1 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll.

Read OGGOA’s complete Florida at LSU GameDay preview after the jump…

Continue Reading » Week 6: No. 1 Florida Gators at No. 4 LSU Tigers

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MEYER: If medically cleared, Tim Tebow will play

Speaking to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi moments ago on a report on College GameDay, No. 1 Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer was asked point-blank what decision he would make should doctors medically clear quarterback Tim Tebow to play in Saturday night’s game against No. 4 LSU Tigers.

“If Tim is ready to play, cleared to play, we’re going to play him,” Meyer said.

The University of Florida has a team of doctors in Baton Rouge, LA, who will put Tebow through a number of tests this afternoon before making a decision one way or another. A public announcement will not be made prior to 5 p.m. (EST) and most likely won’t be until closer to game time.

“I will be shocked if Tim Tebow does not play in this game tonight, and if he does not play well,” analyst Kirk Herbstreit said.

Should Tebow play, it is suggested he “not forsake his wrecking-ball running style for fear of concussions,” according to Pat Forde of ESPN who spoke with both ESPN analyst Merill Hoge and Bob Tebow, Tim’s father. “Being aggressive is safer than being passive,” Hoge said. “You’re more likely to get injured when you’re passive.”

“As the doctor explained to me, if he’s running and he braces for a hit, there’s less chance of being injured because he knows it’s coming and he’s braced for it,” Bob Tebow said. “It’s when you don’t see it and you’re not braced for it, that’s when you can get a concussion.”

There is one significant fact about concussions that is the sole decision-maker for me on this issue. As I told Newsday yesterday, once an athlete is fully recovered from a concussion, the risk is not different whether they return in 10 days, two weeks, six months or a year. The risk is not increased or decreased based on time. So as long as Tebow remains asymptomatic up until kickoff, I would put my money on him playing tonight in Death Valley.

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REPORT: Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow “definitely will” start and play Saturday

Out of Orlando, FL, Channel 6 sports director David Pingalore is reporting that No. 1 Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow will start against No. 4 LSU Tigers on Saturday. The Gators arrived in Baton Rouge, LA, at 5:00 p.m. Friday and Tebow was expected to undergo additional testing following the flight.

Pingalore cites University of Florida sources that say Tebow took 100 percent of the snaps during practice on Thursday while back-up John Brantley only worked with the second team. Pingalore’s sources told him Tebow is “completely healthy” and “definitely will” start Saturday. Neither head coach Urban Meyer nor UF has made any official announcement regarding Tebow’s status and may not until late Saturday.

[UPDATE:] As of 10 a.m. Saturday morning, OGGOA has yet to confirm this report. Meyer stated late in the week that Tebow’s status would truly be a game-time decision, and it is looking like that will be the case. OGGOA will post an update when more information is available.

[UPDATE 2:] According to Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel, Gators spokesman Steve McClain denied this report.

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SIX BITS: SEC royalty; LSU underdogs; No. 1 Gators; Mayor speaks; Scot Brantley; Charles Scott

1 » Saturday night’s game between No. 1 Florida Gators and No. 4 LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, LA, will pit the last three National Champions head-to-head. In fact, the winner of this game the last three years has gone on to win the title, and Florida and LSU are the only two schools in the country with multiple BCS championships. While greatness is standard for both schools who also happen to play each other every season out of the regular East/West rotation, there is a mutual respect that neither seems to share with its other rivals. As Tigers running back Charles Scott put it, “There’s no hatred…just a lot of pride.”

2 » LSU goes into Saturday night’s game at Tiger Stadium as underdogs for only the fourth time in the last nine seasons. That is how huge of a home field advantage they have. Nevertheless, the Tigers were winless in their last three meetings at home as underdogs, losing 27-21 to the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2008, 31-0 to them again in 2002 and 44-15 to the Gators in 2001.

3 » When ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, the Florida Gators are 18-4 all-time. All four losses have come in the middle of a season, sometimes ending the team’s title hopes but often happening early enough to keep them alive. If Florida wants to end 2009 with its first undefeated season, the Gators will have to go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the polls and must avoid a heartbreaking loss like in the past.

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Gators waiting for flight, tests to clear Tebow

No. 1 Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer noted Thursday that team doctors are still deciding whether or not to clear quarterback Tim Tebow to play Saturday night against No. 4 LSU Tigers. According to Meyer, the specialists want to see how Tebow reacts to the team’s flight from Gainesville, FL to Baton Rouge, LA, on Friday.

In addition to surveying his reaction to the flight, doctors will have Tebow undergo numerous other tests after touch down in Louisiana. They will compare those test results to Tebow’s pre-concussion benchmarks for balance, equilibrium and memory. Should he pass every test (and most experts believe he will), Tebow will be medically cleared to play Saturday with the decision of whether or not he plays being left up up to Meyer.

Should Tebow play, it is suggested he “not forsake his wrecking-ball running style for fear of concussions,” according to Pat Forde of ESPN who spoke with both ESPN analyst Merill Hoge and Bob Tebow, Tim’s father. “Being aggressive is safer than being passive,” Hoge said. “You’re more likely to get injured when you’re passive.”

“As the doctor explained to me, if he’s running and he braces for a hit, there’s less chance of being injured because he knows it’s coming and he’s braced for it,” Bob Tebow said. “It’s when you don’t see it and you’re not braced for it, that’s when you can get a concussion.”

OGGOA will have further updates on the status of Tim Tebow as information is released.

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ESPN goes deep with coverage of Saturday night’s Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers game

ESPN has a habit of going overboard with coverage of whatever game they decide to feature on College GameDay for any given week. This week, that promotion is justified as No. 1 Florida Gators head into Baton Rouge, LA, at night to take on No. 4 LSU Tigers. Add to that Florida quarterback Tim Tebow‘s questionable status following a concussion and a media freak-out fest over whether or not he will/should play, and Saturday night’s game will easily be the most hyped of the season.

Pat Forde begins with what seems to be the standard catch-phrase from the media this week: “Whether Tebow plays or sits, whether Florida wins or loses, the Gators are still in the title hunt.” Forde goes on to say that if Tebow has a 100% clean bill of health, he should play, but with “even a hint of doubt, hide the guy’s helmet and hold him out.” Forde believes the risk is not worth the reward for the Gators. I don’t see how anyone can, or where anyone has, disagreed with that sentiment.

Next up is Mark Schlabach, who easily has the hardest name to say next to Gene Wojciechowski for ESPN. Schlabach keys in on LSU head coach Les Miles and his aggressive style, citing that it is fueled by confidence. Well, that and testicular fortitude. The Gators know all about this, watching as Miles had his team attempt five fourth down conversions (and converted four) against them in 2007 – two for touchdowns, another on a fake field goal and two on its game-winning drive.

SEC blogger Chris Low weighs in on Tebow’s recovery, taking off where Forde left off. He believes there is a possibility head coach Urban Meyer sits Tebow whether or not he is fully cleared and even speculates about a potential Superman moment. “Could you imagine Tebow coming off the bench and leading the Gators to a win? His legend is only going to grow if he plays in this game and the Gators win.”

Finally, Scouts Inc. wraps it all up on ESPN Insider where they give the Gators the edge at QB, RB, OL, DL, LB, DB and Coach, leaving only WR and ST in the Tigers’ possession. With a prediction of Florida defeating LSU 31-21 (quite close to my predicted 30-17 score on Newsday), they give LSU a touchdown for the nighttime homefield advantage at Tiger Stadium. “Look for Chavis’ defense to build off the momentum of last week’s strong showing at Georgia and play an emotionally charged four quarters in front of the home crowd. Florida’s noticeable speed and depth advantages will eventually kick in though, and the Gators’ defense will prey on a young quarterback (Jefferson) and a subpar offensive line by LSU’s standards.”

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Newsday: OGGA, Silverstein interviewed for “Florida-LSU: Through the eyes of a Gator”

I had the pleasure of speaking with Adam Abramson of Newsday yesterday, who asked me to break down Saturday night’s game between No. 1 Florida Gators and No. 4 LSU Tigers. Featured in Campus Confidential, I discussed the health of quarterback Tim Tebow, how the Gators offense would change with John Brantley behind center, what LSU needs to do in order to be victorious and how the game will play out.

Campus Confidential: What are you hearing about the status of Tim Tebow?
Adam Silverstein: Tebow practiced in full pads Tuesday for the first time since suffering his concussion on Sept. 26 in Lexington. Team doctors apparently felt he was healthy enough over the weekend to begin doing cardio and weight training work, so technically he was active before he stepped on the practice field Tuesday. He has been cleared to return in a limited capacity, basically meaning that doctors must give him approval every day before he can practice. With that being said, the doctors have been pleased with his testing, and Tebow is consistently achieving the benchmarks required in balance, equilibrium and memory. Head coach Urban Meyer stated that Tebow went through approximately 80% of practice on Tuesday, running set plays with the first team. Meyer had mentioned that he wanted to give Tebow light chest contact on Wednesday, but I have not been able to find out if that occurred or not during practice, though I do know Tebow split reps 50/50 with John Brantley. I would call him questionable for Saturday with his status truly being a game-time decision.

Read the rest: Florida-LSU Through the eyes of a Gator

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