Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, the Southeastern Conference player of the week for his performance against Troy, said Saturday’s rivalry game with Tennessee will be
With a win, Tebow would join former Florida great Danny Wuerffel and Alabama’s Jay Barker as quarterbacks who played a part in four wins over the Vols.
Tebow sounds more concerned with a win than addressing the Lane Kiffin theatrics, calling the Tennessee coach’s false recruiting accusations against Florida Coach Urban Meyer
“not a big deal.” He calls Kiffin a
“good coach” who’s done a
“good job at Tennessee.” Kiffin recruited Tebow while an assistant at USC.
Despite the praise, Tebow sharply defends his coach. Kiffin said the day after national signing day in February that Meyer cheated by calling recruit Nu’Keese Richardson during an official visit to UT. Meyer’s call was not against the rules and Kiffin apologized.
“I don’t like anyone talking about Coach Meyer,” Tebow said.
“I’ll always have coach Meyer’s back in anything. ... Coach Meyer doesn’t cheat. He does the right thing. When people say something against him, I’ll say that’s not true. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Tebow enters the game coming off a five-touchdown game against Troy, including his first four-touchdown passing game since Oct. 20, 2007, at Kentucky. Tebow compiled 308 total yards and completed 15-of-24 passes.
But Tebow didn’t have to worry about a safety such as Tennessee’s Eric Berry, one of the country’s best. Berry recorded 10 tackles in last week’s 19-15 loss to UCLA.
“I think he’s one of the best (players) that we’ll play against, honestly,” Tebow said.
“I think he’s really good. I think he’s a playmaker. He steps up in big games, he makes plays. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Meyer’s Gators have won 11 of the last 12 against rivals Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State, and by a wide margin. Since 2005, each team has lost at least once to Florida by 33 points or more.
The Gators are known to use slights from other teams as motivation, paying Georgia back with last year’s 49-10 win after the entire Georgia team had celebrated in Florida’s end zone the year before.
Tebow says Kiffin’s slights aren’t as impactful.
“The Georgia thing was a lot different than Coach Kiffin and the things that he said,” Tebow said.
“I’m not going to harp on that and don’t even want to talk about it much. It’s not a big deal. It’s just someone talking.”