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Tim Tebow News
His nightmare after Christmas, to hear University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer tell it, would be to start the final week of bowl preparations with a bunch of out-of-shape players.
Upon the conclusion of practice Wednesday at Disney's Wide World of Sports, Meyer pronounced himself pleased that such a scenario didn't occur.
"They're actually in decent shape," Meyer said. "... We ran 'em pretty good today, get the Christmas out of them."
With their holiday break now in the past, the No. 9-ranked Gators (9-3) can continue getting ready for the New Year's Day Capital One Bowl against Michigan (8-4).
"They're a very good team. They're a big, physical team, probably one of the bigger teams we've faced this year," Florida sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow said of the Wolverines. "So we're going to have to be very sound in our blocking and everything like that and really execute and try to work with our speed a little bit."
To be able to focus fully on football is a change for Tim Tebow, who spent a chunk of this month collecting an array of national awards, including the Heisman Trophy. The quarterback also spent time wearing a cast on his right non-throwing hand, which was broken during the regular-season finale against Florida State. The cast is off now, and though the hand was wrapped for practice, Tim Tebow doesn't seem concerned that it would affect his bowl performance.
"It's getting better," he said. "I'm able to have full range of motion with it. Obviously, it's not quite as strong as it was, but the strength is pretty decent."
With 22 rushing touchdowns and 29 touchdowns passing this season, Tim Tebow has become the face of a Florida team that will try to follow up its national title of a year ago with its third bowl win in Meyer's three seasons at the school.
Sophomore Percy Harvin, Florida's multi-dimensional offensive threat, suffered a minor scare during a two-minute drill when he stepped on a teammate's foot, spraining his ankle, Meyer said. Harvin limped off the field, but then returned to practice.
"He gimped around a little bit," Meyer said. "But he should be fine."
Harvin ranks second on the team with 599 rushing yards (8.6 yards per carry) and leads the Gators with 781 receiving yards.
Holliday still with Florida
Michigan's hire of West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez to replace Lloyd Carr sent the Mountaineers scurrying off on a search of their own. One of the coaches toward whom the school is casting admiring glances is Florida assistant Doc Holliday. A native of West Virginia and a graduate of the university, Holliday spent 17 seasons (1983-99) on the staff of Don Nehlen, who preceded Rodriguez.
Holliday, who is Florida's associate head coach and coaches the safeties, interviewed for the job last week.
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