Florida can thank LSU lineman for getting swagger back

As Pete Thamel of The New York Times writes, Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators appear to have gotten their swagger back after thumping SEC rival LSU on Saturday night.

Tim TebowThere were moments all over the field Saturday night that showed how re-energized Tebow was. He chest-bumped Mullen before the game. He knocked helmets with Percy Harvin after a 70-yard touchdown pass — a career high for both — in the game’s first minute. He led the team in celebratory helmet slaps, fiery fist pumps and any other signs of emotion.

“That’s the difference between this year and last year,” Tebow said. “They scored and they made it within 6 points and we knew we had to put a drive together. That’s where you see a difference now, a more mature team and a more poised team.”

Tebow is a more mature and poised player, more content to share the wealth with his teammates and not try to do everything himself. That is one reason his 10 passing touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns through six games are off last year’s pace.

Even after its stunning loss to Mississippi, Florida (5-1) is in line to win the SEC East. Few things are certain in college football when it comes to the national championship game, but it is likely that whoever wins the SEC will have the best shot of any league champion to play for the title.

Tebow and Florida can partially thank LSU defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois for getting their swagger back. Even in a blowout win over Arkansas two weeks ago you could tell Tebow and the Gators were still feeling the effects from their loss to Ole’ Miss. But once Jean-Francois shot his mouth off about ‘taking Tebow out,’ UF seemed to re-focus.

Florida is still a juggernaut – I don’t care what anyone says.

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