Game 1 of the post-Tebow era in Florida goes, um, not so well

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators hugs his head coach Urban Meyer after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Urban Meyer probably has this photo framed in his house. He’s probably going to sit in front of it tonight and weep.

The 34-12 score in Florida’s opening win against Miami (OH) doesn’t necessarily send up any red flags, but anyone who watched it knows that there could be some serious trouble in Gainesville this fall. The Gators managed 235 yards of total offense against a MAC team that had one win last year. One. In the MAC.

And that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. The Gators’ offensive numbers were helped tremendously by a 72-yard run from Jeff Demps early in the fourth quarter. It was the kind of play Florida fans expect from the countless number of exceptional athletes the team puts on the field each Saturday. It was also nearly half of the team’s offense. The Gators gained 177 yards in the fourth quarter. I’m not a math major, but I think that means they only had 58 yards in the first three quarters.

To be fair to new starting quarterback John Brantley, it wasn’t all his fault the offense sputtered (he was 17-for-25 for 113 yards and two touchdowns). The Gators generally looked out of sync, and suffered from a severe case of fumbilitis. They coughed up the ball six times, giving away three of them. You think Nick Saban is going to have his boys tackling the ball when Alabama and Florida meet?

Sure, it was the first game and I’m assuming the Gators weren’t exactly that fired up to take on the RedHawks. And Meyer was probably only working with about a quarter of the offense. But based on sheer athleticism, you think Florida would have made up for that.

The defense was stout, as you would expect it to be, and forced four interceptions while holding Miami to 211 yards of offense. But if the offense plays anywhere near this bad against a good team over the next 11 games, I don’t know if the defense can hold up.

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