Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gators grind out their first SEC win of the season

Despite all the pre-game hype predicting another romp in The Swamp, our guys in the Orange and Blue actually had their work cut out for them this afternoon.

Several things conspired against them:

1. Though Vols QB Jonathan Crompton is woefully outclassed by Tim Tebow in the statistics department, he has some formidable teammates. Hats off to safety Eric Berry and runningback Montario Hardesty. They earned our respect.

2. Tebow was not himself. He turned over the ball in the red zone. He threw an interception. And, he failed for the first time in 30 games to throw a touchdown pass.

3. Brandon Spikes was forced to sit out the entire second half due to tendinitis.

4. The officiating crew was something less than impartial. They penalized the Gators for defensive tackle Jaye Howard's "unsportsmanlike conduct," a very debatable call. Then, just minutes later they not only failed to recognize similar conduct displayed by the Vols following an interception. They also failed to penalize Tennessee for an obvious intentional grounding by Crompton.

It was an actual relief to many Gator fans in the final moments of the game when safety Ahmad Black intercepted another Crompton pass to put this ugly game to bed. No style points will be awarded for this win.

Nonetheless, Florida adds to their record-breaking win streak, improving to 3-0 while the Vols drop to 1-2. Hopefully, Urban's crew learned a few more lessons they can apply to games further down the schedule . . .

It's still great to be a Florida Gator!

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