Tim Tebow got everything he could from his final game as a Florida Gator, passing for nearly 500 yards and rushing for 50 more, as the Gators crushed the Cincinnati Bearcats 51-24 Friday night in the Sugar Bowl.
The strife of Urban Meyer’s health and Tim Tebow’s departure ruled the headlines during the days leading up to the game, and if the Sugar Bowl was Meyer and Tebow’s swan song, it was certainly a flawless one.
From kickoff it seemed as though the Bearcats were overmatched. Quarterback and team leader Tony Pike was pressured throughout the night, unable to hit his strong wide receiving core down field and flushed from the pocket all night.
In fact the Bearcats didn’t find the end zone until halfway through the third quarter as the vaunted SEC defense of the Florida Gators was just too much for the Bearcats.
Cincinnati had its own strife leading up to the game, as they lost their head coach of three seasons Brian Kelly to the Notre Dame job and were being coached by an interim head coach for the bowl game.
The player had shrugged the distractions off, but their lack of balance throughout the game showed a much different story.
Wide receiver Mardy Gilliard didn’t break 50 yards receiving and Tony Pike struggled until the Gators took their foot off the pedal in the third quarter, already up 34 points.
Pike was sacked on multiple occasions, and the Bearcat offense was only able to muster 249 net yards, with just 68 total yards coming on the ground.
The Bearcats finished the season at No. 3 in the BCS rankings, but certainly didn’t look like the same team that went undefeated through the Big East and nearly made their way to the National Title Game despite a suspect defense.
For Tebow and Meyer, the victory in a BCS bowl game isn’t quite what they hoped their final game together might hold, but for the Gator Nation, this victory in the Sugar Bowl is certainly sweet enough.