The expectations for the Florida Gators and Tim Tebow were high in the Stratosphere going into the season, and even though they are undefeated going into the World's Largest Cocktail Party, they are falling short of those expectations.
Mind you that the defense has been stellar, and their performance year-to-date has carried the entire team. The offense has simply been mediocre at best.
So has Tim Tebow.
The leading Heisman candidate going into the season, Tebow was firing on all cylinders up until the third quarter of the Kentucky game, when suddenly he was knocked out and helped off the field. He suffered the concussion felt around the world.
He returned after a bye week to face LSU, but frankly hasn't been the same. He has shown flashes of his trademark competitiveness, but the "bull in a china shop" mentality has disappeared.
Did the injury make him reevaluate his future? Has Tebow realized that if he continues playing like a fullback that his career may end prematurely?
As a QB, Tebow was taking way too much punishment. Ironically, Tebow was standing in the pocket looking down field to pass when he was leveled. He never saw the hit coming, and it turned into a wake up call.
Tebow has been looking down field, but within a split second, he is usually running for his life. The offensive line is not used to pass protection; it is used to blowing defenders off the line while Tebow or a RB takes off and within seconds are halfway down field.
What does Coach Meyer and Addazio need to do to get Tebow and the Gators offense back on track?
First, they need to take the pressure off the offense. After the Mississippi State game, Meyer admitted that he has done a poor job coaching and has put Tebow in impossible situations. Let Tebow be Tebow, but find a way to give him time to scan the field for open receivers.
Second, they need a receiver to step up other than Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez has been stellar, and he's even been pitched to in the spread offense. Riley Cooper or Deonte Thompson must establish themselves as the go—to receiver and keep defensive backs out of the box.
Third and last, open up the playbook and get creative with the offensive play—calling. The Gators offense has been too predictive, and Defensive Coordinators are prepared for the plays that are currently being called.
The aforementioned World's Largest Cocktail Party is next weekend, and Georgia with their struggling season is the perfect storm for the Gators to lose their first game of the season. Will Tebow and the offense overcome their woes and continue on with their undefeated season?
That is why they play the game. Georgia may be their most hated rival, but that will not be enough motivation for Florida if they don't fix what's broken on offense.
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