For Florida Gators To Win-Out Percy Harvin (Not Tim Tebow) Must Step Up

Lucas Jackson CasablancasContributor IOctober 3, 2008

Who is Percy Harvin?  Does anyone know?  We know Tim Tebow's every step in life.  

I am beginning to know Tim Tebow's face better than my own.  I could probably write a pretty lengthy biography about Tebow because the media is so saturated with Tebow hype.  Heck, I know more about Tebow's brothers and sisters than I do about anyone else on the Gators team. 

But what about Percy Harvin?  

Why doesn't he get the love that Tim Tebow gets?  Look at Harvin's numbers in the last game.

Harvin had 268 total yards of offense and 2 touchdowns, both rushing and receiving the ball.

In the Capital One Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines, Percy Harvin had 242 yards of total offense and 2 touchdowns again.  

Yet again, like the Ole MIss game, I barely remember Harvin even being in the game.  

At halftime of the Ole Miss game, Mississippi Head Coach Houston Nutt said, "Oh yeah, we're getting some great pressure, our frontline's playing really good. We just gotta contain Harvin a little better."

I remember Michigan's former Head Coach Lloyd Carr paying Harvin the same kind of lip service before and during the game.  

But don't believe it...I don't. I think it's a sham.  

I think these coaches know exactly what they are doing.  In games that Harvin gets 200+ yards the Gators are 2-3.  I am sure coaches are well aware of this.  

This is why these teams are blitzing Tebow so aggressively.  They know that if you take Tebow out of the game, his teammates, including Harvin, are the far lesser evil and much easier to handle than Tebow.  And this is proving right.  

Against Michigan, the Gators were 2-11 on 3rd down conversions, while Michigan was a whopping 10-15 on third down. 

Against the Rebels, the Gators were 1-11 on third down, and Ole Miss was 5-15.

Harvin will hurt you, but not enough that he is going to win the game for the Gators. Not enough that he will get those third down conversions the way Tebow would if the entire defense wasn't focused on stopping him.

And this is why it is so beneficial to take Tebow out of the game and dare Harvin to beat you.  Because Tebow is the only guy the Gators have who can get you those yards when you have to have them. Sure, Harvin can hurt you a little bit throughout the game. But he won't kill you.

As I see it, Harvin's stats and the defensive pressure on Tebow are really an indictment of Harvin—it shows how teams will let Harvin get his stats here and there all game, but it isn't enough to force them to change their defensive plan.  

If Harvin was to punish these teams on a couple big plays early in every game, it would open things up for Tebow. It would force the defensive pressure off of Tebow and make them have to shade Harvin a little more, and this in turn would open up the entire offense of the Gators because Tebow would have more time to throw and could take more of the running load.

But the worst part of this is that the Gators, and more importantly, Harvin himself, may not even be aware of this.  

Harvin is probably perfectly happy to be getting all those stats thinking he is doing his job, while Tebow takes the blame because his stats are suffering so much because of it.

As time has gone on with teams facing the Gators since Tebow has been the starting quarterback, every game teams are realizing more and more how to stop the Gators.

Putting your entire defense on Tebow and daring his teammates to beat you—and they can't.  This is the achilles heel of the Gators. The offensive line, the running game, and the defense, just aren't consistent enough.  

Tebow is the only constant, and teams know it.

I can tell you how we will know when this changes though, we will know when we finally learn who Parcy Harvin, or anyone on the team outside of Tim Tebow, is.