Third-ranked Florida steamrolls The Citadel
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Tim Tebow threw three touchdown passes in limited action, as third-ranked Florida steamrolled The Citadel, 70-19, at the Swamp.
Tebow completed 9-of-11 passes for 201 yards and ran for 34 yards on two carries for the Gators (10-1), who still have next week's traditional contest against Florida State to navigate before the SEC Championship Game against Alabama on December 6.
Redshirt freshman Chris Rainey ran for 142 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries, while Emmanuel Moody added 116 rushing yards with a score on 13 attempts. Senior Kestahn Moore ran for two scores and Percy Harvin found the end zone on one of his three carries that totaled 49 yards. Harvin also caught two passes for 76 yards.
Florida racked up 705 yards offensively, including 394 on the ground, and scored on its first seven possessions. The Gators became the first SEC team, since the inception of the league, to score 42 points or more in six straight games.
Cam Turner, after taking over for injured starting quarterback Bart Blanchard, completed 15-of-30 passes for 169 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for The Citadel (4-8), which closed the season with seven losses in its last eight games.
"We didn't execute like we would have liked to," said Citadel head coach Kevin Higgins. "Obviously, it's a great football team that we were playing against. I thought our guys could have played better, we dropped some balls, we didn't tackle as well we should have; but, a lot of that is because of who we were playing, a great football team."
The Gators made it a rout early with three touchdowns in the first quarter.
After an interception on the game's opening series gave Florida its first possession at the Citadel 49, Tebow capped a six-play series with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy for a 7-0 edge.
The Gators marched 61 yards on five plays for another touchdown. Harvin started it with a 25-yard run and Rainey finished it with a seven-yard scamper for the score.
Tebow then went exclusively to the air on Florida's next series, completing 4- of-5 passes for 84 yards -- the last a 43-yard scoring strike to Riley Cooper for a 21-0 cushion with 3:27 to play in the opening quarter.
Harvin scored on an 11-yard run on the first play of the second quarter and an interception on the next Citadel possession was followed immediately by a 31- yard touchdown pass from Tebow to Deonte Thompson.
Florida's next series started with a 73-yard run by Rainey and Moore followed two plays later with a two-yard run for a touchdown to make it 42-0 just over five minutes into the second period.
The Citadel finally got on the board when Turner threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Scott Flanagan, but the extra point attempt failed and Florida had one more score before the break as Moore found the end zone from 22 yards away to make it 49-6 at halftime.
Florida tacked on two more touchdowns in the third, as senior defensive tackle Javier Estopinan scored on a one-yard run and John Brantley threw a 12-yard scoring pass to David Nelson. In between, Asheton Jordan scored on a one-yard run for The Citadel.
"We talked about getting [Estopinan] a touchdown," said Florida head coach Urban Meyer. "We practiced it and it worked."
Moody scored on a five-yard run in the fourth to round out the scoring for the Gators and Turner threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Cornett in the final minute to account for the final margin.
Florida has won all 14 meetings, including a 49-10 triumph in the last meeting 10 years ago...The Citadel finished with 317 total yards...Jordan led the Bulldogs with 37 yards on eight carries...Vanderbilt, in 1915, before the SEC was formed, scored at least 42 points in six straight games.
11/22 18:47:10 ET