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NCAA Game Summary - FIU at Florida
(Saturday, November 21st)
Final Score: (1) Florida 62, FIU 3
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Tim Tebow ran for a touchdown and threw for a pair of scores, as top-ranked Florida extended the nation's longest winning streak to 21 straight games with a 62-3 rout of Florida International at the Swamp.
Tebow ran for 102 yards, including a career-long 55-yard score, on just seven carries and completed 17-of-25 passes for 215 yards in just 2 1/2 quarters of action for Florida (11-0), which will host Florida State next week in the annual grudge match before heading to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game against Alabama.
Chris Rainey ran for a touchdown and caught a scoring pass in the victory, as Florida completely dominated with 584 yards to just 189 for FIU.
Paul McCall threw for 134 yards with an interception for FIU (3-8), which was coming off a victory against North Texas last week. The Golden Panthers also played Alabama back in September and suffered a 40-14 setback in Tuscaloosa.
The Florida defense struck first, as Brandon Spikes stepped in front of a McCall pass for an interception and returned it 41 yards untouched for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead just 1:50 into the contest.
Tebow made it 14-0 just under four minutes later on the first possession for the Florida offense, racing 55 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.
Florida's next series ended with a 53-yard missed field goal by Caleb Sturgis, but Rainey found the end zone twice on the next two Gator possessions. He first took a shovel pass 27 yards for a score just over a minute into the second quarter, then added a 22-yard touchdown run off an option pitch for a 28-0 cushion with 9:41 left in the opening half.
The Panthers followed with a sustained march, but Dustin Rivest missed a 33- yard field goal try, and Florida tacked on another touchdown with just 1:38 to play before the break, when Jeff Demps scored on a three-yard run.
FIU got on the board just over a minute later, as Rivest kicked a 37-yard field goal.
A 34-yard kickoff return by Brandon James to start the second half set up the Florida offense at the FIU 41, and Tebow needed just five plays to again find the end zone. An 18-yard pass to Riley Cooper ended the quick set and extended the Gator advantage to 42-3.
John Brantley took over behind center on Florida's next offensive series and finished with three touchdown passes. He hit Omarius Hines for 20 yards late in the third quarter and connected for 16 yards to Justin Williams and 31 yards to Frankie Hammond in the fourth.
Tebow notched his 54th career touchdown, breaking the previous SEC record set by LSU's Kevin Faulk...Spikes registered his fourth career interception return for a touchdown and second of the season...Rainey finished with three catches for 61 yards and added 30 yards on four carries...Brantley completed 9-of-13 passes for 146 yards...Demps ran for 46 yards on nine carries...The 59-point loss matches the worst ever for the Panthers, who dropped a 59-0 decision at Penn State on September 1, 2007...FIU will take next week off, then concludes its season December 5 against Florida Atlantic.
11/21 16:27:46 ET