Gators Attempt to Redeem their Season With Wins Against Missouri

The Gators have had a disastrous end to their regular season, losing an astounding 4 out of their last 5 games. Although some of these losses are to tournament contending teams like the University of Kentucky and University of South Carolina, the Gators needed to win in order to retain any hopes of competing in this year’s NCAA Tournament. At the moment, the Gators’ prospects in this year’s tournament seem pretty dim. With only two games left, there is an almost sure chance the Gators will be left out of March Madness

O'Connell_CenterHowever the UF did manage to pull a great win on the road against the Missouri Tigers, who are currently last in the SEC standings. The game’s final score, 82-72, showcased the team’s capabilities when focusing their efforts on both offense and defense. It wasn’t until a minute and a half into the game until either team could score a basket against the other. Was it awesome defending on the part of both teams, or two offenses that have been lacking for the better part of the year? Regardless, the Gators’ back to back baskets opened the score, and helped spark an action packed game that fans had been long awaited.

The Gators blocked five shots in the first few minutes of the game, setting the tone for the Tigers the rest of the game. In the first half alone, only 35% of Missouri’s shots touched the net, scoring a lowly 28 points. UF on the other hand, finished the half with a whopping eighteen point lead, ending the half at 46-28. A true showcase of what the Gators were really capable of achieving.

Missouri came out of the locker room determined to close the gap though, preventing the UF from walking away with a blowout win. Sophomore point guard Chris Chiozza, after contributing to seven assists, 5 points, and four rebounds in the first half, increased the Gators’ lead back to 18 points with 19:39 to go. In the next three minutes, he continued his hot streak with another three point basket, and a lay-up. However as the team continued to stretch their lead, Florida seemed to get overly confident. Missouri went forth, and closed the original 21 point gap to only 10 points with three minutes to go – giving the Tigers a real shot of turning the lead around. With a slam-dunk from Finney-Smith though, the Gators exerted their authority on the court, permanently solidifying their lead. The Gators went on to win the game 82-72.

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The Top 4 Tim Tebow Sport Moments

Tim Tebow is an American football quarterback, who is one of college football’s most iconic players. During his collegiate career at the University of Florida, Tebow, was known as the “sparkplug” for the Gators offense because of his leadership on and off the field. He was difficult to defend because of his “dual threat” ability to either pass or run the football. In 2010, Tebow was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the 25th pick in the NFL draft. After playing two seasons in Denver, he would be playing for the New York Jets and have a brief stint with New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles decided to release Tebow after their final preseason game last year. Currently, he is working for the SEC sports network as a TV analyst, with the hope of getting another chance in the NFL. We look back at some of the top sports moments of Tim Tebow’s career.

Win the Heisman Trophy
Tebow had a much smaller role in the Gators offense during his freshman year. Many people were skeptical about Tebow’s passing ability and felt it was the only thing he could do well was run the ball. Well, let’s just say they were all wrong. After being named the starting quarterback in his sophomore year, he would go on to have an unbelievable season. He threw for 3,286 yards, 32 touchdowns and be a force on the ground, rushing for 895 yards and 23 touchdowns. After having so much success in his sophomore year, he would win the Heisman Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding college football player of the year.

The Speech
After having a successful sophomore season, Tebow’s goal was to help lead the Gators to a National Championship in 2008, but it did not come easy. In the beginning of the season, the Gators would be upset by an unranked Ole Miss team. This truly put a damper in their title hopes as many believed the Gators would not be able to recover from their catastrophic loss. However, during the post game interviews, Tim Tebow gave the Gator Nation a legendary and inspiring speech that will always be remembered. After this game, the Gators would bounce back and run the table winning their last 10 games in dominating fashion, which included a second National Championship in 3 years. Below you can find the speech in its entirety.

Wins 2nd National Championship against Oklahoma
Tebow and the Gators took on an extremely talented Oklahoma team in the 2009 BCS Championship. Florida struggled in the first half as Tebow through a career high 2 interceptions. However, the Gators would not be denied a shot at a National Championship. After a another motivating speech by Tebow at halftime, he and the Gators came out rolling. With 3 minutes to play in the game, Tebow put the icing on the cake with his signature jump pass, putting Florida up for good, 24-14.

First NFL Playoff Win
In 2011, Tebow leads the Denver Broncos to their first playoff appearance in six seasons. Denver would take on a heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers team in the AFC wild card round. No one believed the Broncos had a chance to win this game, but Tebow proved his doubters wrong once again and defeated the Steelers in overtime in a game winning 80 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.

For more of Tebow’s top sports moments, please read this article:

The History of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

As an alumni of the University of Florida, I have incredible memories watching the Florida Gators. In this slideshow I talk about the home stadium of the Gators and the rich history behind it. Please feel free to comment with your favorite Gator memory, or share it with friends!