Florida quarterback Tim Tebow passed for 3,286 yards and rushed for 895. All told he had a hand in 55 touchdowns.
Versatile Tebow gives Gators good reason to be confident
This is the first in a series highlighting the teams the University of Hawaii football team will face this season. First up — Florida.
When Hawaii opens at Florida on Aug. 30, the Warriors face the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Tim Tebow.
And though he might not say it publicly, Tebow remembers what former Hawaii coach June Jones said about him last December.
Jones called Tebow a "system quarterback," meaning he might not translate as well to a pro system as Jones' quarterback at the time, Colt Brennan.
Jones is at SMU and Brennan is with the Washington Redskins now, so they don't have to deal with a peeved Tebow -- but the holdover Warriors do.
Not that he isn't already motivated. With its novice defense a year wiser and the fastest set of sprinters this side of Beijing at receiver, the No. 5 Gators are poised to take a shot at a third national championship.
» Coach: Urban Meyer (70-16, 31-8 at Florida)
» 2007 record: 9-4, 5-3 SEC (3rd, East)
» Hawaii series: First meeting
Tebow, of course, is the biggest reason for the confidence.
He passed for 3,286 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushed for 895 and 23 more last year. Those unprecedented double-threat numbers made him the first sophomore winner of the Heisman Trophy.
And he's not satisfied.
"My biggest goal this year as far as football goes was becoming a better decision maker," the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Tebow said.
Off the field, Tebow figures to do good deeds the rest of his life. He comes from a spiritual family and they do a lot of missionary work together. In the offseason, Tebow performed cyst removals and circumcisions as part of a medical mission in the Philippines and he also visited prisons in Florida.
None of that matters to Hawaii in 13 days. The Warriors will have their hands full with Urban Meyer's hybrid offense. It highlights the talents of Tebow and his speedy playmakers by employing elements of option and pro-type attacks.
It's a pretty effective -- for lack of a better word -- system.