Nov. 3, 2007
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Tim Tebow accounted for five touchdowns, Percy Harvin became the first player in school history with 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game, and No. 18 Florida rebounded from its third loss in four outings with a 49-22 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Tebow and Harvin helped the Gators stay in the hunt for the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title. Florida needs to beat South Carolina next week and have Tennessee and Georgia lose another league game to return to Atlanta for the second straight year.
Tebow was 22-of-27 passing for 281 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He added 35 yards and two scores on the ground.
Harvin ran 11 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns and caught nine passes for 110 yards. He had a weaving, 18-yard TD run in the first quarter and a stumbling, 13-yarder in the fourth.
Caldwell had nine receptions for 103 yards and two scores.
James finished with 116 yards on three returns, including two longer than 50 yards.
The Gators allowed 107 points the last three games, failing to put pressure on quarterbacks, cover receivers and get off the field on third down.
They were considerably better against the Commodores (5-4, 2-4). Backup center Mike Pouncey moved to defensive tackle to help the unit recover from several injuries and played well, and the secondary seemingly shored up loose coverages and blown assignments.
The offensive surge surely helped the struggling defense, too.
The Gators, playing at home for the first time in five weeks and wearing all-blue uniforms for the first time since 2004, scored touchdowns on five of their first six possessions. They racked up 358 yards in the first half -- 57 more than the Commodores allowed in the first eight games -- and 19 first downs.
Tebow was 19-of-22 for 262 yards with three TD passes at halftime. Harvin had 189 total yards. Caldwell had eight receptions for 97 yards and two scores.
The Gators had two mistakes the first half: center Drew Miller snapped the ball over Tebow's head for a 26-yard loss on second-and-7 from the Vanderbilt 8, and Joey Ijjas missed a 38-yard field goal two plays later.
Vanderbilt looked like it might get back in the game to start the second half, recovering an onside kick to open the third quarter, but the Commodores had to settle for a field goal.
They got the ball right back when Reshard Langford intercepted a pass from Tebow, but they failed to convert on fourth down. The comeback ended when Alex Washington muffed a punt after running into teammate Josh Allen.
Mackenzi Adams completed 16-of-32 passes for 159 yards.
The Gators took over at the 12-yard line, and Tebow scored three plays later to make it 42-10 with 4:16 remaining in the third. The 1-yard run was Tebow's 14th rushing touchdown of the season, tying the school record held by Emmitt Smith (1989) and Buford Long (1952).