Let me start by saying that I’m in complete agreement with this observation from Saurian Sagacity:
With each passing game it is becoming more and more obvious that Tim Tebow is pressing. He is a shadow of the player he was in 2007 and 2008. Don’t talk to me about the concussion because he was playing the same way before that hit. He is just trying to do too much. Pressing is understandable with the loss of 2 wide receivers who are now starting in the NFL and the loss of 2 key offensive linemen, but something has to be corrected if this team expects to reach its ultimate goal.
Unfortunately the problem is compounded by the fact that the offensive is being coordinated by the inexperienced Steve Addazio, whose previously held the same position for a year at the offensive juggernaut Indiana. This is not to say that the offense hasn’t had some success, because it has, nor I am saying that Addazio needs to be replaced because I don’t think he does – remember last year when fans were calling for Mullen’s head. Unfortunately, the offense is close to becoming a liability.
Old habits die hard. Tebow operates on the basis that the weight of the team is on his shoulders. That may have been true in previous seasons, but this year the heavy lifting is being done by the Gator defense.
If you’re Urban Meyer, it’s not hard to draw up a basic strategy for this week. It boils down to three simple words: play it safe. Let Georgia beat itself; with the Dags‘ Dawgs’ turnover problems and inability to run the football consistently, that’s not exactly a monumental task for a team with the best defense in college football.
I’m not sure they can do it, though. First, for some reason, these guys are still acting like this matters:
Florida is still fired up about Georgia’s 2007 end-zone celebration. DT Terron Sanders calls it a “sign of disrespect,” among other things, after Georgia “stormed the field.”
“We feel as if it’s a slap in the face,” Sanders said. “We can’t just let it be a one-year thing where we feel like we took care of it. We always have to look back at it as disrespect.”
… “acting” being the key word there. I’m not sure why they feel a need to gin up the disrespect card in 2009, but to me it’s an indication that something’s askew on the motivational front.
But the other reason I’m not convinced the Gators can play it safe is because I don’t think Tebow can change his approach to the game. Like the hype or not, he’s a ferocious competitor. How does he switch that off and settle for merely being a competent game manager? To me, that’s something to take advantage of (yeah, I know).
Which leads me to that aforementioned perverse thought. If Georgia pulls off the upset, I’m beginning to think it’ll be because of Tebow, not despite him.