Tebow jumper nets first
career touchdown pass

The most memorable play of the season will forever be known as "the jump pass." In helping UF defeat LSU on homecoming, Tim Tebow defies the laws of gravity in finding Tate Casey for a score.
By NICK ZACCARDI
Alligator Staff Writer
photo
TIM CASEY / ALLIGATOR STAFF
UF tight end Tate Casey catches a hoops-like 1-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow just before halftime against LSU. The bizarre play was Tebow's first ever TD throw.

Just call him "Air" Tebow.

Known to most UF fans for his straight-ahead running style, UF freshman quarterback Tim Tebow showed off another part of his arsenal Saturday - his jump shot.

He accounted for all three of UF's touchdowns in its 23-10 win against LSU, scoring once on a 1-yard run and then on two passes.

On both throws, Tebow faked a quarterback sneak, stepped back and found a wide-open receiver.

The first reminded Tebow of his prep basketball days.

On the LSU 1-yard line with 27 seconds remaining in the first half, Tebow made his move forward, fooling the defense into thinking he was going for his second 1-yard score of the game. He then moved back, double-pumped and found tight end Tate Casey falling into the back of the end zone.

"I thought it was pretty good-looking," Casey said of the catch, which was Tebow's first touchdown pass of his career and Casey's first catch of any kind this season. "[But] it felt ugly, to be honest with you."

Tebow held onto the ball for an extra second to allow Casey to get open, throwing the ball in jump-shot fashion while trying not to land for what would have been a traveling call on the hardwood.

LSU's preseason All-America safety LaRon Landry held Casey up at the line at first, but the 6-foot-7, 240-pound junior ripped through the defender.

"We'd rather our tight end not fumble around and fall down and do six pushups, do a cartwheel then get up and try to catch it," UF coach Urban Meyer joked. "Did they have video back in 1913? I think that's where we got that. We did that in Utah against Air Force in triple overtime one time to win the game."

But Tebow thought the play had a little more Michael Jordan to it.

"I haven't hit a shot in a while," said Tebow, who finished the game with nine rushes for 35 yards. "I need to get back to doing that. It's a lot of fun. I love playing basketball, so hopefully that had a little bit to do with that."

The Gators worked on the secret play all throughout last week. Casey told his parents to look out for a weird play, but could not reveal exactly what the play was.

Tebow would fool LSU again after halftime when he found Louis Murphy for a 35-yarder, the sophomore's first career catch. Tebow again took a step forward to fool the defense.

Murphy ran down the left sideline all alone, giving Tebow a zone that most of the 90,714 at the Swamp could have slipped a ball into.

UF coach Urban Meyer called the play a helmet throw, as if Tebow could have taken off his helmet and thrown it. When asked about his electrifying intensity that fires up the fans after the game, Tebow went Jordan again.

"It feels like they're part of us, like they're our sixth man - or our 12th man," Tebow said, correcting himself.

Only one question remains: Was Billy Donovan watching?