After choosing not to talk to the media after Saturday night’s win, Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow spoke to them at the Monday morning press conference. He fielded questions about the offense’s struggles, the pressure of being perfect and the upcoming game against Georgia. He also reflected on what it would mean to pass Herschel Walker as the SEC’s all-time rushing touchdowns leader.
Here is the transcript:
Q: What were you feeling after the game?
A: “It was mixed emotions because we were happy with the win, but we knew that we’ve got to play better.”
Q: What one play would you take back from that game?
A: “Probably the pick before halftime.”
Q: What have teams done in the red zone to take the run away from you?
A: “We are playing a lot of teams that are pinching the front, and they have game-planned us well like that especially (Dan) Mullen.”
Q: Will there be an effort to spread the ball around a little more this week?
A: “That has always been something we’ve tried to do, but so much of that is based on the coverage. It’s not like we are going to say, ‘We are going to throw to Riley (Cooper) here, and DT (Deonte Thompson) here.’”
Q: Where is your level of frustration?
A: “That’s hard to say because we are 7-0, and we’re getting wins and we’re moving the ball at ease up and down the field. We are having struggles with things we really haven’t had struggles with, so it’s kind of frustrating.”
Q: Is the pressure getting to you?
A: “I don’t think it’s getting to me. Do I have a lot of pressure on me; do I put a lot of pressure on me? Yeah. I put a lot more pressure than y’all could possibly put on me, so I don’t think that’s getting to me. Wanting to excel, wanting to get everything right is frustrating not doing it.”
Q: Has some of the fun been taken out of it for you?
A: “I don’t think so for the most part. I’ve still had a lot of fun. Beating Arkansas last minute, that’s a lot of fun. Beating Tennessee was a lot of fun. Would we like to do it a little bit prettier? Yeah, but that’s how we are doing it right now. We’re winning games, and we’re going to keep winning games. If they are all ugly, that’s ok because we’ll be undefeated.”
Q: Do you feel you guys are a play away?
A: “Not even because if you honestly look at the film, you see we move the ball every possession. We moved the ball right down the field. Then, we get in the red zone and do something kind of stupid, and it costs us the drive. We just got to fix those little mistakes.”
Q: Will there be more emotions Saturday because it is your last game in Jacksonville?
A: “I don’t know if it is more emotions. Going into this game, there has always been a lot of emotions. There has always been a lot on the line, and it’s exciting.”
Q: Did you not talk to the media Saturday night because of your frustration?
A: “No, I don’t think so. There were a lot of other things I want to do, not that this isn’t important. I have always been courteous to do that, and I’m sorry I didn’t see y’all. I wanted to see coach Mullen, I wanted to see my family. I had a lot of friends that were at the game.”
Q: What does playing in Jacksonville mean to you?
A: “It’s exciting. Growing up, my first Florida-Georgia game was when I was 4, 5, 6, something like that, so I have gone to a lot of them. They have been very exciting. We’ve won some, we’ve lost a few. It’s been pouring, it’s been sunshine. It’s been a lot of different games, so it’s been exciting and very fun experience for me growing up a Florida fan.”
Q: What would it mean to break Herschel Walker’s SEC career rushing touchdown records against Georgia?
A: “It would be pretty cool. It’s an honor to be even mentioned or tied with Herschel.”
Q: You have taken over half the carries in the red zone, is there offense too predictable?
A: “It’s a mixture of things. Overall, we have to execute better and continue to make our reads, block, catching, and we’ll be OK.”
Q: Will you use more under center package plays?
A: “It could be depending on our game plan. It’s also something that Mullen didn’t think we were going to do at all. I thought it was a great call. I doubt they practiced that one time when thinking about us.”
Q: What was your conversation with Mullen like after the game?
A: “It was good. I didn’t talk to him too much before the game. Just said hey and he said good luck and stuff. I saw him and Megan, his wife, after the game, gave them big hugs and talked to them for awhile. He just said go win another title and everything is in front of you. He could see I was a little frustrated after the game because obviously we wanted to score a little bit better. He was just happy to see me.”
Q: Do you believe Urban Meyer called timeouts at the end of last year’s Florida-Georgia game to get Moody some carries?
A: We were a program built on truth I am going to believe him absolutely.
Q: Have you met Herschel Walker before?
A: “We sat around waiting for the Monday night dinner for the Heisman thing and talked for awhile. He was just a great guy. He was so much fun to talk to.”