MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — As Tim Tebow took a victory lap around Dolphin Stadium, slapping the hands of adoring Gators fans, wide receiver David Nelson watched and marveled.
Tebow had just rallied Florida past OU for the national title, with a gritty second half that followed a halftime apology — yes, another Tebow apology — producing clutch play after clutch play down the stretch.
No, Tebow didn't win the Heisman, not this time. That went to the guy on the other sideline, the Sooners' Sam Bradford.
“He didn't want the Heisman,” Nelson said. “He didn't want the Maxwell Award. He wanted this.
“He didn't have the best first half, but you could see it in his eyes in the second half. He wasn't going to be denied.”
And he wasn't.
After throwing two interceptions in the first two quarters, Tebow led the Gators on three second-half scoring drives, two for touchdowns and another for a field goal.
His jump pass for a score to Nelson with 3:07 remaining all but sealed victory.
Tebow's numbers weren't dazzling, just difference-making.
The biggest difference in the second half was Tebow's running, as he gained 81 of his 105 yards on 15 carries after the break.