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Now, they could really count. The Gators say they have nothing but confidence in Brantley.
"If you look at our future, it's going to be John Brantley," Strong said. "He does a great job. He knows how to manage this offense."
Certainly, the offense would change under Brantley. The Gators, second in the nation in rushing (307.5 yards a game), would probably become more of a passing team. Of course, they need to get their receivers healthy to make that happen. Deonte Thompson (hamstring) has missed the last two games, and Cooper was one of four starters who took a separate plane to Lexington because of respiratory and congestion issues.
Tebow was on that flight, too. So his day started and ended with health concerns.
If Tebow wasn't feeling well, it didn't show. The Gators scored 31 points in the first quarter and had the game in hand when Tebow got knocked out.
Meyer probably will face questions about why he still had his superstar on the field in a lopsided game, especially considering Tebow had missed two days of practice because of a respiratory illness.
But the Gators sputtered in the second quarter against Kentucky and struggled in the passing game last week against Tennessee. And pulling Tebow is always tough because he wants to play every down. Typically, the bruising 245-pound quarterback jumps to his feet after big hits -- some even harder than Wyndham's sack.
"He's a tough nut," Meyer said after the game. "We think he's going to be fine."
Added Spikes: "I'm pretty sure he's going to get himself together."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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