If yesterday was any indication Tim Tebow will be a fine analyst for ESPN and the SEC Network. Despite some media critics writing him off before he was ever on the air, Tebow was solid and showed a great deal of promise.
According to NFL.com writer Chase Goodbread here are some of the insights Tebow passed along to the viewers watching the BCS Championship Pregame Show:
Tebow: “Auburn might be a team of destiny, but tonight, Florida State is deeper from top to bottom. When Jameis Winston and Telvin Smith’s leadership in the fourth quarter, I think they win 35-31.
On Auburn’s motivation
Tebow: “To be an underdog in the national championship, for six weeks in a row, to have all the analysts, all the commentators, all the know-it-alls, say you’re not good enough, you haven’t put enough in … that will fire you up for six weeks in a row. And I remember in 2006, we had to hear that. … To hear that for six weeks, it fires you up, it puts a chip on your shoulder, it gets you ready to play.”
Result: No doubt, Tebow was on the mark here. Auburn indeed played like a team with a chip on its shoulder and took command relatively early in the first half. In particular, an Auburn defense that was not given much of a chance to slow down the FSU offense did exactly that, confusing FSU quarterback Jameis Winston with consistent pressure and tight man-to-man coverage in the secondary.
On Auburn’s running game
Tebow: “They only run a few plays, but they run them from a lot of different formations, and they disguise them very well. They run counter, they run power, they run jet sweep and they run inside zone. They’ve done those plays thousands and thousands of times. So when you’re coming into a game with a lot of pressure, a lot of hype, a lot of nerves, it’s easy to do something you’ve done (a lot), rather than going into a game with a lot of adjustments and a lot of new plays. That’s why I think they’ll come out playing fast.”
Result: Give it to Tebow again here. Tre Mason moved the chains nicely in the first half and Nick Marshall was effective when necessary. The AU offense looked comfortable and undaunted by the Seminoles’ superior athleticism early. In the second half, however, FSU did a better job handling the power plays inside, as Auburn managed just 10 points after halftime.
On Jameis Winston’s weakness
Tebow: “You don’t go into this game trying to stop him, you go in trying to control him. The two teams that have done that the best this year are Duke and Boston College. What they (did) was have multiple fronts, multiple blitzes and multiple coverages. One thing that’s interesting in breaking down all his games — this isn’t really a weakness, but it’s just a few plays he hasn’t been good at — is when he’s been throwing interior routes. Benders, in cuts, digs, shallow crosses, when he’s been throwing it inside, is when I feel he’s struggled the most, and when a team has played multiple fronts, blitzes and coverage.”
Result: Winston made a couple of decent crossing routes, but for the most part tried to make his passing yardage outside the hashes in the first half. In the second half, Winston warmed up a bit throwing over the middle. He found Rashad Greene over the middle for two key first downs on FSU’s second possession of the second half, a series which resulted in a field goal and a bit of much-needed confidence for FSU.