KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s success this season will rest on the shoulders of Josh Dobbs, according to former Florida quarterback and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
“He’s going to have to do more in the fourth quarters of big games,” Tebow said on the SEC Network’s SEC Nation preview show.
“(Dobbs) has to play his best when the game is on the line, (like) against Alabama, last year when they needed it against Oklahoma,” he said. “Tennessee could have been undefeated if in the fourth quarter he could have stepped up.”
Tebow, who later on the program predicted Tennessee and Alabama to play in the SEC Championship Game, said he expects more from Dobbs this season.
“I expect him this season to be prepared and ready to step up in the fourth quarter,” Tebow said. “If he does, they could win the SEC.”
First things first, Tebow said it’s a one-game season for the Vols.
“What is the whole season coming down to? Florida,” Tebow said. “The whole season is coming down to Florida, in my opinion. If Tennessee finds a way for the first time in 12 years to beat Florida, they are going to take that confidence and I believe they’ll beat Alabama, and they’ll replay them again in the SEC Championship and probably get beat.
“If they beat Florida, watch out, because of the confidence they will play with and the talent.”
While Tebow projected Tennessee to play in the SEC title game, he also said at one point he expected Florida to make it 12 wins in a row over the Vols.
“I think it will be 12 in a row — you just don’t get over stuff like that,” Tebow said of the Gators’ 11-game win streak against the Vols entering this season’s Sept. 24 matchup at Neyland Stadium.
“These players, we always want to put them into groups — we can play them on Madden or NCAA games — no, they are a person, they have emotions, they hurt, there are highs and lows,” Tebow said. “All that matters is 60 minutes on the field; doesn’t matter what happens in practice or leading up.
“It’s however you get ready for 60 minutes, and in those 60 minutes, if (Tennessee) loses confidence for a split second, (snaps finger), like that, it’s over.”
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s SEC Country and lives in Knoxville.