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Receiver trio makes impact
Florida's playmakers, including Percy Harvin and two bay area graduates, burn FSU.
By BRYAN JONES, Times Correspondent
Published November 25, 2007
GAINESVILLE - Behind every good quarterback is a good core of receivers, and Tim Tebow's group helped make him look awfully good Saturday against Florida State.
The Gators' trio of wide receivers - sophomore Percy Harvin, junior Louis Murphy and senior Andre Caldwell - combined for four touchdowns in Florida's 45-12 win against the Seminoles.
"Those guys just go out there and do a phenomenal job," Tebow said. "All those guys can make plays."
Aside from totaling 67 receiving yards, Harvin added a career-high 157 yards rushing and a touchdown for a total of 224 yards. He averaged more than 10 yards per touch.
The sophomore's spectacular runs thrilled not only the fans but his teammates as well.
"It's a sight to see," Murphy said. "I'm just like a fan when he gets the ball. Coaches always tell you to keep blocking, but with him, you just want to look and see what's going on."
Meanwhile, Murphy had one of his strongest efforts of the season as well.
The St. Petersburg native reeled in four catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first multi-touchdown game of his career.
"It's a big accomplishment for me," Murphy said. "The offense is built around playmakers, and this so happened to be the day I just came out and made some big plays."
Murphy also recorded the most spectacular catch of the night, reeling in a 32-yard touchdown in the back right corner of the end zone in the first quarter. Murphy appeared to get one foot down in the end zone with less than an inch to spare.
Caldwell, a Tampa native, had his quietest effort in weeks according to the stat sheet. But after his 31-yard touchdown reception, the senior decided to make his biggest statement.
After breaking Carlos Alvarez's school reception record last week, Caldwell decided to copy Alvarez in a different respect. Just as Alvarez did years ago, Caldwell tossed the ball high into the stands after scoring his final touchdown in The Swamp.
He was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"Some players in the lockerroom told me Carlos Alvarez did it, and I ended up breaking his record, so I feel I had the right to do it, too," Caldwell said.
Meyer wasn't as thrilled with the decision.
"I want to go kick Carlos Alvarez right in the rear end," Meyer said, joking. "Carlos is not welcome in our locker room.
"We had to kick off from the 15-yard line. That's what I was scared to death about."