Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
ATLANTA -- With Alabama's offensive line asserting itself to end the first quarter and most of the second quarter, Florida needed somebody to counter.
That somebody was Tim Tebow.
Scrambling when he needed to and throwing a couple of key passes on the money, Tebow rallied the Gators from a 10-7 deficit in the first quarter to a 17-10 lead at the half Saturday in the SEC Championship Game.
The Crimson Tide have pretty much shut down the Gators' running game after that first drive to open the game, but they haven't been able to shut down Tebow.
The junior quarterback hit Riley Cooper with a 51-yard pass to set up Jonathan Phillips' 19-yard field goal to tie the game. On the Gators' drive to take the lead, Tebow again showed his passing ability with a precision throw to tight end Aaron Hernandez over the middle and hit David Nelson with a 5-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-goal play.
Tebow has accounted for 159 of the Gators' 179 yards of total offense (passing and running) at the half. He has 110 yards passing and 49 yards rushing.
Defensively, Florida came with a lot more pressure in the second quarter, and Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson took some wicked hits.
A couple of different times, Wilson had to throw the ball away while being chased by Florida defenders.
Alabama's only scoring chance in the second quarter stalled at the Florida 32. The Crimson Tide lined up to kick a field goal, but tried a fake with holder P.J. Fitzgerald running. It never had a chance, as the Florida defense smothered Fitzgerald.
Alabama needed nine yards for the first down, so it was a little puzzling that the Crimson Tide would use the holder in that situation.
At the end of the half, Florida's Urban Meyer looked like he wanted to call time out with just under a minute to play after the Gators stopped the Tide on third down. They had three timeouts remaining, but went into halftime with all three and kneeled the ball down in the final seconds.