OXFORD, Miss. -- I can't express how excited I am to finally cover a football game that's not a blowout by halftime. Two quarters gone here at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and Florida leads Ole Miss 14-6.
It has been the Percy Harvin show and not much else so far. Harvin has nine catches for 109 yards in the first half compared to 103 passing yards for Ole Miss. The Gators' first touchdown drive featured six passes from Tim Tebow to Harvin. The final pass to Harvin went for a 19-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Harvin caught a pass in the flat and raced through Ole Miss' defense for the score.
This game is close not because of Ole Miss' defense but rather a faultering Florida offense. The Gators have gained 261 yards of offense on 39 plays but key mistakes have scuttled drives. Florida has nine penalities for 78 yards.
Florida should thank its defense for the first-half lead. It's a bend-but-don't-break performance so far with Ole Miss settling for two field goals. The Rebels missed another field goal (48-yarder) after Derrick Harvey sacked Ole Miss quarterback for a six-yard loss on third down. Ole Miss is 1-of-6 in third-down conversions.
-Once again Brandon James' skills as a returner have helped Florida carry a lead into halftime. James has two returns for 75 and a long of 55 yards on the opening kick, which led to Joey Ijjas attempt. He missed a 42-yard attempt.
James also had a kickoff return to the Mississippi 48 nullified by a holding penalty by Javier Estopinan.
Tebow rushed for the Gators' second score, a nine-yard play that carried two Ole Miss defenders into the end zone.