USC Gamecocks Football

Tebow bullish for Bentley, Gamecocks ahead of ‘one of the scariest’ games for Georgia

Tim Tebow talks about South Carolina’s chances against Georgia

Tim Tebow talks about the matchup between South Carolina and Georgia.
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Tim Tebow talks about the matchup between South Carolina and Georgia.

As Florida’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and one of the SEC’s most iconic players of the last two decades, Tim Tebow built a reputation as a master motivator. One of his speeches, which came after a 2008 loss to Ole Miss, is now memorialized on a plaque at Florida Field.

And he has some advice for South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley about what to say to his No. 24 Gamecocks before they play No. 3 Georgia on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.

“In a game like this, I probably say something,” Tebow said Friday afternoon from Gamecock Park, where he was to film SEC Nation. “I think this is the biggest game in South Carolina’s season. I think it’s their biggest game in the last few years. If you want to say we are going to have a great season, and we can make a push to win the East, this is the game. I think Georgia is going to be better next year and Florida’s going to be better next year, so if you’re going to win the East, you’re going to do it this year, and it’s going to start with this game. That’s what I would say if I was Jake.

“I’m saying, ‘Listen, most of our legacy is coming down to this game because this game is going to catapult us to the rest of our season.’ Not to make too many big statements, but I think it’s a big one.”

The area around Williams-Brice Stadium certainly had a big game feel Friday afternoon. Tebow and fellow SEC Network stars Paul Finebaum and Laura Rutledge were in town, and Finebaum aired his popular Paul Finebaum Show from Gamecock Park live on Friday afternoon. When Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp was a guest at 3:45 p.m., about 50 South Carolina fans crowded behind the set to listen in.

On the north end of Williams-Brice, recreational vehicles already had begun to fill the visitors RV lot with Georgia “G” flags flying high. The Bulldogs are the defending SEC champions and national runners-up. They are 10-point favorites in Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game, which will be televised by CBS, but Tebow believes the Gamecocks have a chance to pull the upset.

“To be honest, I think South Carolina matches up the best with Georgia that they have in a long time,” he said. “I think Georgia is one of the best teams in the country, but I think out of all their games this year, this is one of the scariest. It’s the second game of the season. It’s on the road, and it’s the first test for a lot of young guys.”

SEC Nation will film a live show Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon from Gamecock Park. When the game starts, Tebow expects South Carolina’s crowd to be a big factor. The game has sold out.

“It’s huge,” Tebow said. “I loved playing here. This place can get rowdy sometimes. I think they need to [Saturday]. It’s overall a young team for Georgia, so create that excitement and momentum and hype for your team and rally them to a big upset.”

Laura Rutledge talks about the matchup between South Carolina and Georgia.