NCAA

Jets' Tebow insists he never asked out of wildcat

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Jets' Tebow insists he never asked out of wildcat

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Tim Tebow has been criticized for years about his quarterback skills, his arm and how he throws.

He refuses to accept anyone calling him a quitter or phony.

The New York Jets backup quarterback insisted Wednesday that he didn't ask out of running the team's wildcat plays last week, but acknowledged what he said in a meeting with coach Rex Ryan might have been misinterpreted as such.

``I never said, `Hey, I don't want to do anything or I won't do anything,''' Tebow said. ``That wasn't the talk at all. He knows that, and everybody on this team knows that. I'd never not do something if I was asked, and I think that's what's disappointing about the whole situation, people saying, `You quit,' or, `You didn't do this.' It was not it at all.

``It was just me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn't me asking out of anything.''

Last Tuesday, Ryan chose to go with third-stringer Greg McElroy over Tebow in place of the benched Mark Sanchez for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. After hearing the news, Tebow went to Ryan to discuss the situation and told him he wanted to be ``a regular quarterback.''

``I was definitely disappointed and frustrated,'' Tebow said.

ESPN New York first reported Sunday that Tebow had then asked out of the wildcat, and a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed that to The Associated Press. But Tebow thinks it was a situation in which he wishes he was ``more clear'' when he initially spoke with Ryan.

Tebow realized that Ryan might have misinterpreted what he said when they met when he wasn't in wildcat packages during practice Wednesday and Thursday, and then sat down with the coach last Friday to clear the air.

``I just asked for an opportunity to play quarterback and he definitely understood that,'' Tebow said, ``and then Friday, I went up to him again and reiterated that, `Hey, I'll do anything for this team like I have all year.'''

While Ryan never confirmed or denied the reports, the coach said, ``If I would have asked Tim to play in anything, Tim would have gone into the game and done that.''

Tebow never played in the Jets' 27-17 loss to the Chargers, as wide receiver Jeremy Kerley handled the majority of snaps in the wildcat package.

More than anything else, Tebow said, he's most disappointed by the attacks on his character and reputation during the last few days - adding that his Christmas ``wasn't the best'' because of all the talk about how he let his team down.

``When people talk about how you play football and how much, that's one thing,'' Tebow said. ``That really doesn't bother me. I think the only thing that's been disappointing these last few days and frustrating is people saying, `Oh, you quit on your team or you're not a good teammate.'

``For people to not know the situation and then start to bash your character and then say you're a phony or you're a fake or you're a hypocrite, I think that's what's disappointing and that's what's frustrating. Your character is who you are as a man, and that's a lot more important.''

Tebow later added: ``You work your whole life to build a reputation, and then people try to bring you down when they don't understand even what happened. It's disappointing.''

Miami center Mike Pouncey, who played with Tebow at the University of Florida, walked through the Dolphins' locker room Wednesday saying: ``Free Tim Tebow!''

That has been the sentiment among Tebow's many supporters, yet the popular backup has had a minimal role in the Jets' offense. He hasn't played a snap in four of the last five games, partially due to him recovering from two broken ribs, but he hasn't been the dynamic addition the Jets expected him to be. New York will either trade or release Tebow after one season.

When asked if he wanted to return to the Jets next season, Tebow said: ``I'm looking forward to this game vs. Buffalo, and we've got to pull together and get a win.''

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, especially from a guy who repeatedly said he was ``excited'' to be a member of the Jets when he was acquired from Denver last March.

``It's hard for Timmy, man,'' Pouncey said last week. ``Timmy is a great player. He's a great friend of mine. I wish him nothing but success, and I know he's going through a hard time right now. I had the opportunity to talk to him after our last game and you could tell that he was upset and sad that he wasn't the starting quarterback up there. But I know that once he gets his opportunity he'll do the best he can.

``If the opportunity is not in New York with the Jets, it will be somewhere else. He's a guy who is never going to give up on anything, and I know he wants to be a starting quarterback in this league. And that day will come again for him.''

NOTES: CB Antonio Cromartie and S LaRon Landry were selected to the Pro Bowl as backups on the AFC roster. It's the first time the Jets are sending two defensive backs - and it comes in a year in which star CB Darrelle Revis was lost early in the season with a knee injury. ``When Revis went down, it speaks volumes to what guys took on and made sure everyone was being accountable,'' Cromartie said. ``And our back end doing what they were supposed to do.'' Landry is the first Jets safety to go to the Pro Bowl since Erik McMillan went in 1988-89. LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson is a second alternate, while C Nick Mangold and KR Joe McKnight are third alternates.

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AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Davie, Fla., contributed to this report.

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The 7 craziest things that happened in Week 12 of the college football season

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USA TODAY Sports

The 7 craziest things that happened in Week 12 of the college football season

From massive comebacks to cartwheels, to rabid bats and even the rare signs of life from Northwestern's offense, this weeks' college football action truly had it all.

Here are the seven craziest things that happened in Week 12 of the college football season.

Ohio lineman does cartwheel during a play

MACtion was in full swing on Tuesday with a game between Western Michigan and Ohio. Unless you went to either of those schools, you probably don't care. I bring it up, however, because of one glorious play in which an offensive lineman did a cartwheel.

This wasn't a fun touchdown celebration, this wasn't a taunt after a big play. This was, the ball is snapped, the play is being run and this dude straight up does a cartwheel while people around him are playing actual football.

Make no mistake, this was planned. That was an actual play in Ohio's playbook. He did it immediately off the snap. Quarterback Nathan Rourke threw a 25-yard completion on the play so I guess you would have to say it worked. Hopefully, that means more of this in the future.

Michigan State wore their helmets on the bus to the Michigan game

Trying to motivate a group of college kids throughout an entire season is tough. Some coaches are masters at it. There are some techniques, however, that fall flat. I think you can put this one in the latter category.

Michigan State played rival Michigan on Saturday and the Spartans got off the bus on the way to the game with their helmets already strapped on. I guess the message was supposed to be that they were ready to play. The message that actually sent was, we are all out of ideas so here's something we will be mocked for when it doesn't work.

Michigan State lost to Michigan 44-10.

There were rabid bats at Mississippi State

First off, here's wishing the Alabama quarterback a speedy recovery. As it was the biggest story of the week, I would be remiss not to mention it when talking about the Alabama-Mississippi State game.

Tagovailoa's injury overshadowed what I thought would be the biggest story coming out of Starkville: rabid bats.

From great catch to miraculous fumble

This was just whacky. Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor made an incredible one-handed catch as he grabbed a ball thrown behind him. A great play quickly turned into a disaster as he turned up the field and tucked the ball, but immediately had it punched out for a fumble.

We have all seen players tiptoe down the sideline, but not often do you see a ball do it. Luckily for Nebraska, Lamar Jackson pounced on the loose ball while the rest of his teammates stood watching seemingly oblivious to the fact that the ball was live.

Columbia had a punt blocked by the butt of its own player

You have heard of the butt fumble, but how about the butt punt block?

Northwestern scores 45 points

What happens when a stoppable force meets a movable object? That was the question on everyone's mind in Evanston when Northwestern met UMass.

Northwestern's offense entered the week averaging 11.1 points per game. That's not just the worst scoring offense among Power 5 teams this year, it is the worst of the decade. Its previous season-high for points was 30 which it scored against UNLV. So how in the world did the Wildcats manage to put up 45 points? Because UMass just so happens to be one of the worst teams in the FBS this year.

Running back Evan Hull went off for Northwestern with 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns to give the illusion of a competent offense. That won't last as next week they play Minnesota.

Oklahoma overcame a 25-point deficit to beat Baylor

Oklahoma has an illustrious history. Since 1895, the Sooners have won seven national titles. One thing they had never done? Overcome a 25-point deficit.

Oklahoma did just that on Saturday on the road against an undefeated Baylor team and without its top wide receiver in CeeDee Lamb. Somehow, the Sooners managed to rally to win the game 34-31 with an incredible second-half performance to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.

McClung lifts Georgetown past Georgia St. 91-83

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McClung lifts Georgetown past Georgia St. 91-83

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mac McClung had 25 points, Omer Yurtseven had a double-double, and Georgetown topped Georgia State 91-83 on Sunday night.

McClung made all 11 of his foul shots and Yurtseven finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Josh LeBlanc added 12 points James Akinjo scored 11 points for Georgetown (3-1).

Corey Allen had 21 points for the Panthers (1-3). Josh Linder added 17 points and Justin Roberts and Damon Wilson scored 15 points apiece.

Georgetown faces Texas on Thursday. Georgia State plays Prairie View on Friday.

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