Sunday, September 7, 2008

St. Urban's "Meaningless" Field Goal

Anyone who was able to keep their eyes open through the 4th quarter of the Florida-Miami game Saturday night noticed the Gators turning a 23-3 lead into a 26-3 lead, thanks to a 29 yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the game. Anyone that has an interest (vested or otherwise) in the point spread as of kickoff, knows that the game closed with Florida being favored by 22.5 points.

You may have also noticed Miami head coach Randy Shannon mumbling what, for any amateur lip-reader, appeared to be something along the lines of "that is BS." There was, however, no need for inference into Shannon's feelings about the late field goal during the traditional postgame hand shake between coaches. If you didn't see it, let's just say that Shannon could have slapped Meyer in the face and it would have been more affectionate.

First off, there should be absolutely no doubt what Meyer's intentions were with the late field goal. Take a look at the last 3 possessions of the game. Start with 7:28 to go in the 4th quarter and the Gators already up 23-3. After the Gators recovered a Miami fumble on their own 33, Florida ran 8 plays, 5 of them passes. One of them was a 52 yard touchdown from Tim Tebow to Louis Murphy that was called back thanks to an illegal formation penalty against Florida. The drive stalled and the Gators punted. Miami then went 3 and out and punted to Brandon James, who returned the ball down to the Miami 16. The mighty Gators then preceded to run two straight no-back sets with Tebow still in the game. The first pass play being a 9 yard gain, the 2nd being an incomplete fade route toward Murphy in the end zone. On 3rd and 1, the Gators went for the 1st down, but their vaunted running game (Florida's rushing totals from its running backs Saturday night: 9 carries for 14 yards) was stuffed for a 4 yard loss. Then, the field goal to beat the number. The combination of moan and roar coming from south Nevada was deafening, even 2200 miles away in Gainesville.

This was a 3-possession game with half a quarter remaining. Miami couldn't have moved the ball on a Pop Warner team Saturday night. The game was over. If Meyer had chosen to go for it on 4th and 5 from the 12 yard line, this is a moot point. I don't have a problem with him running up the score. That's his decision as the head coach, and the old cliche certainly applies: it is Miami's job to stop Florida. I'm also not going to play high and mighty and tell you that Mark Richt would have taken a knee, although if you held a gun to me I'd say he probably would have just killed the clock and taken the 23-3 victory. Maybe he would have just run the ball and tried to get a backup running back a touchdown. In all likelihood, he would have just gone for it on 4th and 5, most likely with Joe Cox under center. But not St. Urban. He kicks a field goal with 25 seconds left to cover the spread by exactly 1/2 point.

In addition to his "snub" of Meyer shortly after time expired, Shannon had plenty to say after the game: “Sometimes when you do things and people see what kind of person you really are, you turn a lot of people off.....take from that what you want. It helped us more than you will ever know.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) Meyer denied as much in his weekly television show on the Sunshine Network, although he didn't exactly expound on it.

In any case, you can be sure that Shannon won't forget, and that Meyer probably doesn't care. That's just the kind of guy he seems to be. But make no mistake, we know what Meyer's intentions were from the 7:28 mark of the 4th quarter until the clock hit zero. You, me, Randy Shannon, and the world all know it. Meyer knew the Vegas number and he was determined to beat it. Now, by no means am I inferring that Meyer had any interest of his own in what the spread was. I might think he is a scumbag, but I wouldn't ever say that he had any "personal interest" in covering the spread, unless maybe he thought that recruits in the state of Florida might think more highly of the his program if they won a game against an in-state rival by more than the "experts" thought he would. You just don't normally notice a more blatantly intentional effort to beat a big point spread, as what we saw last night. I can't imagine that Mike Slive or the NCAA powers that be loved what they saw.

I certainly hope that we see St. Urban get what's coming to him, and that we see it soon. (God willing that one day Randy Shannon gets to hand it to him.) I'd get the most satisfaction from seeing the Dawgs give it to him, but I'm really not sure I can wait until November 1st for that.


'fish said...

Can't wait to see what the Legend has in mind for us as payback for last year's humiliation in Jax. He's promised that he "has something special for us".

I honestly can't wait :>)


Will Queen said...

As much as I would love Randy Shannon to be able to pay Urban back, I doubt it will ever happen. According to the announcers, UF and Miami don't play again until 2013. Any Gator fan who thinks Urban will be around that long is kidding themselves. He's supposedly proven that the spread works in the SEC; does anyone really think his ego will be able to keep from "proving" it can work in the NFL?

Anonymous said...

Tim Tebow is Eddy Haskel!

Schlitz said...

In my opinion, Meyer probably had some friends or at least acquaintances with some significant money on the game. Let's be honest, it would be natural for one to potentially do so. Not that everyone would do so, but say you were Meyer and one of your good friends called and said he had big money on FLA to cover. You wouldn't come out and say we'll do it, or we'll try, but in the back of your mind at the end of the game you might think about it. I have no doubt that it happens more then we care to realize or admit. It happens in the corporate world everyday on the exchange, so it'd be foolish to think it doesn't happen in football as well.

BulldawgJosh said...

Meyer will get what he deserves. I, personally, was hoping for Shannon to sock him in the face, but I love how he approached it at the end of the game.

The Miami of old would have broken Florida's kicker's leg for what Meyer was pulling.

Anonymous said...

This helps motivate UGA as well swervin urban is a ----!Now,everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

most well written post of this blogs life.

Urban Liar is such a POS.

Mackalicious said...

Very astute observation. I noticed they'll be in Knoxville while we travel to Arizona State. I want to shut the Gators up more than anyone, but I wouldn't mind Tennessee doing it in the mean time. Florida looked like crap against Miami.

Bop said...

CUM is a pos and a fraud. You just know that quote from Shannon goes much deeper than the fg...probably getting into the crap CUM spews on the recruiting trails.

I'm convinced parents and high school coaches are starting to see through him. He'll always get his "me first" recruits, but I really think he's gonna fall and fall hard. I bet Florida HS coaches start pushing players to Miami over Gainesville when looking in-state. I don't think he even realizes the bridges he's burning.

LeakBrewerGator said...

WOW!! All this hatred over a field goal.....

Shannon's lucky the OBC wasn't still donning the Orange and Blue or we would have run a flea flicker on that fourth down play.

All I know is UF almost didn't get into th NC 2 years ago b/c we didn't have enough "style points" in the eyes of the media. When Meyer tries to increase these so-called "style points", he's bashed all over the place.

It's a no-win.

JJ said...

Again, running up the score is not the issue. If CUM would have punched it in for a TD on 4th down to go up 30-3, this would merely be a discussion about what a piece of crap he is for running it up. Shannon still would have been mad, but at least Meyer would have been able to use the old excuse of "running it up for the sake of the BCS system." Which by the way I personally would have no problem with.

The ONLY thing Meyer was trying to do here was cover the number. That's it. Absolutely no other reason whatsoever. 26-3 and 23-3 look relatively no different on a scoreboard. Unless the number is 22.5. The only other coach that I can ever remember publicly wanting to cover the number was Spurrier, and he was up front about it that it the reason was because it served the "interests" of the Florida boosters. Coincidence that Meyer is doing the same thing? No wonder the UF boosters are all so rich these days. I wonder if that was part of CUM's interview process before he came to Gainesville.