Florida Post-Game Quotes
January 01, 2011
Head Coach Urban Meyer
On his halftime speech
"Our goal was to get to the second level somehow and they were doing a very good job. When you have three weeks to prepare, Penn State did a heck of a job. They made some adjustments on their defense. They did some stuff that they hadn't shown, but we knew they would do that. I thought Coach Steve Addazio did a heck of a job. Jordan Reed is a hell of a player. Jordan Reed did a great job moving that offense. With it uptempo, I think they wore out a little bit. I think possession time was substantial for the Gators in the second half and you could see them start to give a little bit. Our defense was hanging in there the whole game. We were awful in the first half on offense, but we came back with special teams and in the second half our offense played very good."
Letter to Joe Paterno
"I've said that's been the story all week and it's all true. He will go down as the greatest football coach in the history of the game, and he should. Every young coach, in my opinion, should take a lesson from him, not some of this other stuff going on. If I ever start a coaching school, I am going to make everybody do a book report on Joe Paterno and say that's the way you should act in coaching. That's college football. And that's what players should take away from a guy like him. You just don't want to lose that man. You don't want to lose what college football is. That was college football out there today."
On singing the alma mater in the endzone at the end of the game
"My wife started crying, so she choked me up a little bit. You could obviously see what she was wearing and all of the kids, they love Florida. We have given six years - six equals about 40 years of your life - to Florida and we couldn't have dreamed to do it anywhere else because this is our place. We love it. To sing that fight song one last time and to salute the band - we have the best band in the country – and shake hands with our band director, that was real special."
On Ahmad Black
"Ahmad Black is one of my closest friends, and I can call him a friend now because he's not my player. He's family. Ahmad Black was not the Ahmad Black when we got him four years ago. Ahmad Black has turned into a grown man, a grown man who is going to pay taxes some day, a grown man who is going to have a family some day. He's going to be a great father and a great husband because Ahmad Black is a grown man now. He has a great family. His relationship with Chuck Heater [Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties], and I made a comment about that, if it's done right, the player-coach relationship is second only to that of your family. He's been an attest to that. Ahmad Black wasn't what he is when we got him. Now that he's leaving here, he's everything and more. I'm very proud of him."
On Black's injury and return
"That's Ahmad Black, though. I knew he wasn't out. He missed one punt formation and we almost got it blocked so I was really angry with him. I was going to cut him out of the will."
What will decide your return to coaching?
"I'm not worried about that, probably that gal over there to the left of me. I just love college football and I hope to be around it."
When will this hit you that it's the last game?
"I'm at full peace because I saw a bunch of smiles in that locker room. Locker rooms aren't very much fun when there's not smiling and pain in your stomach and chest and everything else, that was a lot of fun in there. It was great to give the game ball to Ian [Lockwood]. It was also great to see the smiles on those seniors as we walked out. That group of seniors, I know this year was not a good year, however those guys will leave here as one of the best group of seniors to ever play at Florida."
On a 7-5 season, but winning the bowl game
"It feels great because Will Muschamp is getting a good group of young men and on a positive note. It's awful in the off season. We've only had one time where we had to go through an off season when we lost a bowl game, and it's terrible. Will Muschamp is getting a football team that is going to have some bright eyes and ready to get to work and get back to where we need to be."
On Ahmad Black winning the MVP
"I think that's rather appropriate that Ahmad Black, the best safety in college football, won that [MVP] award."
"I have a lot of people to thank. Obviously I want to acknowledge Penn State, that was a tough crew. That defensive line, our guys told me, were as tough and physical as anyone we've had to go against all year. Obviously to Joe Paterno, the finest coach in all of college football history. And to Penn State University. That was a classy game. That was two teams going as hard as they possibly can. Not a bunch of nonsense going on. Just playing hard. It was a real honor to coach in that game."
Outback Bowl MVP Ahmad Black
On finishing his career with a win in the Outback Bowl
“I just told my teammates when I walked in the locker room that I appreciate them for everything. Most importantly I want to thank Coach Meyer for everything, on the field and off the field. Without him, a lot of this wouldn't be possible. Thank you. It feels great to come out on top.”
On sealing the victory with an interception return for a touchdown
“We went up six points before I got the interception and they were driving down the field and I’m thinking we need a play, we need a play; we need a stop. That was similar to the national championship game. They were running the ball, getting first down after first down. We had to come up with some way to get a stop.”
On what set up his interception to close out the win
“They motioned the tight end over, I picked him up and he ran a drag route. We got pressure on the quarterback so I think he kind of threw it off his back leg and I ran under it.”
On how he’ll remember his final year at Florida
“A lot of laughter. A lot of the guys on the sideline told me how much they’ll miss me and how much we grew together since we’ve been here. I think that’s what I’m going to miss the most, the guys in the locker room.”
Cornerback Cody Riggs
On whether there were a lot of emotional goodbyes for the positional coaches following the game
“Yes, definitely. I talked to coach Austin (defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach Teryl Austin) and he wished me the best of luck in the future. I really hope that I can cross paths with some of these coaches again down the road because I have built some really good relationships with them.”
What he, and some of the younger Florida players, think about a coaching change so early in their collegiate career
“At first we were sad about it, because we didn’t know who the new head coach would be, and you don’t know if he is going to be anything comparable to coach Meyer. But when we found out it was coach Muschamp, we were excited about that.”
How the Gators rally around their new head coach
“I don’t know. I’ve never been around a new head coach, but I have been around new position coaches and you just listen to what they tell you to do.”
How he felt about Ahmad Black’s game
“I was really happy for him. I look up to him a lot. After my first game, I was down and he talked to me, inspired me. I was really happy to see him get that pick and touchdown.”