Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop got his chance to explain what happened at the end on the game on Saturday. Tennessee rallied back from being down ten points to tie the game, only to give up a touchdown on the final play to lose.
Here’s Shoop’s version of what happened.
“Florida has an outstanding kicker. The guy can make 55, 60 yard field goals. So when they got that first first down, we thought they were going to play for — getting the ball in that 35 to 40 yard area and kick a long field goal,” Shoop said.
This lines up with what I thought. Tennessee was totally surprised by the deep bomb because they were playing to defend a 20-30 yard pass to set up a field goal. If you look closely, Tennessee had men guarding the sidelines instead of the goal line — which is still puzzling.
“And still if you watch the last play, describing it as a hail mary is an inaccurate description of the play. I would describe it as a basketball player hitting a three quarter court shot to win a game. It was a fluky type play,” Shoop said.
Shoop is correct here. It wasn’t an all out hail mary, but it turned into one once Feleipe Franks escaped the pocket. It was kind of a make-it-up-as-you-go play from the Gators.
“Not apologizing, not making excuses or anything like that. Our strategy on that last play was to watch them come out of the huddle. If it was a hail mary type formation, call timeout and reset the defense. They did not do that,” Shoop said.
“We took away the play that they ran, which is the irony of the whole thing,” Shoop continued. “You saw Cleveland point, and [Franks] point — I sort of wish Quart’e Sapp would have been a little more explosive there and knocked the dog crap out of him, but he didn’t. And [Franks] just threw a dime. The player got behind our player and it was a disastrous ending. I feel bad for our players and our fans.”
It was a zone look from Tennessee, better described as cover six. As the play broke down, Tennessee unfortunately just got caught sleeping. Dropping seven and keeping everything in front of you seems like the logical choice. Manning up against four receivers and putting three defensive backs deep sounds even better, especially if you were worried about a field goal.
Hindsight is 20-20. We can Monday morning quarterback this thing until we are blue in the face. But for the life of me, I’ll never understand why you would chose to leave just two or three men deep back there like that.
I credit Shoop for standing tall and being truthful today, though. I always enjoy listening to him break things down. We didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but it’s refreshing to hear a coach let us in a little bit to how things developed.