Whit Watson Blog

I got a bone to pick with Urban Meyer. After beating Georgia 14-10 this weekend, Florida's head coach made this comment about Eric Wilbur's third-quarter fake punt: "I think that's the slowest 20-yard run I've seen in the history of college football."

Better check yourself, Coach. That's my guy right there. Trinity Prep in Winter Park doesn't produce many Division I college football prospects, and we Trinity alums are pretty damn protective of our boys. Take it back.

Alright, alright. Just a little fun. Fact is, Meyer knew exactly what he was doing.

Wilbur, as many hard-core Gator fans probably already know, was second team all-state at Trinity Prep as a free safety, and also saw time at wide receiver. In his senior season, he recorded 87 tackles and four interceptions while simultaneously going first team all-state as a kicker and punter. He also found time to win Trinity's MVP award on the track team and capture a district title as a long jumper. So all Meyer jokes aside, the coach knew what he had back there when Georgia left half the field open - an athlete, not just a punter. Knowing his personnel takes Meyer's fake punt call from merely sneaky to downright perfect. Luckily, Mark Richt never saw Wilbur line up in the slot at Trinity, or de-cleat an unsuspecting kick returner. Gator fans should be thankful that once upon a time, Ron Zook did.

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Emily Badger, the excellent Florida State beat writer for the Orlando Sentinel, beat me to it, as did Sentinel columnist Jamele Hill.

In the fourth quarter of FSU's comeback win over Maryland, redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Weatherford scored the most important points of the day on a keeper from 15 yards out. Badger's line from the Sentinel's story on Sunday morning: "In a slow-motion replay, you can almost see the moment when his goal shifts. Who cares about field position? He was going for the touchdown."

From Hill's column: "With one play, Weatherford went from inconsistent redshirt freshman to poised, confident and emotional leader."

Not sure I agree with the "inconsistent" tag - Florida State does have the top-ranked passing offense in the ACC, after all - but other than that, bingo. At that moment, Weatherford became the quarterback of the future for Florida State, not just the quarterback right now. Since Jamele captured it so eloquently in her column, and Emily led her story with that play, I'll leave it at that.

However, one quote from that column caught my eye. Lorenzo Booker, the man who wears Warrick Dunn's number 28 for the Seminoles, had this to say about the quarterback from Land O'Lakes: "He has this swagger we haven't seen around here since Chris Weinke."

Wow. Heavy stuff. I'm not quite ready to name Weatherford the next FSU quarterback to win the Heisman, but I'll give Booker the benefit of the doubt in the euphoria of a comeback win. Florida State is 7-1 and one victory away from clinching a spot in the first-ever ACC title game, and a child is leading them. Wyatt Sexton may indeed be practicing this week, as Bobby Bowden said during his postgame press conference on Sun Sports, and there is still a vocal "Play Xavier Lee" section at Doak Campbell Stadium, but this is your quarterback. Enjoy him - for now, and for the future.

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Miami's throwback uniforms for the North carolina game were atrocious. There, we got that out of the way.

George O'Leary's stunning turnaround at UCF took a dramatic turn this weekend, as the Golden Knights won on the road at East Carolina to seize first place in Conference USA East. The win was the Golden Knights' first in the conference away from the Citrus Bowl, and puts them in the driver's seat for a berth in the conference's title game - which, by the way, will be played at the home field of the team with the better conference record.

In other words: UCF has gone from 0-11 to potentially playing for a conference championship on their home field, and moving on to a bowl game, all in the span of one summer.

In case I haven't said this plainly enough before - this is the best story in college football today, period. You can have Alabama, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, the spread option, the Cocktail Party, Florida State's QB, UCLA, Marcus Vick, all of it. You can have it. Great stuff, top to bottom. Me, I'll hitch my bandwagon to the Golden Knights, regardless of what happens from here on out.

When UCF gets a football stadium built on campus, I hope they someday give serious consideration to naming some part of it for O'Leary.

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