Caldwell, Joiner end on High Note

When Andre Caldwell strutted out of the tunnel and into The Swamp for the last time, he had a lot on his mind. He wanted to make it a special night and he wanted to thank the fans for supporting everything he's been through in his years as a Gator. He pointed to the student section as he stepped onto the field.

"They've been with me my whole time here," Andre Caldwell said. "They supported me. They did a great job of keeping The Swamp krunked up. I just love them and appreciate them so much."

Caldwell was named one of the team's captains and he was joined by fellow senior Tony Joiner, who had lost his captaincy midway through the season because of an off-field altercation.

"That was great to see him out there with me, as a captain and leader of this team," Caldwell said. "I know he worked so hard I just wanted to see great things happen to him."

Head coach Urban Meyer talked about the decision to reinstate Joiner for his last home game.

"My problem with Tony Joiner is that I love Tony Joiner and I've been guilty of that many times," Meyer said. "Tony's done some things that maybe I shouldn't care about him so much, but I also know that family very well. He's still not out of the woodwork, I don't know if he'll be captain for the bowl game or not."

The Gators made sure their seniors went out the right way with a dominating 45-12 victory over archrival Florida State. Though the team fell short of several of their ultimate goals for the season, it was a still a tremendous way to cap the regular season.

"What a tribute to a group of seniors," Meyer said. "I've always been very emotional about seniors because I realize what they've gone through. And to think that those cats have won 31 games and three or four in a row over a rival, a national championship, an SEC championship and an opportunity now to finish top ten in America and go play in a good bowl game."

Joiner made several impressive plays on defense while Caldwell caught a 31-yard pass and promptly threw the football into the upper deck of the stadium. It's become a bit of a tradition for senior receivers in their last game in The Swamp. Both Carlos Alvarez and Travis McGriff threw their last touchdown football into the stands and Caldwell was hoping he'd get the chance to follow suit.

"I had that planned all week long – hopefully, it was just good chance that I scored when we were beating them bad so it didn't hurt us that much," Caldwell said.

Meyer wasn't too happy about the excessive celebration penalty that Caldwell's antics induced, but Caldwell wouldn't have had it any other way.

"This was the perfect ending to my career being in Gainesville," Caldwell said. "Great fans, scoring a touchdown, throwing it into the end zone and whooping Florida State."

Questions or comments? Contact's Blake Bonsack

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