Outback Bowl 2011: Urban Meyer Edges Joe Paterno in Emotional Finale
Outback Bowl 2011 was the site of Urban Meyer's curtain call as the head coach of the Florida Gators, his team payed tribute to him admirably with a 37-24 victory over Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions.
The post game scene seemed slightly backwards, with 84-year-old Paterno shaking the hand of 46-year-old Meyer. Paterno plans to return next season while Meyer will be leaving head coaching due to health concerns.
Meyer's six-year tenure at Florida included two National Champions. Meyer told ESPN after the game, "I'm at full peace because I saw a bunch of smiles in that locker room. Locker rooms really aren't very much fun when there's ... a pain in your stomach and your chest and everything else. There was a lot of fun in there. A lot of fun."
Meyer's resignation announcement last month came after he had initially intended to leave the year before. However, despite his doctor's recommendation, the resilient coach returned for a final year.
The Gator's victory was capped by Omarius Hines and Mike Gillislee rushing touchdowns, and three Chas Henry second-half field goals. With a six-point lead and about two minutes remaining, Ahmad Black sealed the win with an 80-yard interception return TD. Florida (8-5) sends Meyer out with a solid finish to a stellar coaching tenure.
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