Q&A with Drew Tate
First-year starting quarterback Drew Tate and his shaggy hair chucked the 56-yard bomb to Holloway that capped off the stunning finish to the game and his sophomore season.
“The play before, I think I threw it to Chandler, somebody. He got tackled, we thought it was a first down and the clock stops on first down. Well, it wasn’t. In my opinion, I don’t understand why, but the coaches didn’t want to call timeout. So we had to try to spike the ball and kill the clock. Well, were ready to spike the ball and clock it but the refs aren’t ready. So then you’re thinking the clock will start on the play. Well, the clock started when they whistled the play in. So as that’s going down, time is running out. I just start yelling to everyone, Last play, last play! It ended up we had the right play called, because it was just a deep ball. They brought a blitz that they brought earlier in the game that we scored on with Clinton Solomon, I think it was the first touchdown pass. They brought the same one this time, and instead of throwing hot to Clinton, it was the last play, we needed to throw the ball in the end zone and just throw it down as far as we could. Earlier in the game when they brought that blitz they played cover three. This time they just played man, but the guy on Warren played cover three. So that left Warren wide open because his guy went to the flat. And then Warren did everything else, man. I just running to my right and was trying to throw it as far as I could and I took like one to two steps and saw Warren wide open so I just hurled the ball to him. Right when I threw it, I thought I overthrew him. It felt like the ball was in the air a while, you know, and you just sit there watching it. So I’m watching it and then I see the corner that Ed had on him outside of Warren, I thought man, that guy is just going to walk right into it and pick it off. Well, I guess that guy didn’t see it. Warren catches it, Ed throws the block, the guy almost tackles Warren and, shoot, Warren just walks in. That’s about all.”
What were you saying to the guys in the huddle before the play?
“Well, we broke the huddle going to the line of scrimmage, we’re all thinking the clocks going to start on the snap. So that’s what were thinking, then we break the huddle, I look up and the dang clocks still running. So I just start yelling, Lets go, lets go! Last play! That was pretty much the communication part of it as far as me telling everyone else It was just one of those freak things, you know. I’ve told some people before Warren is probably one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met, one of the most humble guys, just hard working, you know, doesn’t say anything, just busts his butt all the time. So the guy never scores a touchdown but has always been there, always comes through when they asked him to. It was just bad luck that he never got to have more catches and whatnot. I tell everyone that guy, if Warren wasn’t on our team, that play wouldn’t have happened because I swear it was just destined for that guy, for that to have happened to him. Because he had worked so hard for so long. The guy never scores a touchdown, so why not, lets give him one.”
Do you ever see the play on TV and what goes through your head when you see it?
“Ah, that I was just cussing all of our coaches because we never called timeout. That’s pretty much it. I mean, during the play I was supposed to throw it to Clinton on a hot route like I said earlier because they had brought a blitz that we couldn’t get picked up. When I watch it, that guy on Warren if he just doesnt play cover three and just plays man, that may have never happened.”
What was it like in the locker room afterwards? Do you remember that?
“Vaguely, but I tell you, it just happened so suddenly, it was just havoc afterward. People were going nuts, no one knew what to do. By the time I got into the locker room, to be completely honest with you, I don’t remember hardly anyone else in the locker room when I was in there. I know that.”