Notebook: Ingram ponders future


Published: Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 8:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 8:22 p.m.

ORLANDO — Cornelius Ingram is inching closer to making a decision on his future.

Ingram will meet with Florida coach Urban Meyer today to discuss Ingram's future, the junior tight end said after Florida's 41-35 loss to Michigan in Tuesday's Capital One Bowl.

Ingram said he still hasn't decided whether he will return to Florida for his senior season or enter the NFL Draft.

"I feel good about (making the decision)," he said. "Either way, I can't go wrong. I can't complain about anything."

Ingram is still awaiting paperwork from the NFL to learn where he might be drafted.

He has said that if he feels he will be taken in the first three rounds, he will enter the draft. If Tuesday's game was Ingram's last at UF, it won't be one of his most memorable. Ingram caught just one pass for 17 yards and had the final Florida pass of the day — a fourth-and-10 pass from Tim Tebow — broken up by Michigan's Brandon Harrison.

Rodriguez makes an appearance

After laying low all bowl week, new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez made an appearance Tuesday, showing up in the press box, where he was quickly surrounded by the media an hour before kickoff.

Rodriguez had no input in the Wolverines' bowl preparation and has stayed away from his future players.

"I don't want to get in the middle of this," he said. "I want coach (Lloyd) Carr to enjoy his finale and I think he's done that."

Rodriguez said he plans to be back in Ann Arbor on Thursday, and will immediately go about recruiting and putting together a coaching staff.

Rodriguez also took a few minutes to talk about Florida coach Urban Meyer. The two are friends and talk often, Meyer said earlier in the week.

"Urban and I go way back," Rodriguez said. "We've been friends for a long time, before both of us were head coaches.

"He actually called me as soon as he got to Bowling Green and talked about installing a spread offense. He's had great success. Urban is an outstanding coach and he's good people."

Henry pulls off fake punt

Florida once again successfully pulled off a fake punt. The fake occurred with Florida trailing 28-21 late in the third quarter.

"I just didn't feel like we could stop them," Florida coach Urban Meyer said.

On fourth-and-7 from Florida's 23-yard line, punter Chas Henry pulled the ball down and hit Aaron Hernandez on a 15-yard pass completion.

Four plays later, Florida tied the game, 28-28, when Tim Tebow hit Andre Caldwell on a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Mike Pouncey gets first career interception

When the first interception of Mike Pouncey's career fell into his hands, Florida's freshman defensive tackle had one thought: Get down.

"I was just thinking in my head, ‘Don't turn the ball over,’ ’’ Pouncey said. "So I just slide down."

Pouncey's interception came at an opportune time for Florida. The Gators were trailing, 31-28, midway through the fourth quarter when defensive end Jermaine Cunningham tipped a Chad Henne screen pass, sending the ball flying into the air. It landed in Pouncey's arms. Pouncey returned the ball nine yards to the Michigan 34, setting up a Gators touchdown that put them ahead, 35-31.

"I was in the right place at the right time," Pouncey said. "The ball just fell into my hands."

Hart rarity: Two fumbles in one game

Michigan senior running back Mike Hart entered the Capital One Bowl with one career fumble. Surprisingly, he coughed up the ball twice against the Gators.

Hart had a streak of 1,005 touches without a fumble end when he fumbled at Florida's 4-yard-line midway through the second quarter. He lost another fumble inside Florida's 5-yard-line in the third quarter as well.

"It happens," Hart said. "I fumbled three times in my career. They were all inside the 5-yard line. I just get a little greedy when I get down near the end zone."

This and that

Urban Meyer lost for just the third time in 26 games when having more than one week to prepare. ... Florida failed to win 10 games in back-to-back seasons. The last time Florida had back-to-back 10-win seasons was 2000-01. ... The Gators are now 16-19 in bowl games. ... This year's Capital One Bowl was the quickest sellout in the 62-year history of the game. ... Florida had a pair of first-time starters on its defensive line Tuesday. Senior Lutrell Alford and freshman Justin Trattou each started. ... Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English accepted Louisville’s offer for the same job.

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