Monday, October 22, 2018
  • USF Sports Bulletin
  • Joey Knight

For USF, Auggie Sanchez’s postgame speech may be one for the ages

A decade has passed since the Tim Tebow "promise" speech, now as much a part of Gator lore as the visor and the chomp.

The text of the speech, following a one-point home loss to Ole Miss, is etched on a plaque hanging outside UF's football complex. Charlie Strong, then the Gators' defensive coordinator, even mentioned it earlier this week.

So why do we mention it now?

'Cause it seems senior MLB Auggie Sanchez might have delivered a similarly impassioned address to the Bulls in the locker room following Saturday's 28-24 loss to Houston.

And while it never will reach the echelon of Tebow's (which was delivered publicly, at the postgame press conference), the Bulls someday may reflect on it as a pivotal moment in a historic season.

"As soon as we walked in (to the locker room), Auggie Sanchez took the floor," senior TB Darius Tice said. "He said what he had to say, and we just listened. Then after that we brought it in, and everybody went home."

The gist of Sanchez's message?

"I told 'em if this is the group of guys I know, then we'll be back," he told reporters after the game.

"This is a senior-led team, so we have to be back. And I told 'em our goal at the beginning of the season wasn't to go undefeated, it was to win the conference championship. And that's still in place right now. We control our own destiny in that situation."

Of course, Tebow's 2008 Gators went on to capture the national title. Should the Bulls run the table from here and secure the program's first conference championship along the way, maybe the Sanchez Speech will take on an immortality of its own.

Speaking of immortality, Sanchez — a Northeast High alumnus — enters Saturday's game at Connecticut with 361 career tackles, only six shy of the program record held by Kawika Mitchell.

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