2009 Florida Tuskers season

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2009 Florida Tuskers season
Head coach Jim Haslett
General manager Rick Mueller
Owner Stuart Sternberg
(Tampa Bay Rays)
Home field Citrus Bowl
Tropicana Field
Results
Record 6–0
Division place 1st
Playoff finish Lost Championship Game (Las Vegas) 20–17 (OT)
Uniform
UFL-Uniform-FL-2009.png
Timeline
Previous season Next season
N/A 2010 >

The 2009 Florida Tuskers season was the first season for the Florida Tuskers. In the UFL's Premiere Season, the Tuskers put together a league-best, undefeated 6–0 record. In the championship game however, they lost to the Las Vegas Locomotives in overtime.

The Tuskers played three home games in the six game regular season. Two games were played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and one was played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Following the conclusion of the season, quarterback Brooks Bollinger was named season MVP, and head coach Jim Haslett was given the Coach of the Year award.[1]

Prior to season[edit]

Jim Haslett, former NFL head coach of the New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams, was named head coach of the then unnamed franchise, on March 11, 2009.[2]

The team name, uniforms, and colors were unveiled on August 12, 2009.[3] On the same day it was announced that the Tampa Bay Rays had bought interest in the team.[4]

Draft[edit]

The draft took place on June 19, 2009. Those selected were among participants in earlier workouts held in Orlando as well as Las Vegas. Once a player was picked by a team, his rights were held by that team should he elect to play in the UFL.[5] With their first selection, the Tuskers picked former Arkansas nose tackle Fred Bledsoe.

= Indicates player signed with team
Player Position College
Fred Bledsoe NT Arkansas
Brooks Bollinger QB Wisconsin
Ronnie Cruz FB Northern State
Mike Doss DB Ohio State
Greg Fassitt DB Grambling
Chas Gessner WR Brown
Keith Heinrich TE Sam Houston State
Rien Long NT Washington State
Grant Mason DB Michigan
Tim McGarigle LB Northwestern
Chris Perry RB Michigan
Rob Petitti T Pittsburgh
Zach Piller OG Florida
Eric Powell DE Florida State
Anthony Schlegel LB Ohio State
Bo Schobel DE TCU
Dominique Thompson WR William & Mary
DeJuan Tribble CB Boston College
Larry Tripplett NT Washington
Darius Vinnett DB Arkansas
Seth Wand T Northwest Missouri State
Jermaine Wiggins TE Georgia
Quincy Wilson RB West Virginia
T. J. Wright DB Ohio

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

2009 Florida Tuskers staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

  Defensive coaches


Roster[edit]

2009 Florida Tuskers final roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists


Rookies in italics
Roster updated November 17, 2009
52 Active, 2 Inactive

Schedule[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Game site Attendance TV
Final score Team record
1 Saturday, October 10 7:00 p.m. ET New York Sentinels W 35–13 1–0 Citrus Bowl 11,203 HDNet
2 Wednesday, October 14 9:00 p.m. ET at Las Vegas Locomotives W 29–15 2–0 Sam Boyd Stadium 12,160 Versus
3 Thursday, October 22 7:00 p.m. ET California Redwoods W 34–7 3–0 Citrus Bowl 12,021 Versus
4 Friday, October 30 7:00 p.m. ET Las Vegas Locomotives W 27–24 4–0 Tropicana Field 11,354 HDNet
5 Bye
6 Thursday, November 12 7:00 p.m. ET at New York Sentinels W 24–6 5–0 Rentschler Field 5,201 Versus
7 Thursday, November 19 9:00 p.m. ET at California Redwoods W 34–27 6–0 AT&T Park 6,837 Versus


Championship Game[edit]

Date Kickoff Opponent Final score Game site Attendance TV
Friday, November 27 3:00 p.m. ET Las Vegas Locomotives L 17–20 (OT) Sam Boyd Stadium 14,801 Versus

Standings[edit]

United Football League
W L T PCT PF PA STK
y-Florida Tuskers 6 0 0 1.000 183 92 W6
y-Las Vegas Locomotives 4 2 0 .667 167 100 W3
California Redwoods 2 4 0 .333 105 134 L2
New York Sentinels 0 6 0 .000 56 185 L6

y-denotes team advanced to 2009 UFL Championship Game

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: vs. New York Sentinels[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Sentinels 7 6 0 0 13
Tuskers 0 14 14 7 35

at Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida

The Tuskers opened the season with a convincing 35–13 win over the New York Sentinels. Quarterback Brooks Bollinger threw for 225 yards and four touchdowns.

Week 2: at Las Vegas Locomotives[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Tuskers 7 9 6 7 29
Locomotives 0 0 0 15 15

at Sam Boyd Stadium, Whitney, Nevada

  • Game time: 9:08 p.m. ET
  • Game attendance: 12,160
  • Referee: Dave Cutaia
  • TV: Versus
  • Recap

On the road, Bollinger would surpass his total from a week before with 310 yards. Through the first three quarters, the Tuskers had kept the Las Vegas Locomotives from scoring, and led by 22 points. Kicker Matt Bryant connected on three field goals in the game, won by the Tuskers 29–15. With the win, the Tuskers moved into first place by themselves.

Week 3: vs. California Redwoods[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Redwoods 0 0 0 7 7
Tuskers 0 17 10 7 34

at Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida

Back in Orlando for Week 3, the Tuskers routed the California Redwoods 34–7, and improved to 3–0 on the season. The Tusker defense held the Redwoods to only 196 yards and forced five turnovers, including four interceptions. Taye Biddle was the Tuskers' leading receiver with 133 yards on five receptions, however no touchdowns.

Week 4: vs. Las Vegas Locomotives[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Locomotives 0 14 3 7 24
Tuskers 0 7 10 10 27

at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

The Tuskers traveled to their secondary home stadium for Week 4, Tropicana Field, normally known as the home to the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball. The Tuskers hosted the Locomotives, who were coming off of their bye week and facing the Tuskers in their second consecutive game. In contrast to the teams' previous game, the game was tied at 24–24 late in the 4th quarter. Matt Bryant nailed a 40-yard field goal to give the Tuskers the lead with 4:38 to play. Las Vegas would get the ball back with just under two minutes left, but Florida's defense held strong and the Tuskers remained undefeated with their fourth win of the season. With the victory, the Tuskers clinched a spot in the 2009 UFL Championship Game.

Week 6: at New York Sentinels[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Tuskers 10 0 7 7 24
Sentinels 3 3 0 0 6

at Rentschler Field, Hartford, Connecticut

Coming off of their bye week, the Tuskers were on the road against the Sentinels in Week 6. The game was close in the 1st half, with the Tuskers holding a slight 10–6 lead at halftime. However the Tuskers defense kept New York out of the end zone the entire night. Also behind Brooks Bollinger's arm, throwing for 215 yards and two touchdowns, the Tuskers won 24–6, keeping the undefeated season alive at 5–0.

Week 7: at California Redwoods[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Tuskers 10 10 0 14 34
Redwoods 10 14 3 0 27

at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California

In Week 7, the Tuskers played their final game of the regular season in California. After both of the Tuskers' first two scores in the first quarter, they boldly attempted an onside kick and successfully recovered both. In the 1st quarter, both teams traded a field goal and a touchdown, but the Tuskers were down at halftime 24–20. After that, the Tuskers defense stood tall as they had in the previous week, only allowing a 3rd-quarter field goal in the entire 2nd half. Still down 27–20, Brooks Bollinger put together a 67-yard drive capped off by a touchdown pass to Jayson Foster on the first play of the 4th quarter. Foster was drilled by a Redwoods defensive player immediately after making the catch, but Foster held on to the ball for the score to tie the game. Later in the 4th quarter, California moved the ball to the Tuskers' 33-yard line, but cornerback Darius Vinnett intercepted the ball for the Tuskers and returned it 58 yards to the Redwoods' 8-yard line. A few plays later, running back Michael Pittman dove over the goal line for the touchdown, putting the Tuskers ahead 34–27. The Redwoods would punt the ball back to Florida on the ensuing drive, and with a chance to ice the game on 3rd down with only a yard needed for the 1st down, Pittman fumbled, and California came up with the ball. However the Redwoods were unable to capitalize on the turnover, as Josh Cooper recovered his own forced fumble on Redwoods quarterback Shane Boyd, sealing the win for the Tuskers. The game was considered as one of the most entertaining of the season. The Tuskers remained undefeated at the conclusion of the regular season, finishing with a 6–0 record going into the championship game against Las Vegas.

Championship Game[edit]

1 2 3 4 OT Total
Locomotives 0 3 0 14 3 20
Tuskers 7 0 0 10 0 17

at Sam Boyd Stadium, Whitney, Nevada

Though it was announced as the location of the championship game before the two teams clinched a spot, the Tuskers traveled back to Las Vegas to play the Locomotives at Sam Boyd Stadium, attempting to beat them for the third time in the season. It was a defensive battle through the first three quarters, until both team's offenses came alive in the 4th quarter. Tied with 17 points each at the end of regulation, the game would have to go to overtime, the first overtime game in league history. The Tuskers won the coin toss and received the ball first in OT, but Brooks Bollinger threw an interception deep in Tuskers territory. The Locos ran one play to line the ball in between the goal posts, and kicker Graham Gano made the game winning field goal just inside the right upright to win the championship for Las Vegas, and end the Tuskers' chance at a perfect season.

References[edit]