The Tennessee upset victory did not sink in very well with Miami star tight end Kellen Winslow, and he made sure everybody knew why he was so irked.
After the game Winslow ripped Southeastern Conference officials, compared the game to war, and insinuated that the Hurricane offense will need to make changes.
Winslow had a good game, catching seven passes for 88 yards. However, the junior did commit a costly 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the fourth quarter. Winslow claimed that his helmet was ripped off on the play, but that the referee flagged him for taking his helmet off voluntarily.
“The one [penalty] on me was B.S.,” Winslow said in the locker room after the game. “They said I took my helmet off…it was knocked off.”
Winslow continued with his voice raised.
“I hate refs,” Winslow said. “I like our Big East officials. They [the SEC crew] were looking at me the whole game. I can’t even get hyped up after a play. I can’t even get my crowd hyped up.”
Penalties have haunted Miami throughout the season. Winslow has several taunting penalties this season, including one last week against the Hokies.
“I talked to our team during the week and talked to them before the game,” Head Coach Larry Coker said about the penalties. “I told them this was an SEC crew and they are strong in calling celebration penalties.”
On Winslow’s penalty, Coker said: “The official said he spiked the ball. I didn’t see it, but that’s what the official said.”
Winslow leads the team with 51 receptions for 527 yards this season, but only has reached the end zone once. Winslow has also dedicated himself to becoming a better blocker, and proved that with a hard hitting block that knocked over two Tennessee players. One of them, Corey Campbell, was clearly shaken up on the field and Winslow almost got flagged for taunting him.
“It’s war,” Winslow said, responding to a reporter who questioned why he would celebrate over an injured opponent. “They’re out there to kill you, so I’m out there to kill them. We don’t care about anybody but this U. They’re going after my legs. I’m going to come right back at them. I’m a f’in’ soldier.”
Winslow also briefly discussed the Hurricane offensive woes. Winslow said Miami needs to make changes on offense, but refused to comment on whether quarterback Brock Berlin should be benched next week in favor of backup Derrick Crudup.
“It’s up to the head man,” Winslow said. “He’ll do the right thing.”
Winslow did, however, apologize for his comments in a statement released through the University of Miami on Sunday.
“After speaking with the press, I immediately regretted my comments and felt embarrassed for my family, my team, the University of Miami, our fans, alumni and myself,” Winslow said. “What I have learned from this experience is to take my triumphs and failures in stride. My outburst should in no shape or form be a reflection on this institution or the Miami football program.”
“As for my reference to being a soldier in a war, I meant no disrespect to the men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces. I cannot begin to imagine the magnitude of war or its consequences.”
You can reach Brian Poliakoff at email@example.com.