Porter clinches Super Bowl XLIV for Saints

The words did not roll off of Jim Nantz’s tongue.

Tracy Porter … from Indiana University?

Yes, that was Porter, a Louisiana native who went to school at Indiana and came home to play for the New Orleans Saints, ending the Super Bowl hopes and dreams of many a Hoosier with his game-clinching 74-yard interception return for a touchdown Sunday in Super Bowl XLIV.

“Tracy Porter played that perfectly,” CBS announcer Phil Simms said.

Porter and kick returner Courtney Roby were the 11th and 12th Hoosiers to play in the Super Bowl, and the sixth and seventh to win the Lombardi Trophy.

Porter stepped in front of Reggie Wayne on a short pass route and caught the Peyton Manning-thrown pass. There was not a Colt standing between him and the endzone, allowing Porter adequate time to motion into the crowd and do a little high step as he crossed the goal line.

Manning had thrown in Wayne’s direction for 12 and five-yard gains earlier in the drive.

The interception came with New Orleans leading Indianapolis, 24-17. Indianapolis got the ball back but could not score in the red zone.

The cornerback, a second-round pick out of Indiana in 2008, took on the task of defending Wayne, the Colts No. 1 receiver, all night long.

Wayne had one reception, a five-yard gain, during the first half. He finished with five catches for 46 yards, the longest reception going for 14 yards.

Porter had four unassisted tackles during the game.

Roby, a journeyman on his fourth NFL team, returned four kickoffs for 102 yards.

He returned the opening kickoff, with the lights flashing all around him and the world watching, for 20 yards.

30 comments

  1. im not a colts fan, like the rest of my friends so it felt GREAT jumping up and cheering as Tracy took it to the house!!!

  2. I am still trying to figure out what the Colts game plans were for both sides of the ball. It appeared to me they tried to play just well enough to not lose.

  3. Tracy Porter was a zero star recruit…granted, he’s probably the exception to the rule, but never underestimate the ability to develop talent. Go Hoosiers!

  4. There sure are going to be mixed feelings around campus tomorrow.

    Looking at it from the point of view that Colts are just a local privately owned sporting franchise, while IU’s blood and soul is Indiana- would lessen the pain for many.

    It would also help us bask in the glory of Tracy Porter.

    _/\_ peace.

  5. After the pic, when Porter was running for the TD, a Saints player blocked Manning and it looks to me like an illegal block in the back. Anyone else see it that way?

  6. At the end of the first quarter, I believe that Roby and Porter could’ve been the Saints’ MVPs. Weird that two Hoosiers and a Boiler powered this year’s Super Bowl champs.

    Sorry for all of you Colt fans…must’ve been very strange for the people of Indiana tonight…many divided loyalties.

  7. T Rav… you must not have been paying attention. Tracy Porter made a lot of HUGE plays while at IU. Heck, he is the one responsible for IU’s win vs. Nichols State. That was his very first game as a Hoosier.

  8. Couple T.P.’s interception with Roby’s play and Randle-El’s backbreaking touchdown pass against my Seahawks a few years back, and the Hoosiers have put together a nice little showing in recent Super Bowl history.

    Of course, this begs the question: How is it that our program is able to produce top-caliber NFL players that shine in big games, but only win one conference game per year?

  9. I’m as IU as it gets, but I can’t ever cheer for this guy again after he put the screws to the only football team I like that actually is capable of winning games. Man I’m bitter today.

  10. At least now I can devote my full attention to IU finding new and exciting ways to lose. Will it be a last second shot? 3 straight possesions with missed 1-and-1’s? How about a 20 point loss because of a lack of effort? The possibilities are endless and absolutley INSANE! Tom Crean loves motivation, diet coke and building! Come watch Indiana Basketball, where next season can’t come soon enough; especially with the exciting recruits we have coming in!

    Man, this really isn’t helping. I think I’ll go break some glass by the dumpster…

  11. Ferg- How about celebrating Verdell’s 7th 20 – point game of the year? He scored nearly half the team’s points.

    Speaking of reasons we lost, I have one to offer:

    Hulls and Dumes going 0-8 from beyond the arc, while Shurna, Nash, and Thomson go 9-17.

    We might be the worst 3 point shooters in the Big 10.

  12. T-rav, Seriously? You do realize Porter is 2nd on the ALL-TIME list of Indiana players in career interceptions during his time here? He was the first (and only) player in IU history to have a punt, interception and fumble returned for touchdowns.

    DF – It was a perfect block and as clean as you will ever get in that case. Be glad it was a defensive lineman and not Sharper or Vilma leading the way for Porter. He (the lineman) was able to make a block, the others would have made a hit!

  13. Ferg & Apple, this is to celebrate two IU FOOTBALL players coming up big in the Superbowl, take the negative basketball talk to a post about basketball.

  14. Fair enough Mike. I’ll talk FOOTBALL with you. We’ll go 6-6 next year and regress the season after when we replace Chappel. Hooray! Tracy Porter can still suck it.

  15. Back to Porter: I couldn’t believe his acceleration on that return. I though for sure he’d be tackled, but he summoned some serious Rahib Ismael/James Jett juice. And then the pointing to the crowd in mid stride – it was a grand moment. His image will be crystallized forever in NFL lore.

  16. DF,

    I too thought the block was questionable and was looking for the flag. I could except the pick a lot easier if Hank Baskett had handled the onside kick. No receiver should ever be surprised when he sees the ball. To be able to put up 31 and only allow 17 shows the Saints had a better plan for winning the Super Bowl.

  17. Just saw a replay of the INT on ESPN. On the block, I could read “MANNING 18” clearly on the back of his jersey at the moment of contact, which suggests he was blocked in the side.

    T-Rev: Porter might not have been the best at punt returning or covering receivers at IU (the second part being a schematic flaw in the defense), but he made many QBs pay for mistakes. Brett Favre made a mistake two weeks back, Peyton and Reggie combined to make a mistake last night.

    Dan: The Nicholls St. game was the second game of Tracy’s second season, but he did make that win happen with a key pick down the stretch. His first game was against Central Michigan in 2004 and, if I remember right, he had two interceptions for TDs. Everybody knew who #9 was after that game.

  18. Great play by Porter…equally as pathetic effort by Wayne to hold the inside position on the play. Then Wayne dropped the late pass too. N.O. also got away with a block in the back on the pick but it didn’t really matter because N.O. would have just ran the clock out on us at that point. We were flat and N.O. had everything go right in each circumstance. Lots of questions about Colts coaching strategy.

  19. After the unspeakable travesty that happened in Evanston earlier, thank heavens we come from a school with such a rich football tradition. If only we had a basketball team that the football players could be proud of.

  20. It was not a block in the back. Contact to the side of the shoulder, back of the shoulder, or to the back DOES NOT mean it is a block in the back.

    Peyton sees Porter cut in and starts to try and cut back, at that point he sees the defensive lineman and spins his back to him.

    You can’t turn your back in an effort to avoid the block & get a block in the back call. It just doesn’t happen. Every time I lobby for a flag when that happens, regardless of the official, I get the same explanation of why it isn’t called a block in the back.

  21. Mike P.,

    Your uncooperative official expounding on his interpretation on what constitutes a block in the back is why they no longer call clipping penalties. It and holding are the two most exploited culprits being held to interpretation in football. At one time there was a fine line defining both. That line is now a gray area equaling the distance of two first downs. What is harder for me to understand is why these physical specimens of incredible talent need more advantage simply to enhance entertaining us.

  22. Tracy Porter’s exposure during the playoffs was probably the main reason Andre Kates decided to sign with IU instead of Miami, FL. Andre Kates has a chance to be the next “Tracy Porter” at IU…if he plays as big as his ego. Great job Tracy, you were the definitely the defensive MVP for the Saints during the playoffs…picking of both Favre and Manning at critical moments during the each game was HUGE!!

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