Dec. 8, 2013
Head Coach Steve Spurrier
We are thrilled to be selected to play in the Capital One Bowl, New Year’s Day in Orlando. We’re really looking forward to it. One time we talked about the possibility of the Cotton Bowl, but it didn’t work out. Oklahoma won their game and they’re going to the Sugar Bowl. I really believe that the Capital One Bowl is by far the best bowl for our University, our team and our fans, that we could possibly go to. We’re getting a good Wisconsin team; they finished third or so in the Big Ten, had a 9-3 record and could have won all three of their losses. They’re a very good team. They have two 1000-yard rushers, the quarterback is a very good player, and they’re just a well-rounded team. It should be a heck of a game, we’re looking forward to it and I know our fans will look forward to going to Orlando. We appreciate the Capital One Bowl taking us and hopefully we can have some memories like we did two years ago in Orlando. I know personally and for our team, winning 11 games for the first time in school history down there was a very special day for us. Hopefully we can have another special day, but it won’t be easy and it should be a heck of game with Wisconsin.
On being contacted by the Cotton Bowl
They don’t really contact anybody. It all just falls into place. We don’t select where we want to go. I mentioned maybe trying to get a game with Bobby Stoops, but they had a big win over Oklahoma State and got selected to go to the Sugar Bowl. This [the Capital One Bowl] is the best place for us to go, no question. It’s an excellent bowl trip and there’s a lot to do. I know our players, I talked to Connor Shaw earlier, enjoyed it. There’s stuff to do all the time and hotel accommodations were super and we look forward to spending a week in Orlando.
On if the familiarity with location helping in preparation
Preparation has never been a problem wherever we play. Hotels are all very good and as long as we can find a little high school field somewhere, that’s all we need. We’re not too picky about all those things. Getting ready to play Wisconsin, that will be a tough task. They are a very good team. They could have easily been in that Big Ten championship game, one or two plays here or there in that Ohio State game and they’re right there. We have to get really prepared to play these guys on January 1st. Between now and then we’ll do our usual bowl type practices, we’re actually going to practice a little bit this coming week, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We’ll start getting the guys ready, throwing the ball around, getting some conditioning in and so forth.
On Wisconsin’s style of play
Well we have to get our run defense pants on, that’s for sure. When you play a team like Wisconsin that can run and run it and run it, they can stay on the field a long time if you don’t watch it. We’ll try to gear up to stop the run. We’re pretty good at it and sometimes not so good at it. But in the long run, obviously our defensive team really improved as the season went along. Our defense finished third in the conference in total defense. We’ve had a very good year defensively and it will certainly be a challenge on January 1st.
On beating teams that are going to BCS bowls
Nobody said it’s supposed to be fair, you know that college football isn’t all that fair. But really, a BCS bowl game or the Capital One Bowl what’s the difference, a little bit more money goes to the school and to the conference. The ACC gets two teams and we get two teams, the players get the same amount of gifts, expense money and so forth. It’s not that big a deal, it’s just a little more status. Going to a major bowl, a BCS bowl I guess there’s some status in it. We’ve beaten two teams that are going to BCS bowls [Clemson and UCF] but they’ve earned it and they deserve to go and that’s just the way our system works.
On if they players lobby to go to certain bowls
No, not at all. This is a time for us to reflect on the season a little bit and have some down time to get our bodies healthy.
When you hear Wisconsin football, what pops into your mind?
Obviously they have a winning tradition going on up there. They’ve done well in their conference so I’m exited to play them.
On beating two teams going to BCS bowls
I’d rather be in our scenario where we beat them than they beat us and we go to a BCS bowl. I’m happy to be in the position we’re in.