Dec. 8, 2011
GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL PRESS CONFERENCE
Four Hills Country Club
Wyoming Football Head Coach
(On returning to the same bowl game twice in the last three years)
“We are excited about it. We had such a tremendous time down here last time and we were really looking forward to the opportunity to come back again. We were hoping that this was the bowl we were going to get to. I think it is the perfect location for where we are located for our fan base to get to and we had a real nice following last time and I would expect an even better following this time.”
(On how Temple is similar to opponents they've played this season)
“They run the ball really well. Colorado State and San Diego State had success running the football. Certainly Utah State had success running the football. We've seen some teams lean on the run and they do a tremendous job. They have a huge offensive line that will be a challenge for our guys to make sure we are gap-sound and don't get washed away. Defensively, they are in the top five in the country. They only give up 13 points per game. It will be a great challenge for our offense.
(On his concern for the freshmen after the loss to Utah State)
“I think it's a game different than anyone played this year. We did not play very well and made some personnel changes. We can back the next week and played UNLV and dominated that game fairly well and from that point on I thought we were a much different football team.”
(On what being the in the first bowl game of the season means to the program)
“It's great exposure. Everyone that is a college football junkie has taken two weeks off and can't wait for it to come back on so by 12 o'clock on ESPN, we will be that game. I know the exposure we got last time. I walked into the locker room and grabbed my phone and had over 70 text messages. I haven't had more than 20 text messages for any other game. The exposure is tremendous. It's from coast to coast and goes to every household and every sports bar. It's huge. ”
(On freshman quarterback Brett Smith's accomplishments this season)
“He's very mature for a young guy. He did graduate early and spend spring ball with us. Brett is one of the best competitors I've ever coached. He's very driven and has great leadership skills for a freshman. Our guys rally around him; they follow him and he will be a captain for this bowl game. As a true freshman, he's a great competitor who is never satisfied with his performance.”
(On what he expected this season after last year)
“Our schedule was significantly different this year. We've been building this program for three years now and we felt that we had a fairly decent team a year ago. We played a number of ranked opponents week after week after week with a young football team and we had our struggles. But we certainly finished the season strong a year ago with Colorado State and springboarded into the offseason. We had a great offseason and great leadership on this football team. We never looked back.”
(His thoughts on the Mountain West teams and the bowls they were and were not selected to)
“I think that Boise State and TCU are both very capable teams of competing at the BCS level and it's disappointing, especially as high as Boise is ranked to not get a BCS game but you know, the system isn't perfect. It is the system that we live with now and I don't look forward to it staying the same. It will change eventually.”
(On whether Wyoming has an advantage having been to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl before)
“I don't if it's a huge advantage. We've played down here but it wasn't an advantage to come down here and play last year. I don't think it will play a big role in the outcome of the football game.”
(On whether the altitude will be a factor)
“Altitude, yeah, I don't have to wear oxygen when I'm down here like I do when I'm down here for four days like I do in Laramie when I sleep at night. We're 2,000 feet higher so probably not. For them, I don't think it's a huge problem. I think it's a little bit overrated. I think our guys will be able to perform better because it is lower than Laramie and we train there the whole time. I don't think it will be a huge factor but I guess we will find out.”
Christensen & Temple's Matt Rhule with the Bowl trophy.
Temple Football Head Coach
Hello, everybody. My name is Steve Addazio. I'm the head football coach at Temple University
. First off, I'd like to apologize for not being able to be with you this afternoon. I've been fighting the flu here for about three weeks, and with the game just 10 days away, I thought it was in the best interest of our football program to get healthy, to be around, and to make sure our team is really well prepared for this great football game.
On behalf of our president Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, our Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw, our faculty, our administration, our fans, our coaches, and our players, I want everyone at the Gildan New Mexico Bowl to understand how honored we are to have a chance to come out and play this great football game. Our kids are so excited to come out and enjoy this bowl experience. I promise you that we'll come out as a well-prepared football team, full of energy, full of passion, and really bring a flavor of MAC (Mid-American) Conference and Philadelphia-style football to New Mexico.
We're playing a great team in Wyoming. Coach Christensen has done a phenomenal job there. I've watched their team on film. They play really, really hard on both sides of the ball, and they're really well coached. They play in the Mountain West Conference which is a great football conference, a lot like the MAC-- two strong football conferences with great tradition.
They have some great players on their football team. You watch tape and you see QB Brett Smith; he's a phenomenal football player; he's a very, very exciting runner and thrower. Alvester Alexander, their RB, is a tremendous football player, and Josh Doctson, WR, is another great football player. They average 185 yards rushing and 212 yards passing. They've given up just 12 sacks. That's a sign of great coaching and a talented football team.
On defense, they have some tremendous players. Up front, Mike Purcell, in the back end Tashaun Gibson, DE Gabe Knapton-- they're very, very talented, well-coached, and they play really hard on defense.
This is going to be an exciting football game. At Temple, we have some really great players as well. We have some great seniors that have won a lot of games here at Temple. They have a chance to play for the 31st victory in their careers. On defense, Tahir Whitehead
, our senior LB, has had a great season. Morkeith Brown
, our DE, Adrian Robinson
, our other DE, just to name a few, have had a great, great season and are really playing tremendous football right now.
On offense, everyone knows Bernard Pierce
. He's a heck of a RB, and he's had a great year. He's an exciting player to watch. Matt Brown
is our other RB, equally exciting to watch. And obviously so many other great players on offense.
On both sides of the football, we feel we have a good, quality football team. So this will be two great teams going at each other. What a great opportunity for fans in New Mexico, from Wyoming, from Temple, from Philadelphia, on Saturday at Noon to watch a great football game. Two teams battling; two teams on a mission to get their ninth win. This will be a great day in college football, and one that we're really looking forward to.
Again, I want to say I'm sorry that I'm not there, but I want to also tell you that when we do get there, we're going to get there awfully excited. We want to take in the sites, we want to play great football, and we want to really enjoy this tremendous bowl experience. I hope everyone has a great day today. I wish Wyoming and everyone great preparation, and we'll see everyone when we get out there on Wednesday. We really look forward to it. Thanks. Have a great day.