Jacobs says the trip to the Outback Bowl will be a first class experience for the players. "I am so happy for these seniors after all they have been through the last couple of years," Jacobs says.
Last season the Tigers struggled to a 5-7 mark and ended a bowl streak that had started in 2000.
Senior Chris Todd says the Tigers are upbeat about being invited to play in the Outback Bowl. "This is a great reward for the players, being able to play in a New Year's Day bowl game," the quarterback says. "We worked hard all season and it is a great feeling knowing we will be in Tampa to end our season."
Todd says he is looking forward to his final game playing football for Auburn. "It's a tremendous feeling to get another chance to play in front of our fans," he notes. "The atmosphere in the Iron Bowl was amazing and meant a lot to our team. It's a great feeling to know we will be able to play for them one more time and get the chance to go through Tiger Walk one more time."
Another senior, running back Ben Tate, says he and his teammates are happy the Tigers landed the bid to the game in Tampa.
"I was excited when I heard we were going to the Outback Bowl," he says." It's a great reward for us. To get a bid to a New Year's Day bowl shows how much respect people have for Auburn since they picked us over so many other teams they could have taken. I'm just really looking forward to playing Northwestern, having fun, and doing our best to win the game."
Ben Tate runs vs. Ole Miss.
Tate expects the Tigers will get a lot of support for the game that will be played at Raymond James Stadium. "I know there will be a large number of Auburn fans there," he says. "They travel to every game no matter what, and it will be great to see so many of them in Tampa supporting us."
Senior Tommy Trott says, "This is huge for Auburn. When Coach Chizik and Mr. Jacobs told us in the team meeting, we just erupted. It was a total surprise. Everyone is fired up about playing in Tampa. Auburn has a great alumni base there and we are very excited to get the chance to play in front of them.
"To get the chance to end my career in such a big game is very exciting," Trott adds. "The Outback Bowl is a huge game. It is a great reward for our seniors and the team. We are looking forward to playing Northwestern and playing for our fans one more time."
Junior linebacker Josh Bynes, who made 10 tackles in the regular season finale, notes that the Tigers enjoy the fan support they have been getting this season and it would be a big boost if that continues in Tampa. "To have a whole bunch of our fans there would be magnificent," he says. "They have been with us since day one and they really bring a lot of energy to the team. We know they love us and we love them. We're looking forward to having a lot of them there cheering us on."
Bynes, who is from Fort Lauderdale, says he is looking forward to finishing the season in his home state. "I was excited when I found out because I was hoping to get a chance to go back to Florida. To get in a New Year's Day bowl game against a quality opponent is a great opportunity for our team."