"The University of Florida Gators are extremely exited to be here. We're looking forward to the challenges of playing well."
(on reaching this point)
"You don't prepare for this event today. You prepare for it all the time. It's a good comment on these guys and how hard they've worked."
(on Florida's pitching situation)
"In every sport, but especially in the sport of baseball, injuries are an opportunity for someone else to step forward. If I was one of the performers on our ball club, to me, it's an opportunity to step forward. I look forward to seeing who is going to do that."
(on how close his program is to reaching an elite level)
"We continue to take steps and there's a plan. The plan goes on daily and that's to our kids' credit. They do what we ask of them on and off the field
(status of Alan Horne)
"He obviously hurt his leg. He caught his cleat when he threw the ball. He's day to day and I don't know his status right now. I know he'll want to do everything he can to get back but we'll just have to see."
(on his team playing loose)
"I don't like to use the word loose. I like them to be focused. I like them to be intense. I want them to play pitch by pitch, complete every inning. The game then takes care of itself. It shows up … in your eyes, in body language."
(on defending Texas' short ball game)
"It's an element they do extremely well, one of many things I like about their team. Their offense is a very, very good offense for a lot of different reasons. When the opportunity presents itself we've got to defend the field."
Florida center fielder Jeff Corsaletti
(on the experience level between the two teams)
"They (Texas Longhorns) obviously have the edge in the experience category but we've got a lot of guys on our team who want to win and want to play hard."
(on persevering through the season)
"This whole year has been about persevering. Down the stretch we lost like 7 or 10 games but we persevered and we're playing our best baseball right now at the right time."
(on Matt LaPorta's home runs)
"We joke around that he has to hit a home run for us to win. It gives us momentum and gives us some life. For us to be successful we're going to have to use the long ball in this series. It won't be easy against good pitching."
Texas Head Coach Augie Garrido
(opening statement): "The Longhorns are excited to be in the championship series. We hope to play the type of baseball that will excite our fans and the fans of collegiate baseball."
(about impressions of Florida): "Athleticism. Offense. Pitching. Defense. Good power. I like the spirit they have. Pat (McMahon) talked about how the guys love each other. I think that reflects in the way they pick each other up and play for each other."
(about the development of the pitching staff): "It's been a process of development and Coach Holiday has done a great job with that. Taylor Teagarden also plays a key role in the development of the pitching staff. Basically they needed confidence. One of the things that helps us is the Big 12, just as it's the SEC for Florida. It's a dogfight. You have to overcome adversity. That's the way it's set up."
(about whether each team's success runs together or all are separate): "All have their own identity. The momentum for both teams will be established as the tourney begins. The great thing about the game of baseball is it provides everyone with equal opportunity."
(about Florida first baseman Matt LaPorta): "I first met him today. I've watched him hit some of those balls he hits. They go far, man. He launches things that NASA wished they could."
Texas Catcher Taylor Teagarden
(about who Florida reminds him of): "They have two hard right-handed weekend starters. They kind of remind me of K-State in that they have a couple of guys that throw from underneath. They have quality starters. I expect to see good pitching."
(about the CWS experience): "At this point, everything starts over. It's a three-game season. The last three weeks we've played some great baseball. At this point we've seen it all."
Texas Shortstop Seth Johnston
(about whether Texas' CWS experience gives his team an advantage): "It could help if we choose to use that experience. Once the teams get on the field it's the same game that we've been playing since we were 6 years old. We need to block out the atmosphere and play the game."
(about lessons learned from last year): "Last year we felt like everything came easy. The postseason came easy to us. We made it to the championship series last year and all the sudden in the first inning we make errors. This hasn't happened before. In my opinion we panicked a bit. This season the postseason couldn't have been further from last year. This year's team has had to fight through a lot more ups and downs and fight through adversity."
Gators Appearance In CWS Final Places Them In Select Company
With its appearance in the College World Series Championship round this weekend, the University of Florida has reached rarified air. The University of Florida is the only Division I-A school to reach the national championships in the sports of football, men's basketball and baseball over the last 10 years.
Furthermore, Florida is the only Southeastern Conference member to achieve this and only the third school ever. The Gators appeared in the 1995 national title game in football before winning the title in 1996 with a victory over rival Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. In 2000, Florida reached the national title game in men's basketball, falling to Michigan State. This weekend the Gators will take aim at their first baseball national title and the school's 25th overall.
Florida joins Ohio State and Oklahoma as the only other schools to have played for all three championships in a 10-year stretch. The Sooners have done it twice, most recently having done so in a stretch from 1985-94.
With Florida's appearance in the CWS Championship Series, it is guaranteed no less than the school's eighth top-two finish among its sports in the last two years. The University of Florida has posted 16 top-five finishes in that time.