Bowl Talk: Robert Gallery and Fred Russell

"We were just hoping to make it to Florida. It's a better bowl, and we wanted to make it to the best bowl possible. Obviously, Texas is a great place to play. It's a lot of fun. But we wanted to see some new scenery. (Florida) is a great team. Just to have the opportunity to go play a great team, that's what we wanted. The opportunity is there. It's going to be a great challenge for us." -- Robert Gallery. Read more from Robert and Fred Russell from today's Bowl press conference transcript.

FRED RUSSELL

What do you know about Florida?

I just looked these guys up (on the Internet). I had seen that they beat Georgia and LSU this year. It's going to be a tough game for us.

Do you know anybody on the team?

Nah. The only kid that I remember from their team is the Leak kid when he took his visit here.

Did you show him around?

No. I didn't.

Did you think that he was coming here?

I didn't really get too much get into that. I just knew that we had Drew Tate at the time.

So, this is officially your last game as a Hawkeye?

I hope so.

So, you haven't changed your mind?

An injury can change my mind. I've got that to fall back on if I did get hurt in a bowl game. Some seniors, they get hurt and that's it. If I get hurt, I won't be able to work out. So, it would be a good thing for me to come back next year.

Did you get invited to any more (all-star) games?

I have a couple of other games that I have been invited to. Right now, I'm just concentrating on this bowl game ahead of us and trying to finish the season off strong so we can he the first (Iowa) team to have back to back 10 win seasons.

When did you get on the computer (to check out Florida)?

I just checked it out just to look at see what teams they have beaten. You beat a team like LSU, that's playing for the national title, we've got to bring our "A" game.

Coach mentioned the work ethic this year compared to last year. How has it been different for you?

This year has been a lot different because last year I was nursing a broken shoulder. I'm practicing now. That's a good thing.

How about attitude wise?

Attitude wise, we're real confident with the plan that the coaches have for us. We just want to be sure that we're physically and mentally ready for this game. We know what happened to us last year. So, hopefully we'll be ready.

Would the team have been disappointed if the chips would have fallen a different way and you would have been sent to the Alamo?

We would have been disappointed. The only thing that we're kind of disappointed about this Outback Bowl is that it's 11 o'clock. That means we've got to wake up at 7 in the morning. (laughter) We don't like waking up that early.

What about Florida having a home field edge because they've been able to buy up tickets this week?

We're going to have good support. With them being in Florida and them being from Florida, it looks like they might have more people than us. It might be like a road game for us.

ROBERT GALLERY

Is this like a road game for you guys?

We're going to Florida. So, it's a pretty big road game. (laughter)

They're going to have like 40,000 people there.

Yeah. We took like 50,000 last year. So, we always have a great fan following. I'm not to worried about not having many fans there.

Did you feel like you guys lost some momentum taking that break over Christmas last year?

Things didn't work out. We obviously did something wrong. We have to stay focused. We had a longer break last year. We had another week, I think. We've just got to stay focused and be ready to go this year.

What do you know about Florida?

They're a good team. That's about all I know.

Have you seen them?

I've seen them a little bit here and there on TV. But we're going to find that out in the next couple of weeks and have the best game plan ready to go for them.

Did you meet any of their guys anywhere along the line?

No. Not as of yet. I'm sure I will next week when I'm down in Orlando. They're a great team. It's going to be a good challenge for us.

Did you meet Chris (Leak) at all when he was here?

Yeah. He was at a practice. But I didn't host him or anything. He's obviously having a good year. It will be a good challenge for our defense.

Who did host him?

I have no idea.

Will this be a big deal for the Florida players to go back to Florida and play against Florida?

Oh, always. They get to go back to their home state. It's always a big game when you get to go to your home state and play against guys from where you're from. I'm sure they're going to be up for this one.

What does back to back January bowls mean for this program?

It's just kind of a statement that we wanted to make and to put this program back at a high level. We're working to do that. It's a big deal for us. It's a lot of wins in two years. That's what we wanted to do.

Are you guys excited? Was there a lot of pulling for the Capital One Bowl?

They're both great bowls. I don't think that anybody had any hopes for one or the other. We just wanted to be in Florida. That was our goal. It's happened for us.

What would things have been like if you had been sent to Texas?

We were just hoping to make it to Florida. It's a better bowl, and we wanted to make it to the best bowl possible. Obviously, Texas is a great place to play. It's a lot of fun. But we wanted to see some new scenery.

In the next few weeks, a lot will probably be made about their speed, their quickness versus Big Ten power. Will that be the role for you guys? Will you have to go down and punk them in their backyard, so to speak?

They're a great team. Just to have the opportunity to go play a great team, that's what we wanted. The opportunity is there. It's going to be a great challenge for us.

Do you like eating at Outback?

Yeah. It's not bad. I've been there a few times.


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