Does it matter what type of bowl gifts you get?
I like rings, personally, just because it's unique. You can go to a store and buy a CD player. But you're not going to get a watch with a bowl on it. So, that stuff is all nice. It's all free. We're not complaining.
I see you're wearing the Alamo Bowl (shirt). Have you worn any Orange Bowl gear?
Yeah. I don't coordinate what I'm wearing. I just put on whatever is sitting on the couch. I'm wearing sweat pants too.
How much does the Orange Bowl bug you?
I think we played out poorest game of the year. They were an incredible team and took advantage of every mistake we made. That was the hardest part to swallow. We didn't play as well as we could, and they took advantage of everything. We've been practicing real tough this year. We won't make the same mistakes.
What do you think of the Florida offense from what you've seen on tape?
They run a lot of formations. They have a lot of personnel groups. They've got a lot of different plays from what we're used to seeing in the Big Ten. Every conference has a certain amount of running plays that you're used to seeing. They're a little bit different. It's going to be a challenge for us because they've got some stuff that we haven't seen all year.
Like what? What is their trademark?
I haven't seen everything, but just a lot of misdirection stuff. Stuff to get you...you know, fake the bubble screen, gut plays. They've got a quarterback who can run and pass. Their skill positions are just... they're fast.
Their center has been getting a lot of recognition in regards to the NFL.
He's a good player. He's kind of like the kid from Wisconsin. He's an aggressive player. He doesn't make mistakes. He plays well. He seems like the leader of their offensive line.
When you look around the meeting room and the auditoriums, you see a lot of Jan. 1 bowls but no wins since the '50s.
Yeah. This is a big game for us. To get back to January and play in a bowl is big for us. We've got to realize that showing up is not enough. Last year, we just showed up and it wasn't any fun.
Coach talked about the seniors giving input in preparations this year. What sort of input did you give?
I think the practice routine. We didn't really change much. A lot of guys liked the routine. We just blew a few things here and there about timing and what we do for activities and stuff.
Any thoughts on celebrating Christmas in a warmer climate this year?
It's not a big deal to me. I've only got one more year to do this. So, I might as well have fun.
Is there a match up that you're looking forward to?
All of their linemen are big. These are the kids out of high school that you say, ‘wow, that guy is a big guy.' Howard and Matt are going to have a challenge. Their tackles are enormous and they can also move. They have a tight end that can run and catch the pass.
Do you guys change anything that you do against that?
We haven't put in our game plan yet. I'm not sure about that. We're just going to have to be on our toes. Just like USC, this team can take advantage of any mistakes we make and take advantage of them big. They can run away from you. You've just got to be sound fundamentally.
What did it mean to get academic all-conference this year?
It's nice. It's meaningful. Any award is always nice to get.