"Oh without a doubt. I mean having the chance to go back to Florida but more importantly it's a big game for both programs. You've got two great head coaches and a lot of great players on both teams. It will set up well for the rest of our season and recruiting."
You've seen how loud that stadium can get. What do you tell your players about going in there?
"First things first, we're just trying to execute our game plan. It's going to come down to offense, defense, and special teams. There are some factors you can't control and that's the crowd noise at The Swamp. We're just trying to take it one play at a time and go from there."
In big games like this there's usually a lot of trash talk not only from the fans but the players as well. What do you tell your guys to prepare them for that?
"Well you can get distracted from the crowd, from guys chirping at each other, from guys hitting guys late, all that stuff can get you out of your game plan. Our game plan is to play one play at a time and try to dominate every play whether it's offense, defense or special teams."
With so many young guys on this team, how do you keep their adrenaline from getting too high?
"Well, that's going to happen with the atmosphere of the game but at the same time we're going to try to play enough guys where one guy is in playing and another guy can get coached form the sideline of some of the things we're seeing defensively like fronts or coverages."
How much do you guys need this game to figure out who you are?
"It's a huge game for our team. We're not necessarily saying it's got to be because of a specific team but without a doubt we know who they are and they know us. A lot of guys on our team either played with them or played against them in high school. It will be a step in the right direction if we can go over there and take care of business."
How improved is their secondary from last year?
"I think their secondary starts and stops with # 21, Major Wright. He's probably their most consistent player back there. They have some pretty good corners back there and they play nickel and dime and put a lot of different packages in but I think it all starts with Major Wright back there at safety."
How good of a gauge will this be to see what some of your young players are capable of?
"It's the best gauge of the season, without a doubt. With so many receivers that we're playing to see against really good competition for 60 minutes. It's going to be very exciting."
What do you think you're going to feel walking in there?
"They'll be throwing stuff at me. It won't be like a homecoming. They'll be trying to kick my tail and the Hurricanes' as well. Obviously, we'll be trying to do the same to them."
What is it like to be going back there as the enemy for the first time?
"When I was on the other side it was all easy but when I come in now I'll be the enemy. After the game, maybe I'll get a pat on the back but for the first 60 minutes they'll be trying to rip my head off."
Have you been getting a lot of calls this week from former teammates?
"You know there have been some very interesting phone calls and voice messages. It's been very intriguing but even us as coaches have to stay focused. All I'm worried about is our game plan, our players, this week of practice and Saturday night."
What do you mean by interesting phone calls?
"Well, you know you get the normal ‘Hey are you guys ready?' and ‘Hey we're ready. We've got all our guys back.' That's just fan talk though. Us as coaches and players and the UM family, we know what we need to do to win."
Are you connected with any of the Florida players or coaches?
"No not at all. I don't know any of Urban's staff. There's one guy in the weight room, Mark Campbell, that I played with. Other than that, I don't know any of those guys any more as far as staff wise."
Does that help you detatch yourself at all?
"Oh yes, it's an easy detachment. We've got great kids here and an outstanding coaching staff. We're trying to go up there and win this game."
Before Saturday, every time you've been to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium you have been a Gator. Is it going to seem strange at all to be on the other side?
"Very shortly it will feel strange. It will turn quickly on me trust me."
With the teams not playing every year, why is this game such a big deal?
"Some of these guys played together or against each other in high school. Us as coaches, we recruit against each other every year. Obviously, its two great programs here in the State of Florida and also, the type of games that have been played before. There have been some very exciting games played between the two of us."