"They always are with Coach Muschamp," senior offensive lineman James Wilson said Sunday about tough practices. "We just always go hard. We make sure we give each other our best effort so that we're prepared for the game."
The Gators are proud and ready to play in such a prestigious bowl game.
"Obviously, we wanted to be in Miami and everything, but everything happens for a reason," Junior guard Jon Halapio said. "I'm not complaining. I'm still glad that we're here in a BCS bowl against a good team and it's televised. What more could you ask for?"
And some of the boys remember playing in New Orleans a few years ago in quarterback Tim Tebow's last game as a Gator, a blowout win over Cincinnati. They want to make this one count as well.
"I remember getting in with about a minute to go, and I told myself if I get in, it's to score," senior running back Mike Gillislee said. "I've been here before so this trip is more about being with the team and having the family getting together at the hotel. We've spent most of our time in the hotel room, so we haven't really gone downtown other than to eat. We've spent a lot of time playing cards and video games together as a team."
Gillislee and the running game will play a prominent role in the game plan on offense, and that is just how they like it.
"That's what our coach loves about the game and we love about the game," Halapio said about running the ball to win. "We just love running the ball and when we can spring Gilly [running back Michael Gillislee] out in the power plays or anything like that, it's going to be a good day."
"(The practice time) gave us an opportunity to polish things up and to make sure all of our guys know their assignments," Gillislee said. "It's not really enough time to make a lot of changes."
They feel like they have their work cut out for them against a tough Louisville defense and head coach Charlie Strong, the former defensive coordinator for the Gators.
"We're going to focus on our ground attack," said Gillislee. "Louisville has a great front and I think they'll do well, so it will be important for us to come out and execute."
"They're very physical up front," added Halapio. "I think the two defensive tackles inside are very solid, big, heavy guys. Definitely, I could see them playing on a good, solid SEC defense. We just have to play our game. We can't really sleep on Louisville just because they're in the Big East or anything. I think they are a really good defense and it should be a good game."