Wilson Excited About Bowl Selection

Russell Wilson isn't ready for his junior season to end. NC State's standout quarterback will suit up one more time this year on December 28th when the Wolfpack faces West Virginia in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl.

Russell Wilson isn't ready for his junior season to end. NC State's standout quarterback will suit up one more time this year on December 28th when the Wolfpack faces West Virginia in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl.

"We're definitely excited about the opportunity to play in the Champs Sports Bowl," said Wilson. "Obviously we wanted to win the ACC and play in the Orange Bowl, but we've done a great job this season. We've been through some ups-and-downs int he past, and even in some games this season, but we've fought in some games and won them so it's been a successful year so far.

"This is a great opportunity for our football team, and I know our team is excited."

Wilson, a three-year starter for the Wolfpack, led his team to a bowl appearance as a freshman two years ago but a rash of injuries prevented them from reaching the postseason in 2009. What a difference a year makes as NC State finished the regular season 8-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play.

"It's a positive thing," said Wilson. "I think we've had some young guys come in and step up and compete. It's the same thing with the older guys. We've really worked to get better each day, and that's why we've been successful. We still have work to do, and we want to get better everyday, but that's the joy of playing football... coming out everyday and getting better. There's not too much better than that."

NC State has a chance to win nine games which would be the second-most victories in the program's history. Only the Wolfpack's 2002 squad won more games when Philip Rivers led his team to a 9-0 start that ended with an 11-3 mark and a win over Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl.

Nine wins, which has been reached a few times in the past, would certainly be an accomplishment for this program. NC State hadn't even won eight games since 2003 so another victory would give Pack fans, who are rooting for a program that could return as many as 16 starters in 2011, even more hope for the future.

"It would definitely mean a lot for future teams, recruiting, and our fans," Wilson said of winning the bowl game. "It would give the fans a little more to cheer about and hope of the teams to come. It's been up-and-down the past few years, and we've had some good players, but we've come along as a team.

"I believe we're a special team already, but I think we can be more special. There's a difference between being pretty good, very good, and great. I think we're playing a great team in West Virginia, and we have to play great. I think that will let us know who we are. We have to set the tone, and we have to play well."

Defeating West Virginia certainly won't be easy. The Mountaineers are 9-3, nationally ranked, and feature one of the top defenses in the country. Wilson was able to watch them in action over the weekend against Rutgers and came away impressed.

"They are athletic and run around really well," he said. "I know their defense is great, I think they are top five or top ten in the country on defense, but I don't know too much more than that. I watched that game this weekend, but I haven't had the opportunity to watch them too much before that."

For NC State to win they will need a strong game from their star quarterback. A second-team All-ACC selection by the ACSMA and a first-team All-ACC pick by Phil Steele, Wilson finished the year with 26 passing touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and no other quarterback had more than 20 touchdown passes. He also added another nine touchdowns rushing, which was second in the conference among ACC quarterbacks behind Georgia Tech's Joshua Nesbitt. Wilson led the ACC and finished sixth nationally in points responsible for, as he averaged 17.5 points per game.

Wilson's 35 touchdowns led the conference and are just three short of breaking the team and ACC record established by Philip Rivers as a senior in 2003. Rivers capped his senior season with five passing touchdowns in the bowl win over Kansas to total 37 touchdowns. Wilson has a chance to break the record in the Wolfpack's upcoming bowl game.

When asked about his stellar play, Wilson shied away from discussing his statistical accomplishments and chose to focus on the areas of his game he could evaluate on film.

"Statistically I don't really look at that," he said. "When I look at film I look more at each play, if I'm successful on that play as far as making the right reads or if my handoffs... are they perfect everytime? That's the kind of stuff I look at, and I try to evaluate myself critically.

"I think I've done a pretty good job. I think I have to get better, and it's about competing everyday. I want to get better everyday, and I've got some more things to accomplish."

With the bowl bid confirmed and practice already underway Wilson says it is time to take care of business. His team will be down in Orlando over the holidays, and they will have some fun, but the goal is to come away with the victory.

""We have to be ready to go," he said. "It's all about the preparation. We have to come out and work hard and prepare well like we have all season... have a great few weeks of practice.

"We're going to Disney World to win a football game."

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