International Bowl Teleconference

No word yet on the exact amount of tickets sold, as International Bowl President Don Loding did not want to address the issue during the teleconference. Rather he wanted the media to focus on Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano and Ball State Head Coach Brady Hoke and their accomplishments.

Schiano would not address the question from non-local media about his discussions with Michigan to become the next Wolverine head coach. Schiano spoke with local media over the weekend and released a statement saying that he would remain as the Rutgers head coach, removing his name from consideration for the Michigan job.

"I have kind of put all of that behind us," Schiano said. "The commentary I am going to make from this point forward is going to be all about the bowl game and our football team."

This International Bowl will mark the second ever and last year's inaugural game in Toronto drew almost 27,000 people. Loding said that they are working to slowly but surely raise the attendance every year to make it a strong draw.

"Our original goals were to go 25,000, 30, and 35,000 in our opening three years as we build the program here in the city of Toronto," Loding said. "I think we are still on that program. I think we will have 30,000 or 30 plus this year and I think we are on track to continue and exceed our goals."

Both coaches were asked to address what the other team does to present them with challenges. Schiano said that playing indoors in the Rogers Centre would make it perfect to throw the ball.

"The first thing that jumps out at you is how explosive they are on offense," Schiano said. "When you look at their passing game and the amount of production, it will be a tremendous challenge. Just consider the environment, we are in an indoor stadium, it doesn't get any better than to be throwing it in there."

Perhaps the best story on Ball St. is defensive end Brandon Crawford. He is a former marine that walked on the football team at age 30. He is now 31 years old and a sophomore and registered 59 tackles, 17 for a loss, along with eight sacks on the year.

"In the initial meeting, I didn't know how old he was," Hoke said. "He was a good looking guy, so as a coach you are always looking for that. He found himself in a place in his life where he needed some structure and discipline, and that is why he ended up in the marine core."

"He brought an awful lot of leadership to us, discipline, maturity as a football team. He is a guy that had a good year for us and I think just getting back into football he is going to get better and better."

The storyline for the Scarlet Knights is the return of Jamaal Westerman who has provided a solid contribution from the defensive end position this season. He had provided Rutgers will 47 tackles, and leads the team in both tackles for a loss with 13 and sacks with eight. More importantly to the people of Toronto, he is a local Canadian who played three years of high school football in Brampton, Ontario.

"Jamaal has been a tremendous player in our program for three years," Schiano said. "He leads our team in sacks and is a relentless football player and as important or more importantly, he is a tremendous student, great leader on our team and I know he is very excited."

- Kenny Britt had his knee scoped last week and will be held out of practice until around Christmas. He will continue to rehab on his own until then.

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