Orange Bowl: Player Quotes

Quotes from Willie Idlette, Alphonso Smith, and Jyles Tucker from Wake Forest's practice at the Orange Bowl.

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Alphonso Smith
(On earning a spot in the Orange Bowl)
"We're not down here just to be in the bowl - we're down here to win it. Coach (Jim) Grobe emphasized that last week and practice. He's going to emphasize that again this week. We're going to practice hard because it's just another game."

(On importance of winning the game)
"The Orange Bowl is one of the oldest bowl games. I'm a south Florida guy so I grew up watching the Orange Bowl. It's a pretty big deal just to make it. Winning the Orange bowl will not only help Wake's program but also the Atlantic Coast Conference."

(reaction from Florida family and friends)
"I grew up watching FSU. The media crushed me when I signed to play football at Wake because the program didn't have a reputation for winning. Now I'm happy because I'm here at home playing for Wake in a BCS bowl."

(Miami being distraction)
"Growing up here, I'm used to the Miami lifestyle; it doesn't matter. You have to get your priorities straight. Coach said to us, when we're doing football activities, stay focused; when you're doing bowl activities, have fun, seize the moment and do as much fun as you can. When we're in meetings and on the football field, it's all about business and beating Louisville."

Redshirt senior wide receiver Willie Idlette
(On playing in the Orange Bowl)
"It's a great experience. It's a big time bowl for Wake Forest and our program. It's definitely important to make it but more so to win. That's been our mindset ever since the ACC Championship game. We definitely wanted to come to the Orange Bowl and win."

(on team's focus on the game)
"Miami is a fun city but we're here for business. We're going to enjoy everything the Orange Bowl has set up for us but we definitely have our minds set and ready for the game."

Senior defensive end Jyles Tucker
(On being invited to the Orange Bowl)
"This is something you dream about - playing in a BCS bowl game. I'm just happy to be here. With that being said, now that we're here, we have to get down here and work. We have to do what we have to do to win."

(on the team's focus during the final practices before the game)
"We have to focus on winning. Being in Miami is wonderful. The weather is beautiful but we are not down here for that. We're not down here to party all night. We have to get prepared -- get our practices in and watch film -- everything that we have to do in order to win the game. If you think about anything else, you're going to get embarrassed."

(On the importance of winning and how it affects the building of the program)
"It's important for us to win to get respect. After this game, if we pull this one out, hopefully we'll start gaining respect from people across the nation. It helps our program because next year you think, 'Why not try and go for a national championship next year.' I truly believe winning this Orange Bowl will help that."

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