Questioned about the status of cornerback Brandon Hogan, Stewart provided nothing in the way of new information.
"Hogan is not playing and I have no comment on that," the first-year WVU head coach said throughout a 30-minute interview. The reason for Hogan's status is unknown, but what is known is that he will not be on the field Saturday. Stewart has attributed both illness and personal matters for the critical loss.
Stewart does continue to look at the bowl as a positive, despite the questions surrounding the availability of Hogan and injured safety Sidney Glover. Stewart also declined to speak about injured players.
"We are very, very blessed and thrilled to be here," he did say. "We anticipate a heck of a game against the University of North Carolina, and I hope we can provide the excitement that a Big East and ACC matchup that people have been talking about."
The Mountaineers will play the Tar Heels for only the second time in school history. UNC nabbed a 20-17 win in the 1997 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
The Mountaineers haven't had the best career against ACC teams in bowl games, winning only two of 12 match ups against the rivaled conference. The two wins include victories over Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. Despite that history, WVU quit rightly hasn't let it affect preparations for this game.
"It has been a great time." exclaimed Stewart, "We are having a blast riding in the cars on Tuesday, eating some of that Carolina barbeque -- we don't get that in West Virginia. We went to the Children's Hospital, that's always a real treat, because we know how less fortunate they are then we are. They are fighting the real battle; we are just playing a football game."
It has become popular tradition for the teams involved in bowl games to visit nearby Children's Hospital to put the players' views into perspective. Four senior Mountaineers: Pat White, Pat McAfee, Mortty Ivy, and Ryan Stanchek, made their way to the Levine Children's Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center upon their arrival to Charlotte on Monday.
Despite much attention on pregame preparations, Stewart noted there isn't really much difference between a regular season game and a bowl contest.
"We have prepared exactly to the tee, in general." stated Stewart. "The days are different and the date is different but this has worked out pretty well because we can actually had a Tuesday practice on a Tuesday, a Wednesday practice on a Wednesday, and a Thursday practice on the Thursday. Usually you go to a bowl and play on a Tuesday or Wednesday and get your days all backwards, but this worked out really well. We came down here and had a good practice."
Stewart also took one final chance to comment on his quarterback. "Patrick White is the greatest winner in college football," said Stewart. "He is even more of a winner off the field. Being on the sidelines with him and watch this young man perform and lead and be a part of this Mountaineer family has been a real treat. I will always cherish these five years I have had with him. I am the lucky one, the state of West Virginia is lucky. Winner is just stamped all over him. He doesn't care about all that, and he doesn't make hoorah about it. He just plays the game."
White's career is marked with victories on the field and in the history books, leading one of the most successful senior classes in school history.
Even though it's the last game for White and his senior teammates, Stewart isn't trying to get things so hyped up that his team is tied up in knots.
"I am going to tell our football team the same thing I tell them every week, ‘Go out there and represent the old gold and blue in the best manner in which they can."