Bevell: We were going out, we were having pre-game while they were playing the game and when we went into the locker room coach Alvarez told us that that game was over and our destiny was back in our hands. So we knew before the game had started.
BN: How did that feel at that moment?
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Bevell: We were ecstatic. I think you can see by the stats and the way that we played that game that we weren't going to let our destiny slip away again. We did it one time with Minnesota and it just wasn't going to happen again. They were one of the best defensive teams in the country. They hadn't given up a 100-yard rusher in the whole season and both Terrell (Fletcher) and Brett (Moss) went over 100 yards and I think I threw for 250 or something. So you can look at the day, yeah, we were pretty focused.
BN: What was it like following the game, where it would have been a home game in October against Michigan State, instead flying to Tokyo. How did that feel instead of having the home game?
Bevell: You can't look back on how they did that. When they were making it they were trying to help the program and it could have been a great thing for them. You never know what would have happened if we would have played them at that time in the season. It just kind of added to the excitement and the fun and the specialness, I guess you could say, of that season. All of sudden we have to travel halfway around the world and win a game to play for the Rose Bowl. I remember after winning it, in a way, it was really exciting. The people that were involved in the whole situation—the team, the coaches and the few people that were able to go over to that game—we were all able to celebrate. We were all able to enjoy the time out there on the field. The only disappointing thing was we weren't able to go right back home and enjoy it with our other friends. But it was kind of exciting cause the whole team was there. The team enjoyed it on the field, whereas maybe if it was a home game you all would have headed into the locker room right away.
BN: You mentioned the special nature of the season. Looking back, how much credit do you feel the '93 team deserves for what has come since then. For all the Bowl wins, the additional Rose Bowls. For how far the program has come?
Bevell: I think there is a lot of credit owed to a lot of those guys. Joe Panos, Lamark Shackerford—the seniors that were in that class. Then all the young guys who believed in coach Alvarez's program—that he could turn it around. You know, that they would take a chance on coming to a place like Wisconsin, and try to put it on the map so to speak. We feel like we did that, we feel like we were able to put it back on the map. Everyone knew. It is a lot easier to recruit people when you are winning and going to big-time Bowl games. So, we feel like it definitely helped the program, in a big way.
Previous editions of '93 revisited