BN: Coming in as a freshman the year before, did you feel that the team was on the brink right away when you stepped in?
(Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images)
Bevell: I didn't know much about the history of Wisconsin before but when I came in I could tell that the players were in place, that the coaching staff had everything in order. They were very detail-oriented. They would get the guys to work hard, they demanded a lot of the players. You could tell that something special could happen and it was exciting to be there.
BN: What were the feelings like on the team throughout the season? At what point did it seem real that you could achieve what you ended up achieving?
Bevell: I don't know when it ever did. Coach Alvarez did a
great job of every single week we would win a game and he would just say that
the next important thing was the next game. It was the one time of a season,
cause I've been threw a lot, that I can remember I think we actually believed
that the next game was the most important one. And we really did take it one
game at a time. We never looked ahead. Every meeting he would come into after a
big win or whatever happened, he would say, ‘forget about that one. This is the
next most important game that we play.' He would talk about it and make it seem
like whoever that team was that they were important, that they could knock us
off and keep us from achieving our goal of getting to that Bowl game. So every
week it almost seemed like, you know, that, well, we believed that. Then you
lose to Minnesota and the Rose Bowl really wasn't part of the game. So it ended
up falling back in our hands and we were able to take care of it, but we still
just believed that, hey, the next game is the most important; then the next one
and the next one.
BN: Did it finally sink in and finally become real once you defeated Michigan State?
Bevell: Yeah, I think once we defeated Michigan State and we were all standing out there on the field together and the hats, the shirts, the roses. I think that is probably when it started to sink in that we had actually accomplished that.
BN: What was the feeling like standing on the field after defeating UCLA in the Rose Bowl?
(Al Bello/Getty Images)
Bevell: Unbelievable. It was a magical moment for me and I know for the whole team. Three-quarters of the state was there in the stadium with us. The whole stadium was red and I think it was special for them. For me, to be able to bring the state of Wisconsin their first Rose Bowl win—that was a great moment.
BN: In an improbable season you had a pretty improbable play in that Rose Bowl. Almost 10 years later, can you take me through that 21-yard run?
Bevell: I can relive it like it was yesterday. The fun part about still being in the state and working with the Packers is our fans are the same fans for the University of Wisconsin, a lot of them. So they remind me of it. I think I've met every person that was sitting in that end zone that I was running to and they say, ‘hey you were running right at me.' It is a lot of fun to be able to make a play like that, something I wasn't known for, and now the biggest play that I ever made was something that I wasn't known for doing.
Previous editions of '93 revisited