Football: Champs Bowl Teleconference Quotes

  • By Tiffany Doolittle
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  • December 05, 2010 10:10 PM
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Steve Hogan, FCS Chief Executive Officer
Opening Statement
Both Michelle Champagne (FCS President) and I are looking forward to having you. I believe this is the first time West Virginia is going to be playing in our game, and we’re very excited to have you in Orlando representing the great state of West Virginia. The fans are excited, and we have a lot of people here tonight sporting your colors. We’re looking forward to having you here for a great game.

Coach Bill Stewart
Opening Statement
To both Michelle and Steve, I want to give a very much appreciated ‘thank you’ from the West Virginia football family, the university and most importantly, the people here in the great state of West Virginia. We are absolutely thrilled and excited to be a participant. We are very much looking forward to this opportunity. I know the people of West Virginia, just as much as the football team, are really excited about this opportunity.

On NC State’s head coach Tom O’Brien
Tommy and I go way back to when we were in the Naval Academy in ’81-‘83. When he was at the University of Virginia, I happened to be at the University of North Carolina, and we had some real battles there. So, Tommy and I have been friends for many, many years. I greatly respect him, he has tremendous character and he’s a heck of a football coach and a guy. I would consider him a friend.

On playing NC State
It’s a real thrill to go up against the Wolfpack. They’ve had a tremendous program there under Tommy. He’s done a great job and again, he’s a heck of a football coach. To get the chance to play them, with them being representative of the ACC and us representing the BIG EAST, it just looks for a really good football game and a heck of a match-up. While I was here as a position coach before I became head coach, I recruited the state of Virginia very heavily because that’s where I spent most of my time. I certainly remember some of these players like Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon (NC State quarterbacks), so it’s going to be awesome to go up against a team like the NC State Wolfpack.

On NC State’s starting quarterback Russell Wilson
I know about him because I was down there when he was being recruited. Our assistant head coach and safeties coach, Steve Dunlap, recruited Russell for NC State. He is a great competitor. He has baseball skills, football skills and tremendous leadership skills. I got to see him play against Cincinnati, because that was in our film swap, so I know what he can do. I know the record he’s had. His stats are phenomenal. He’s very much a top-flight, efficient passer. The guy has around 26 touchdowns, which is pretty impressive, 14 interceptions, he’s thrown for over 3,000 yards, averaging about 200-300 yards per game, and that right there should get everyone’s attention rather quickly.

On UCONN’s win
I see no disappointment whatsoever. This is a great challenge, and I’ve already received some calls from my players and they’re excited. We were BIG EAST champs, and we are very proud of our 9-3 record, and we are very much proud of the result of our seniors. To come out and play like we have this last month has been a characteristic tribute to the young men here are West Virginia University and to our football program.

On the team’s preparation for the bowl game
Right now we’re in a reading period. The following week will be our exams. Once we get these few weeks out of the way, we can begin really serious bowl preparation. I can’t wait.

On what it means to WVU’s seniors
I think it’s going to be an outstanding magnitude because some of the guys get the chance to go back to their home state, but it’s also important to the rest of the football team and the seniors. This is a big bowl. I believe there’s one on at 6:30 p.m. and then another one on around 10:00 p.m., so we’re going to be the only show in town. We’re going to be America’s game on December 28. What more could you ask for with national coverage like this and to play such a great ACC power as NC State?

On the team’s progress in the past month
Our accomplishments were great. I think our last month has shown not only the people in West Virginia, but the entire country, that West Virginia is still a team to be reckoned with. I think we were 21st or 22nd in the polls and I’m glad about that, but to win four games against the top four opponents that we just played is very good. Then, to come out of BIG EAST play with a 5-2 ledger and being a champ is an outstanding tribute to the seniors, to our entire football team and most importantly, to our staff. It’s just been a real neat finish to the last month of the season.

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