2011 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg Daily Wrap 12-18

Sunday, Dec. 18

Today’s Weather:
Hi:  75 degrees
Lo:  65 degress
Mostly Sunny

Practice:
Marshall had its first practice at Tropicana Field this morning from 9:00 am – 11:00 am.

Doc Holliday, Marshall Head Coach
“We are playing a quality team in FIU that’s well coached and extremely talented.  Just like any other game we play, we have to make sure that we are well prepared or we’ll have problems.”

On the progression of freshman QB Rakeem Cato
“He has gotten better as the season has gone along.  He’s a typical freshman. You go through a lot of growing pains with freshmen.  Fortunately he’s got some games under his belt now.   He grew throughout the year. You saw the improvement he made from game one until the end of the year against East Carolina.”

Vinny Curry, Marshall Defensive End
“We’re definitely excited about playing at this point.  We worked hard for this game.  We’re down here on a mission and that’s to win a football game.“

Tyson Gale, Marshall Linebacker
“They (FIU) have the same kind of skilled players as Houston and Southern Miss.  We just have to take the same approach.  We can’t miss open tackles.”

On his final game
“This is a big game for me because it’s my last game as a senior and I know I may never play a football game again.”

FIU Practice
FIU practiced for 90 minutes on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Tropicana Field.

Mario Cristobal, FIU Head Coach
“We’re ready, we’ve prepared hard and very thorough. It’s such a tremendous opportunity for our players; they have been so enthusiastic at practices. It’s time to play this game and put on a great show for the city of St. Petersburg and show who we are.”
On Marshall QB Rakeem Cato 
“He’s a good player and it’s hard to slow him down. He’s an athletic quarterback, you have to play assignment football, by that I mean, don’t let your eyes drift, don’t get caught looking at something you’re not supposed to be and make sure you are on point the entire game for 60 minutes.”

Wesley Carroll, FIU Quarterback
“These guys have been motivated and we have had awesome preparation.  Our practices have been high tempo; a lot of energy, a lot of positive reinforcement. Everybody is amped up and ready to go to get this going.”

On the Bowl Experience:
“It has been great here. The bowl has done a great job. The food has been great, the hospitality has been unbelievable. The cruise last night was unbelievable. It was cool to get out there on the water.”

BEACH BASH at TradeWinds Island Resort
With the temperatures in the mid-70s and sunny skies, it was a perfect day to enjoy St. Petersburg Beach at the TradeWinds Island Resort. Both teams arrived at the resort in the afternoon and after team meals, the players took advantage of the numerous beach amenities including a water slide, beach volleyball court and of course the beach.

Later in the afternoon the teams met for their first competitions of the week at the main pool deck.  Surrounded by fans from both teams, players from each team competed in a belly-flop contest, hula-hoop contest, talent show and a dance-off.  Each team claimed two wins so the deciding contest will be on the field on Tuesday night at 8:00 pm in the 2011 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg.
Contest Winners:
Belly Flop: Brandon Bullock, Marshall
Hula Hoop: Jose Cheeseborough, FIU
Talent Show: Ceedrick Davis, FIU
Dance Off: Isaiah “Jazz” King & Troy Evans, Marshall

UP NEXT
What’s Happening — on Monday, Dec. 19
Weather Forecast:
Hi:  72 degrees
Lo:  61 degrees
Mostly Sunny

Closed Walk-Throughs at Tropicana Field:
Both teams will hold final walk-throughs on Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

All-Children’s Hospital Visit: 9:00 a.m.
Team captains, mascots and cheerleaders from each team will visit the children at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. ESPN/Disney and the two participating teams will provide gifts.

Kickoff Luncheon at Renaissance Vinoy Resort: Noon
Coaches, student-athletes, and other members of the official travel party join the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg staff, sponsors, community leaders and fans for a luncheon at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. The luncheon will include speeches by each head football coach. The keynote speaker will be Vince Papale, who was the subject of the blockbuster Disney movie, “Invincible,” the stirring football drama starring Mark Wahlberg as Papale.

Battle of the Bands at TradeWinds Island Resort St. Pete Beach: 2:30 p.m.
Fans, school bands, cheerleaders and mascots in beach attire join in for an afternoon full of fun and festivities, including a beach cook out, tug-­o-war, flag football, boxing ring, and more on beautiful St. Pete Beach. The event is free and open to the public.

Bowl Block Party at Ferg’s Sports Bar Downtown St. Petersburg: 5:00 p.m.
Bands, cheerleaders and mascots will be on-site for the festivities that include live bands, interactive games and displays. Bowl tickets and merchandise will be available. The event is free and open to the public.

5K Run/Walk benefiting The Mike Alstott Family Foundation and Athletes for Hearts, Inc. at Tropicana Field
The 5k race starts on the east side of Tropicana Field at 6 p.m. and will be preceded by the Kids’ Races at 5:30 p.m. All races will finish at the popular sports bar, Ferg’s. There will be a silent auction at Ferg’s with proceeds from the race and auction going to Athletes for Hearts, Inc. and the Mike Alstott Family Foundation.


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