2015 Bowl Week – Daily Recap, Dec. 23

TODAY’S WEATHER
St. Petersburg, FL: Hi: 77ºF Lo: 70ºF Partly Cloudy
Storrs, CT: Hi: 55ºF Lo: 46ºF Rain Showers
Huntington, WV: Hi: 41ºF Lo: 29ºF Party Cloudy

Team Practice – Quotes

UConn

Bob Diaco
Head Coach, UConn

On the biggest improvement over the past two years
“Trust created an opportunity for everyone to improve both on a good side and the bad side. The good side is that warm fuzzy feeling of ‘you’re going to count on me and I can count on you.’ But you also trust that, if you turn the stove off and touch the top of it, you’re going to burn your hand….”

On how the defense bought into the system and moved past the struggles
“When you’re a defender, it’s never off. Like a fireman, it’s two in the morning, the bell sounds, you jump out of bed, slide down the poll, and you don’t wonder how big or small the event is, you just get ready to go. That’s what a defender must live like.”

On practicing at a facility with artificial turf
“We’ve been on turf back at home. We’ve got a beautiful indoor facility dedicated by (Mark) Shenkman. (Calvary) is a great complex, too. We’re proud and honored to be here and so glad they opened their home to us.”

On the improvements of placekicker Bobby Puyol made
“He worked on his overall foot positioning as it related to ball contact and created another level of trajectory for himself. Just a very smart player.”

Bobby Puyol
Kicker, UConn

On practicing back in Florida
“I’m from West Palm Beach, so this is home. I’m used to the palm trees in the area, so it’s awesome to be out here.”

On going from kicking outdoors to indoors
“All I’m focusing on is hitting the ball pure anywhere I’m at, either inside or outside. But inside, focusing on hitting that perfect rotation. I don’t have to worry about the wind, so I can aim just right down the middle.”

Marshall

Doc Holliday
Head Coach, Marshall

On facing UConn
“Connecticut is a big, physical, tough football team. They’ve got good players, they’re coached extremely well, they’re extremely physical and we gotta make sure we’re the same way.”

On having Chase Litton, a true freshman quarterback
“Four years ago we did the same thing and found a way to win so hopefully we do the same thing this time around. Chase (Litton) isn’t really a freshman anymore, we’re going into our 13th game so he’s played a lot of football and he’s played with confidence.”

On importance of winning a bowl game
“I think anytime you can go to a bowl game and win it, it feeds into your off season. Seniors who are leaving feel good about themselves and the season they had and underclassmen go into winter workouts with a bounce in their step and feel good about themselves. Bowls are always good, they help with development of young players. It’s great for us, it’s great for our program and that’s why bowl games are so important to get to go to for the development of our football team.”

Chase Litton
Quarterback, Marshall

On playing in the St. Petersburg Bowl
“It’s fun, the weather, my friends and family are all here. It’s exciting! All of the guys are here, we came to win a game, so let’s do it! We just gotta win, we came here to win a game and that’s what we’ve gotta do.”

On feeling pressure of being back and playing in St.Petersburg
“No (pressure). I played high school ball over here. I played middle school ball here, it’s just normal. Definitely don’t want to come to Florida and lose a game.”

D.J. Hunter
Linebacker, Marshall

On playing in his last college football game with Evan McKelvey
“We came into this program and we’re going to leave together. He was my roommate, my roommate on the road, we’re both ready to go there (the bowl game) on Saturday and get the win.”

On being a veteran and one of two players from the last bowl game played in St. Petersburg
“It was a great career. Evan and I were the only ones who made the trip in 2011.
That win was what started everything and winning these bowl games. Vinny, Omar, Tyson we just want to go out like they did with a bowl win. This is a place I love. I’m just trying to go out with a bang.”

On starting quarterback Chase Litton
“We have our faith in Chase. He has a bright, bright future. We have good stuff to look forward to.”

Ryan Yurachek
Tight End, Marshall

On playing UConn
“When you get to a bowl game you want to play the best and everyone talks about UConn’s defense. We’re really looking forward to the challenge.”

On the UConn secondary
“Veteran defense all around the board, veteran in the secondary, veteran in the front seven. Great job at what they do with everything. They’re very vanilla, very sound with everything they do. They do a good job at knowing exactly how their defense fits. Where we’re going to attack them and try to exploit them.”
On practicing outside in Florida
“You got a nice little breeze. It’s a step up from December in Huntington (WV) practice and we’re excited to be here and ready to go play.”

On the fun versus the business aspect of the Bowl Week
“It’s not that hard. You just have to know how to separate when it’s time to come out here for practice (you come out here and practice). When it’s time to go to Busch Gardens later today (you go to Busch Gardens). When you have your fun functions, have fun.”
“When we get the itinerary we look at it and see all the fun activities. Everyone is looking forward to Busch Gardens later today and the Beach Bash tomorrow. We have a lot of great events lined up for this week and we are excited.”

Team Event
Day at the Park – Busch Gardens


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