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Morning Coffee: A day in Orlando

Friday, December 7

Mark Richt speaks to local media in Orlando on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of the Capital One Bowl)

Georgia's Mark Richt and Nebraska's Bo Pelini were in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday for an appearance with the local media.

Here's a sample of what each said ...

(Courtesy of UGA Sports Communications and the Capital One Bowl)


Mark Richt

"It’s good to be here in Orlando. We’re very thankful to have the opportunity to play in the Capital One Bowl. I think going into the SEC Championship game I know I wasn’t thinking about plan B, but if your plan B lands you in Orlando and lands you at the Capital One Bowl then it’s a great thing for your program. We’ve been here before. It’s as good, if not the very best, bowl experience we’ve had as a team. Our fans love the opportunity to come to Orlando. I think our players will enjoy everything. I know our players enjoyed it back in 2008 after that season. I know the coaches’ wives and children enjoy it as well. We’re glad to be here. We know we have a tremendous challenge in playing the University of Nebraska headed up by coach Bo Pelini and his staff. They have some very dynamic players. Martinez is a great quarterback and they have a couple I-backs that are rushing for more than 200 yards a game and we’ve had some trouble with the rushing game lately so we need to make sure we can handle that."

On the Bulldogs’ season goals ...
"I don’t look at the bowl as a plan B, but plan A was to win (the SEC Championship) and play in the national championship. I think our guys like football. I think they like to play the game. I think they enjoy winning and I think they enjoy practicing. We have a lot of veterans on this team that came back for a special and to some degree it is a special year. We didn’t quite get to the mountain top like we wanted to, but these guys still have a lot of pride and they want to go out here and leave our program on a high note and in a first-class manner."

On Nebraska coach Bo Pelini ...
"He always has great defensive football teams. He was a defensive coordinator obviously. Just tough, hard-nosed football. That’s what it’s all about."

On his ties with Nebraska ...
"I grew up a Nebraska fan. My mom and dad were born in Omaha, born in the same neighborhood, and grew up together as kids. They started dating and got married in their teens. Most all of their family still lives in Nebraska. Even when we moved to Colorado we were still big-time Nebraska fans. It’s very meaningful to play the University of Nebraska to me on a personal note. Because I’m at Georgia a lot of my cousins are Georgia fans as well and they call themselves 'Corn-Dawgs.'"

On recruiting in Florida ...
"Hopefully there are some young players in the area that watch the game and maybe get to come to the game in person to see us play and like what they see and get excited about Georgia."

On the bowl time activities ...
"I like for our players to enjoy the bowl experience. I want to win and we’re going to have our meetings and our practices set up to where we’re going to get the work done that we need to get done. We try to get it done early enough in the day that they have the majority of the day to go enjoy the events. I don’t mind them going out and having fun; I don’t even look at it as a distraction. I look at it as a reward."


Bo Pelini

"We’re excited. I know I can speak for everyone and say that we’re excited to be coming back to Orlando. We’re coming to a first-class bowl game, great hospitality, great city of Orlando, and the opportunity to play a tremendous football team, one of the top five, top couple football teams in the United States, so we’re looking forward to the challenge, a great football game, and a great trip for our team and our fans."

On a return trip to the Capital One Bowl ...
"Having some familiarity with the surroundings, the hotel, everything. One thing I can say from my appearance last year is that the folks at the Capital One Bowl do such a great job. Theyre so organized. They made it easy on us. It’s first class all the way. We’re looking forward to it."

On the possible distractions of playing in Orlando ...
"I don’t think it’s a distraction. There’s time for work and then there’s time for play. Going to a bowl game is a reward, a reward for a lot of hard work that’s gone into it, a lot of sacrifice. I think we do a good job of balancing that."

On playing Georgia ...
"I know Coach Richt from my time in the SEC, watched him on film a lot. I have a lot of respect for their program. I know they’re a tremendous football team, very talented football team, and they’ll be a great challenge for us."

On rebounding from the Big Ten Championship Game loss ...
"It’s not the first time we’ve gotten hit in the mouth. Everybody who plays the sport of football, or plays athletics, goes through a tough time. The way you’re defined isn’t by what happens to you, but the way you react to it. Our guys are looking forward to the next opportunity to go out there and play. The opportunity to play against Georgia is great."

On stopping Georgia’s running game ...
"There not the first team weve played and they’re not going to be the last that has a good running football team. We’ve played enough of them this year, physical running backs, physical groups up front. We’ll be ready for it. We won 10 games for a reason. It’s not easy winning ten. We’ve got a tremendous challenge ahead of us to try to get 11."



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