Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blizzard in Connecticut, Huskies land in Phoenix

Randy Edsall held a press conference at the airport in Phoenix today shortly after the UConn plane touched down. Here's a transcript. By the way Randy, it's more like 12-20" of snow in Connecticut today.

UConn Head Coach Randy Edsall
Airport Press Conference, December 26, 2010

Opening Statement:

“We just left 25 degree weather and we are supposed to have a storm comin
g in with 6-12 inches so being out here is great. We are honored and privil
eged to be here and play in the Fiesta Bowl against an outstanding opponent
in Oklahoma. I know our kids are excited about being here and they have re
ally worked hard and earned the right to be here with all of you great folk
s. We look forward to preparing this week then playing the game on Saturday
against a quality opponent.”

Can you talk about what a great opportunity this is for your program?

“It is a tremendous opportunity for us, for our program to only be seven
years in the BIG EAST and nine years as an FBS school, to get here this qui
ckly and be in our first BCS game is something that these young men have dr
eamed about since they started playing the game. To get this opportunity an
d to know that because of team work, taking one game at a time and being ab
le to fight through adversity, which they had to this year to get here, mak
es it that much more rewarding. It says so much about the kids, our program
and the university. It is really hard to imagine that this has happened th
is quickly.”

Has anything happened in the last three weeks or today that has made you re
alize that this is a different stage?

“Just getting off the plane, this hasn’t happened before with all of th
e folks welcoming us and the press conference this is different. Also we ha
ven’t been to a bowl game where it has been this warm. Sometimes you have
to pinch yourself. Last night I was able to watch the South Florida game a
nd reflect, and to see that game in its entirety and to know that that game
meant we won the BIG EAST and were able to come here was surreal. Now we a
re here and now we have work to do and business to take care of.”

Can you talk about the challenges Oklahoma presents?

“Oklahoma has tremendous athletes, Landry Jones is an outstanding quarter
back and Ryan Broyles is very good, they know what they are doing. They hav
e a tempo that gets after you and they can create problems with that. They
just have outstanding players who are very well coached. It is a tremendous
challenge for us, but it’s a challenge that we look forward to. This is
why you work and why you put in all of the time and effort that the young m
en do, to achieve these goals and go out and play against the best there is
in the country. We know that it is going to be a difficult test and we are
going to have to play really good, sound, fundamental football to give our
selves an opportunity to win.”

Oklahoma lost the last two times they were here, is that a positive or nega
tive going into the game?

“To me, I just know that they are a very good team and this game is total
ly different. We know that they are hearing all of those things that everyb
ody is saying, and we know that we will be getting their best effort. We ju
st have to make sure that we give our best effort also. We need to go out a
nd play the type of football that we have been playing, and hopefully we ca
n get some turnovers, possess the ball and play as well as we have been on
special teams. For us it has to be a team effort, we have to have all three
phases clicking in order for us to get the result that we are looking for.

Oklahoma has changed Offensive Coordinators since the end of the season, do
es that change anything that you are doing?

“I doubt that it will change anything that they do. It’s not like they
brought somebody in from the outside to put in a whole new system. There is
going to be wrinkles just like everybody else puts in for a new game, but
I don’t think the structure of what they have done in the 12 games that we saw will change.”

Can you talk about the bigger picture of playing in a BCS game?

“I think you will see more UConn fans here then what bought tickets. I think some of them went online and bought them instead of going through the school. I think the bigger message is about what this team has accomplished and what opportunities college football can give kids. This to me is something that people should focus on, giving these young men the opportunity to
go and get an education and play football. For our young men at the University of Connecticut to be part of the BIG EAST Conference and to win the BIG EAST, coming back from a 3-4 record and 0-2 in the conference, and winning the last five games to win the conference is great. Being in the BCS for the first time in school history, I commend the people of college football for giving young men that opportunity to be able to do that.”

“I think that is more of a story then the economics or anything along tho
se lines. This will have an impact on our recruiting moving forward, and it
is also going to show other people that if you really work hard and play a
s a team and you don’t care who gets the credit, you can accomplish anyth
ing that you want to in life. That is really what this is all about and tha
t is really what this team has been about this year and last year. It goes
to show you that if you take a diversified group of young men from all over
the country and get them to believe in a common goal, they can achieve tha
t goal, which is to be here and play in a BCS game.”

What makes Jordan Todman such a special running back?

“He is talented first and foremost. I think one thing is that he is a com
petitor. He is a guy that wants to do as well as he possibly can, but he is
also the ultimate team player. He could care about the yards, and being an
All-American, but really all he cares about is winning and doing his part
to help his teammates win. He is the guy that we have been riding this year
and I think we got him a little bit healthier now with some time off, but
it is a shame that he wasn’t recognized even more than he was. Being the
team guy that he is it really hasn’t affected him. He is an outstanding r
unning back, but he is an even better person and a better competitor.”


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