Northern Illinois Headed to International Bowl - Quotes

GO HUSKIES
GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES

Dec. 6, 2009

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International Bowl Announcement -  Quotes

NIU Head Coach Jerry Kill

Opening statement...

It's a great opportunity. There's no question. We've been in limbo which way we were going. We heard two or three different directions, and actually, this direction surprised me a little bit. What a great educational experience to go to Toronto and play in a bowl game, and play South Florida. Playing a BCS school is important. I think that's what we have to do, and the direction we're going in our program. It's a tremendous bowl, tremendous opportunity. I think it's great for our school, and our institution. I think it's great for our seniors.

On hearing the official announcement...

You hear different scenarios throughout the week, that we could've headed a couple different directions. The rumor mill, so to speak. We're just glad it turned out the way it did and we're going to get to play.

On USF...

(USF Head) Coach (Jim) Leavitt's done a great job. I know they have one of the best defensive ends in the country. They're very athletic. I mean very, very athletic. We'll see more speed than we've seen all year. It'll be a great challenge for our program. For where we want to go with our program, we need to do these kinds of things.

First of all, playing a BCS opponent, and somebody out of the BIG EAST. Then throw South Florida in it. Everybody knows in South Florida you're going to play a team that can run. The biggest thing, without seeing any film, but knowing coach Leavitt and watching his team, the big difference for us will be the speed that they will play. It's going to be really important that we have fast, up-tempo practices.


 

 

On the announcement to the team...

Everybody was very excited. I know our seniors were because it gives them an opportunity to play one more game. There's nothing like a bowl game for the fellowship and camaraderie. It is, you might say, a great Christmas present.

On opening preparations...

We knew we were going to a bowl game, we just weren't sure which one. I think our kids have been optimistic, they've been in the weight room. Of course this week, they've got to concentrate on finals and do well, but I think they're excited for that opportunity to play another game.

On the additional practices the team will get...

We have one of the youngest team in the MAC, if not the youngest. To be able to take our young people out there and get extra practices is important.

On back-to-back bowl games...

It's tremendous, it's great for our senior class because they've been through so much. A coaching change, a 2-10 record, for them to be able to do this, go back-to-back and be the first group of seniors in school history to do that, I think it's great for our seniors.

On playing in Canada...

It's a great opportunity. I've never been to Toronto. I think at the banquet they had everybody that had been raise there hand, and about 13 hands is all (that went up). It's a great educational experience to go to another country and have the chance to play in a bowl game. Doing it January, in the old days, traditionally the bowl games were all in January, so I think that's a great deal.

On a 'new season'...

It's the start of a new season. It'll be like going up to play Wisconsin the first game. We won't be doing two-a-days, but we'll be practicing leading up to that first game. When you know you've only got one game to play, I think the kids will really give it everything they have.

PLAYER QUOTES

Chandler Harnish, Quarterback

On playing in a bowl game for the second straight year

"It's a great feeling. It really is. When coach Kill said this is the first NIU team to go back to back that means a lot because there have been a lot of great teams here. We're definitely excited to play a Big East team. That's awesome and I think it can do a lot of good things for our program."

On playing in a bowl game for the second straight year

"It's a great feeling. It really is. When coach Kill said this is the first NIU team to go back to back that means a lot because there have been a lot of great teams here. We're definitely excited to play a Big East team. That's awesome and I think it can do a lot of good things for our program."

On the opportunity to play a bowl game in a foreign country

"I've heard a lot of good things about Toronto. I've heard it's a great city. From what the president of the committee said, they're really going to accommodate us well. We're excited to go out of the country."

Alex Kube, Linebacker

On earning the bid to the International Bowl

"I'm grateful, I'm very happy. As a little kid, you always dream of playing in a bowl game. This is my third one in four years. I'm definitely happy."

On the opportunity to play a bowl game in a foreign country

"It's going to be a great experience. That's the one thing about these bowl games. You get to do something you wouldn't ordinarily get to do. Hopefully it will be another great experience for me. I've left the country a couple times, but I've never been to Canada."

On the opportunity to play South Florida

"I've heard a lot of good things about them. I've heard they have great athletes. I know they'll be able to run. It's going to be a good game. I've never played them before. It will be a new experience for me. I'm excited."

Cory Hanson, Linebacker

On how it feels to play in a third bowl game

"It's great, just to have a postseason game. That's what you work for. Unfortunately, we couldn't get to that MAC Championship. However, the opportunity to play in the bowl game is a chance to redeem our selves."

On the opportunity to play a bowl game in a foreign country

"I'm interested. I've never been to Canada. Being from Minnesota, it's always been so close, but I've still never been there. I'm interested to see how it goes."

On the opportunity to play South Florida

"It's going to be fun. The last few years, we've been hearing a lot about South Florida. They're emerging as a good team in college football. It's an opportunity to show what we can do on a national stage and have fun."

Tracy Wilson, Safety

On the opportunity to play a bowl game in a foreign country

"That's going to something. I've never been out of the country. It's going to be nice. It's going to be a little cold, but at least we'll be playing indoors."

Nathan Palmer, Wide Receiver

On playing in back-to-back bowl games

"It's a good experience. It's always a good time to go bowling. We're going up there to win. Last year, we enjoyed the bowl experience, but I don't think we enjoyed the feeling of losing. This year, we're going to go with a different mindset."

On South Florida's defense

"They're similar to our defense. They're smaller, but they're a fast defense. Any of the guys from Florida are a different kind of fast. It's going to be a good challenge for our offense."

Patrick George, Cornerback

On South Florida's offense

"From what I've watched, they have a very athletic quarterback. He can make some plays. It's a great test for the defense, but we should be able to step up."

Landon Cox, Wide Receiver

On playing in the International Bowl

"I think it's going to be a great experience. They're a BCS team. Being able to play an opponent of their caliber is real big for us and can give us a push into next year. We're just motivated to get a win and get our name out there. We want to change the scope of how people look at us. We have athletes that are just as talented as other teams around the country."