Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
Hi: 75 degrees
Lo: 63 degrees
Ball State Practice:
The Ball State Cardinals opened their practice today with high energy. The team focused on game specific situations throughout the practice in order to be ready for the UCF Knights on Friday. The coaching staff, led by Head Coach Pete Lembo, also made sure the team was adjusted to the stadium lights and spacing since playing in a dome is a new experience for the majority of the players.
Pete Lembo, Head Coach
On his team preparation for Friday
''It is business as usual for our team. We had a good and productive practice today. We made sure that our team got adjusted with the lights and space that are present at Tropicana Field. This is an incredible experience for our team, and we look forward to Friday.''
Jarrett Swaby, safety
On playing against his ex-teammates
''It will be fun to compete against my former team. I look forward to contributing to our team's success. Friday will be a special day for me.''
Keith Wenning, quarterback
On his ability to play against UCF
'My foot injury is healed. I am able to move around the pocket efficiently, and make all the throws without any pain. I'm excited to play on Friday.''
Jahwan Edwards, running back
On playing in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg
''I am really excited. I have never been in a baseball stadium. This is an incredible experience. I can't wait to play on Friday. I am focused and ready to perform against UCF.''
UCF held their first practice at Tropicana Field this morning in preparation for Friday's matchup against Ball State. After dancing the night away and eating a delicious meal on last night's players' dinner cruise, they were in full game mode going into practice today. Every day counts as the impending game inches closer.
George O'Leary, Head Coach
On Ball State coming off a six-game winning streak
"I worry about my own football team and making sure that we know what we have to get done."
On the focus of the players today in practice
"They know that when they cross that white line, it's gameday."
On the dinner cruise last night
"I thought the cruise last night was outstanding. The food was great. It was a nice boat."
Brynn Harvey, running back
On playing the last bowl game of his senior year in his hometown
"It's amazing. Just to play your last college football game, it's a great feeling.
On his college career
"It's been an amazing five years here at UCF. It flew by so fast, so every moment Ihave right now I am trying to soak it in with my teammates and seniors that I came in with."
On the importance of winning the last game of his senior year
"Every senior wants to go out with a bang, especially in their last game. You want to come out as the winner, and playing in the bowl game in St. Petersburg - in a great atmosphere and a great environment - you want to win here too."
Latavious Murray, running back
On being honored All Conference USA first team
"It's a great honor. It was definitely one of my goals going into the season. We won a lot of games and it happened for me."
Ball State and UCF spent their late afternoon enjoying the wonderful scenery of St. Pete Beach. The teams participated in numerousactivities, including paddleboarding, beach volleyball, and a dunk tank. The teams then gathered at Rum Runners Pool, where they competed in multiple competitions, including the popular belly flop contest.
Contest Winners: Belly Flop: Ball State Hula Hoop: Ball State Coaches Sexy Leg: UCF
What's Happening -- on Thursday, Dec. 20
Weather Forecast: Hi: 79 Lo: 57 Sunny
Children's Hospital Visit: 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Ball State and UCF will each be represented by their team captains, mascot and two cheerleaders at the All Children's Hospital. ESPN/Disney and both participating teams will be graciously donating gifts to the children at the hospital.
Kickoff Luncheon: 12:00 p.m. The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg will welcome Ball State and UCF, along with their staff, bowl sponsors, community leaders and fans, to St. Petersburg at the official bowl kickoff luncheon at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. Dress is business casual and speeches will be given by each head coach, as well as featured speaker, former Florida Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel.
Battle of the Bands: 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. The teams' bands will battle on the white sands of St. Pete Beach at the Sirata resort. Fans, cheerleaders, and mascots will be attending in beach attire for the festivities. At 3:30, the cheerleaders will compete in a tug-o-war and at 3:45, the bands will compete in an eating contest at the Coconut Pavilion.
Bowl Block Party: 5:00 p.m. Downtown St. Petersburg will be full of fun and festivities as bands, cheerleaders and mascots in uniform come out to pump up the crowd for the game on Friday. Live bands, interactive games, bowl tickets and merchandise will be available.