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Football to Play in Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

  Head Coach Art Briles

Opening statement...
"Once again, it's a good day for Baylor Athletics. I want to thank Ian McCaw, our athletic director who always plays a big role in bowl selection. We are thrilled to be able to go to the Holiday Bowl. Anyone who is a football fan over the years can trace back a memory or two to the Holiday Bowl experience. It's just a great bowl game, great atmosphere, and great location. I think it's really a good icing on the cake to a team that has really worked hard and deserved a bowl game. And if you're going out of state, this is a great place to go because a lot of our guys don't travel much and don't get to see much of the United States of America. And we know we have a great opponent in UCLA. Jim Mora, Jr., has done a great job this year. They've had a tremendous season. It's a good test and good challenge for us. We see good opponents in the Big 12 week in and week out, and this certainly won't be any different."

On Baylor's first bowl game outside the state of Texas...
"I think it keeps our national brand image out there a little bit more. It's a bowl game that certainly a lot of people watch. It's at a good time slot being in the evening across the nation, so it's one that is viewed by a lot of people."

On ending up at the Holiday Bowl after the season Baylor's had...
"It certainly wasn't planned, but we had a plan to make a bowl game, and we achieved that goal. As far as a bowl pecking order, I am not sure there is a bad bowl. Anywhere you go in the postseason will be good for the University and your football team. We weren't choosing one bowl site over the other; we were just going to go where we were chosen. And fortunately we were chosen by a great bowl."

On the Baylor fans traveling to San Diego to support the team...
"I know our fans traveled very well to Houston two years ago, and we traveled unbelievably to San Antonio last year, and I don't expect anything different to San Diego. The people that can make it, will make it and that's all you can ask for. Our fan base has been tremendous in our time here in the postseason without question."

  Junior Nickelback Ahmad Dixon

On being the "road" team...
"This year we actually had more road games than last year. I actually just talked to Coach Briles about it and he said it's just another road game. Even though it's out of state, we're not worried about anything. We get to go down there for a couple of days and get a feel for the weather and all of that. They say the weather is very nice there, so that won't play a factor in anything."

On the defense...
"If you just watch the Big 12, it's almost always a high-scoring game. It's always close, but it's high-scoring. A lot of people think we don't play defense in the Big 12, so we want to show the nation that we play good defense in the Big 12 and that you have to be a good offense to put up the numbers that we put up over here."

On the Kansas State Game...
"It wasn't just a week of preparation for Kansas State. It all started after the Texas game. A lot of us felt we left too many plays on the field. After that, one of our coaches came out and told us we have to come together. We had to come together and find whatever it was that it would take to win. A few weeks went by and we found it. It just so happened that it was the week we played Kansas State."

  Senior Wide Receiver Lanear Sampson

On being the "road" team...
"We were very fortunate the past couple years to have a bowl game in Texas, playing Illinois and Washington. This year, like Ahmad (Dixon) said, it's just another road game. We've been doing this for 3, 4, 5 years now, so it's just another road game and we just have to go out there and play."

On his experience at Baylor and why he chose Baylor out of high school...
"It's been a good ride. I had a choice coming out of high school and my class came here trying to turn the program around. We were Coach Briles' first recruiting class and, as we can see now, it payed off. I was close to committing to Oklahoma State out of high school, but when I heard Briles was coming here and how he was a good coach it helped. Then I heard Robert (Griffin III) was coming and I didn't really know Robert, but I knew he was a good player. I talked to Terrance (Williams) and he was coming here and talked to Kendall (Wright), who I knew from a couple of visits here or there and we all decided to come here."

On Nick Florence...
"Coming into this year, I told Nick (Florence) to play his game. Nothing he did this year surprised me because I played with him as a freshman. I don't know what it is about our quarterbacks being great leaders, but Robert (Griffin III) was a great leader and Nick has followed."

  Director of Athletics Ian McCaw

On the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl...
"It's one of the most prestigious bowl games in the country. It's very well marked for hospitality and provides a great experience for the student-athletes. I know the players are very excited about it, and we have an opportunity to play a great team in UCLA in a great venue there in San Diego."

On the rising stock of Baylor Football...
"It's been an interesting couple weeks. Going into last week, we had a very different set of options that appeared in front of us and, after beating Oklahoma State, we started hearing from people we hadn't been hearing from. Our stock really rose with the win on Saturday, and it's a great situation to be in. Now we're off to an out-of-state bowl game for the first time in about 20 years, and that's really a testament to Coach Briles and how far this program has come."



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