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  • Kentucky football players on the VRBO Citrus Bowl

    #3, Terry Wilson, QB

    On how he heard the announcement ...

    “I was actually scrolling on Twitter and I saw our UK Football profile, they tweeted it actually. I was excited. This is a huge, huge deal for this program and we’ve worked so hard to get to this situation that we’re in right now. Like Mr. Barnhart said we’re going to be thankful and we’re going to be grateful and we’re deserving of it. We’re going to work hard and go down there and show everybody what we can do.”



    On if he envisioned this scenario happening ...

    “Yes sir. I feel like as an athlete you have to envision these types of things. I feel like it helps when you’re in the heat, 103 degrees, you’re looking forward to something to get you past that hump. You’ve got to look big. You’ve got to look to want to win the SEC East. You’ve got to look to get to a big bowl game. I feel like we did that as a team. Everybody has put in so much effort and time to get into this predicament we’re in, so I feel like I envisioned it.”



    On Penn State ...

    “I haven’t had any time to watch them, but knowing Penn State football, they have some guys over there (who are really good) and they work pretty hard. Just gotta watch some film on them and do a scouting report.”



    On what beating Penn State would mean to Kentucky …

    “All I can speak for is us. Like I’ve said this before, we hold ourselves to a different standard. The way we practice and the way we go about things are different. I feel like our guys are hyped and ready to get after it. We’re going to practice our tails off. That’s all I can speak for. I just know as long as we handle what we need to handle everything will be fine.”



    On whether the team sees this as a showcase opportunity…

    “This whole season, we’ve had a chip on our shoulder. I think personally we’ve always had a showcase, every game. That’s what you have to do when you’re playing a dominant team like those guys and teams like Georgia. You always have to bring it because they’re going to bring it too. They’re not going to back down. We just have to do the same thing. We have to bring our intensity and we’ve got to bring our game and just play a big game.”



    On why there has been a chip on the shoulder …

    “All I can speak of is this year. In previous years, people have always slept on Kentucky football. Going into every game they have us as underdogs. You can have us as an underdog, but we don’t play like it. We’re going to come out there and play ball. We’ve caught a lot of teams off-guard because we’ve always come out humming. We were ready. We were hungry. We were just ready to show everybody that we could play football. We’re going to get ready.”



    On how valuable the extra practice time will be for the bowl game …

    “It will help a lot. I want all the practice I can get to get ready for this game. I feel like it’s going to be fun. This is my first time ever dealing with a bowl game or anything like that. Just being out there on the field with those seniors and those guys out there, just bonding and having fun. Going to a nice venue. I feel like it’s a beautiful opportunity for this team, staff, and university. I’m going to cherish all those practices that we have.”



    On how his confidence has increased since the Louisville game …

    “I’ve probably watch that game two or three times, and I looked really comfortable out there. Just watching it, I felt like I came a long way from the beginning of the season. I still have a lot of things to work on. Just seeing the growth that I’ve been having over the season it’s great because it just tells me that I’ve got to keep going and just keep progressing in my game.”



    On where he feels he improved the most …

    “I would say in my decision making. Early in the season, some of my decisions weren’t quite there and weren’t the best. Middle of the season I was a little hesitant, but I feel like these past four or five weeks I’ve been trusting myself and trusting where everybody’s going to be at and trusting the o-line and trusting the play calling that’s being called. Just doing what we do every day at practice. I feel like I’ve improved in a lot of things.”



    On when he got injured …

    “It happened around the Texas A&M game. I’ve just been in the treatment room just trying to battle it and get right. Playing in the SEC, you’re never going to be 100 percent. Just been trying to get right in there. Later down the stretch, I’ve been feeling better and getting back to myself. I’ve got a little bounce in my step, so I feel a lot better.”





    #56, Kash Daniel, LB

    On if he’s talked to the players from Florida about the announcement of playing in the Citrus Bowl …

    “No, but I’ve seen a couple of tweets and snapchats and stuff like that. I know the Florida boys are ready to go home and get out of this cold weather for a week.”



    On the significance of playing in a New Year’s Day bowl …

    “As a kid growing up, those were the games you were looking forward to, to kick off the new year in college football. To be able to be a part of one is truly a blessing. Like, Terry [Wilson] and Mr. Barnhart said, this team’s worked really hard to get where we are. I don’t like to use the word deserving, but I think this team has earned where we are, and I think we’ve earned the right to be playing this game. We’re very thankful that the Citrus Bowl wanted us to come and to be a part of this great bowl, and we can’t wait to get to work and get down there and experience it.”



    On the benefit of the extra bowl practices last year …

    “It’s different. All year you practice in the same spot, I mean you practice in either the indoor or out on the practice field, but now you get a chance to go to a neutral site that you’ve never been before with a locker room that you’ve never been in, familiar with it and stuff like that. Getting those extra bowl practices in, not only down at the bowl site but up here as well, especially for young players and guys that are developing. I think that’s really key for them because it’s almost like you’re going through an extra spring ball schedule because you get 15 of them just like you do for spring ball. A lot of it too is you get back to technique, you get back to form, what makes you a football player basically, refine those things and get tuned up before you get ready to go full blast on it again.



    On watching the younger players develop during these extra practices …

    “I’m very excited. I’m very excited for our young guys, especially in my group and seeing Chris [Oats], DeAndre [Square] and Jamin [Davis. To get up there and get some snaps at practice and seeing how this whole year how they’ve grown since camp until now. Not just those guys but everybody in every position room from the DBs to the D-Line to the receivers, running backs, you name it. So, we’re all very excited to see what our young guys can do.”



    On what it means for both him and Kentucky Football to potentially get a 10th win …

    “It would mean the world. That’s something that hasn’t been done here in a very long time, and not only just to be a part of it now, but when I’m done playing football and all that stuff, I can look back and say that was my team and be proud of it and be something I can hold on to for the rest of my life.”



    On what the team has learned from bowl prep the last two years to make the outcome different this time around …

    “I think we can dial it in a little more. Coach [Mark] Stoops takes care of us. He really does, and that’s what makes him a great coach. In these practices too, I think the past years we were kind of new to this. We kind of didn’t really know what to expect. None of the players from the first time we went to a bowl game had ever been to a bowl game, so literally none of us knew what to expect. None of us knew what was going to go on when we got down there, who we were playing because it’s a different conference, and it’s different that you don’t really hear much about them because you’re too busy watching your film and worrying about your next opponent. Being back there two years in a row, following up this third one, I think we know what to expect, and I think we know what we have to do to prepare and how well we have to prepare to go out and win this game.”



    On what it’s like to be a part of a foundation that could last into the future …

    “It’s very special, and I’m very thankful that I’m a part of it, but at the same time, we’ve been to two bowl games and came back empty handed both times. It’s great that you made it, but if you made it, you might as well win it. That’s our mindset going into this one.”



    On playing against a team with a name like Penn State …

    “Just the tradition that Penn State has, a football powerhouse for the longest of times, and any time that anybody mentions Penn State football, everybody’s attention sparks up. They’re a really good football team. They’re very well coached. They’ve got some athletes and going out there and being able to compete against them is going to fun, and I can’t wait for the opportunity.”



    On where he has made the biggest growth this season …

    “Just playing calm, and I’ve been playing my game and not getting too caught up in it, not trying to do too much. Just doing my job and letting the game come to me instead of me chasing after the game and trying to be too fast. I want to be fast but not too fast. I think ultimately that I learned to watch film better over the year. Because before, sometimes I wouldn’t know what to look for. I’m just thinking they’re just trying to play cool. I’m not looking for guard stances or back depth or tight end locations and stuff like that or splits, you name it. So, when I finally learned how to watch film and know what to pick up on, it really helped me out there on the field. I think one of my best attributes is to be a talker out there on the field and to communicate with my teammates of all of the stuff I see on film, he’s not deep, splits are tight, alert under, stuff like that. I think it makes us all play faster. As well as we communicate and now what we see on film, it helps us play faster on Saturdays.”



    On what it would be like to get a win for this senior class …

    “It would mean the world. I’ve played sports my whole life, and I’ve been around a lot of guys and a lot of great guys coming through high school and college. This is a group that opened their arms to me when I was a freshman coming out of high school. They took me under their wings, and they showed me the ropes of how to become a college football player and what it takes and the do’s and don’t’s of what you can and can’t do. Ultimately, if it wasn’t for them, this senior class and the guys that are in it, I wouldn’t be up here on the podium talking to you. I wouldn’t be the player I was today without those guys, so the bond that I’ve built with those guys over the past couple of years and the stuff that we’ve all been through together, the grind of the seasons and the offseason and killing yourself basically to get to be the best team you possibly could be. When you put that kind of work with guys that mean so much to you, it’s easy to go out and give it your all for them. I’m very excited to go out and play with these seniors one more time.



    On last year’s fun times in Nashville (country music singing competition) and what he’s expecting in Orlando …

    “Way to bring that up. I totally forgot about that. We got robbed on that. I’m looking forward to Disney World? I’ve been there once. I finally get to do a little bass fishing hopefully, so they’ve got some ponds down there, and see if we can’t catch a couple.”



    On what it means to play with Josh Paschal (who recently returned from cancer) one more time this season and to share this experience with him …

    “You ever like look at a living room and you look at one piece of furniture like a carpet, and you’re like, ‘Wow, that really ties the room together.’ That’s what Josh does to this team, and Josh ties this team together. It’s a funny way to put it, but seriously, that guy’s the heartbeat of this team, and he brings everybody together when we’re feeling down or we think we can’t go harder in this or that, we look over at Josh and the whole season this kid would literally give anything to be out there with us. A couple week ago when he got his chance that was really special, and it’s something I know he’ll never forget, and I know I’ll never forget to be able to be out there and experience and hear the crowd go crazy when he came on to the field and when he made his tackle. Getting to play with him again against Louisville and now with a third game in here at the bowl game and all of next season, it’s truly special because you know the guy’s resilient, really hard worker. Through the whole process, never saw him in a bad mood, easily could have quit, gave up on it, but no, he was a fighter, and he was a worker. When we were out there practicing, when he was strolling around on his scooter, in the (weight room) bench pressing, curling, whatever he could do because he knew was going to get back because he knew he was going to beat it, and I think with a person like that that’s just a tough dude. As it’s always said, the tough times don’t last but the tough people do, and Josh Paschal is definitely one tough dude.”



    On how Paschal helps the defense …

    “Josh comes off that ball with a purpose. He’s a ball hog. He’s always around the ball, and he makes plays for us, a lot of great plays for us last year, and he’s made some plays with the time he’s gotten this year, so we’re really looking forward to having another game with him and seeing what he can do on the football field with us.”


    On if he’s actually looked at a piece of furniture ...

    “You know the Big Lebowski? ‘Man, that really tied the room. Yeah, it did, man.’ That’s really what was going through my head. Great movie if you haven’t seen it.”