Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Some positive bowl-related news, plus quotes from MTSU press conference

Sounds encouraging to me, anyway:
"N.C. State is definitely on our radar screen, and it probably will come down to the Maryland-N.C. State game," said Gary Beck, director of the MPC Computers Bowl. "Either would be great, and we'd be excited about having them in Boise."

The Pack (4-5) faces Middle Tennessee on Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium, followed by a home game against the Terrapins (5-4) on Nov. 26. If State were to win both games, it would close the regular season with victories in four of its last five, enhancing its bowl chances.

The Dec. 28 MPC Computers Bowl likely will match an ACC team against Boise State, Beck said. In addition to NCSU and Maryland, the bowl also is considering Clemson, Beck said.

The Meineke Car Care Bowl is Dec. 31 in Bank of America Stadium. The bowl had North Carolina and Boston College last year, attracting a crowd of 70,412 as the Eagles won 37-24.

"N.C. State is on our radar screen, but it's obviously still a pretty big screen," said Will Webb, executive director of the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Webb noted Clemson and Virginia already are eligible and have many fans who travel to bowl games. UNC, he said, again was a possibility should the Tar Heels (4-5) finish with wins over Duke on Saturday in Chapel Hill and Nov. 26 at Virginia Tech.

"State's fan base and its proximity to Charlotte would work well," he said. "We're still a young bowl, and the concept of the bowl was to have teams from the Carolinas or Virginia when we could.

"But it's like an election. All the precincts aren't closed yet."

We get to 6-5, we'll be playing somewhere. There is still the small matter of beating Middle Tennessee and Maryland...

A few excerpts from MTSU's weekly press conference:
Head Football Coach Andy McCollum

What is your impression of the N.C. State defense?
"Their defensive line is great. All four will be making a lot of money playing this game. They look as good as advertised. They really have speed all over the field. It's a very good looking football team all around and it's going to be a tough challenge.This is a team that beat Florida State two weeks ago so that tells you about all you need to know about their team. It's not one area, they are solid all-around."

What is your relationship with (former Middle Tennessee athletic director) Lee Fowler?
"I never met (current N.C. State athletic director) Lee Fowler until I made the visit to Middle Tennessee for the job interview. I think the world of him. I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to work for this great University. He was very committed to giving us what we needed in order to be successful. We still talk frequently."

When you were hired, did Lee Fowler talk to you about the fact it may take awhile to win at Middle Tennessee?
"When he gave me the job he knew it wasn't going to be easy. We had success probably faster than people thought as things fell into place. He is a good man and he worked hard to give us what we needed to be successful, and when he left he was really working hard to make some things happen facility-wise."

I'm sure the above reflects negatively on Lee Fowler in some way. I'll leave it to you people.

DB Bradley Robinson

Your thoughts on this week's game against N.C. State?
"It's very exciting to play a team such as N.C. State. We expect great things of ourselves because we have been in these situations before. It's a challenge but one we look forward to seeing what we can do."

Growing up in South Carolina, is N.C. State a team you wanted to play for?
"I like N.C. State. I wanted to go there growing up. It's a great school and a great program. A lot of schools told me I was too small coming out of high school and they were one of those, so now I get to show them what I can do."