The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg Team Welcome Press Conference took place Dec. 6, at Tropicana Field. Bowl Executive Director Brett Dulaney formally welcomed UCF and Ball State to this year's game. The athletic directors and head coaches from both teams spoke about the upcoming matchup between the nine win teams that will be played at 7:30 p.m., Fri., Dec. 21, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
The event, which was held at the Everglades Smokehouse overlooking the football field, drew a standing room crowd that included Bill Foster, Mayor of St. Petersburg, and the six-time Pro Bowl NFL player Mike Alstott who is Honorary Game Chairman.
Todd Stansbury, UCF Vice President & Director of Athletics
"On behalf of UCF, we are extremely excited to come to the Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg. I know the team and our fans can't wait to get over here and start the festivities."
On playing in the Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg for the 2nd time
"I have heard nothing but good things about the last trip, with the exception of the final score. Coach [O'Leary] has assured me that we are in pretty good shape this time."
George O'Leary, UCF Head Coach:
On playing in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg
"I know how much work goes into a bowl game and I think we have a great facility and a great town to have the game in. I know the football team is looking forward to getting over here."
On playing Ball State
"I think we have two good football teams and great game expectation as far as crowd and competition is concerned."
"I have had the opportunity to look at them on film. It is going to be a great competition and I am looking forward to the challenge."
Bill Scholl, Ball State Director of Athletics
"I want to thank the people of the Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl and St. Petersburg for inviting Ball State to come and be a part of it. It's a very exciting moment for our program."
"On behalf of Ball State, Ball State Athletics and the Muncie community, I want to say thank you for having us and also for how we will be treated when we get here."
On the hospitality of the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg
"The folks who are here today with me doing a site visit are raving about the hospitality and I can't imagine that this will be anything but a spectacular week in St. Petersburg for the Ball State fans who find their way down here for the game."
On his school's football team
"I can't leave the podium without telling you how proud I am of Ball State's student-athletes, our football student-athletes and our football staff. It wasn't very long ago the idea of being here today with a 9-3 record was nothing more than a dream. Certainly a vision of our head coach and it's pretty amazing how in a very short period of time we are now here to play in this very meaningful game."
Pete Lembo, Ball State Head Coach
"Its absolutely an honor for me to be here representing our staff, players and our support staff. When we got to Ball State two years ago, one of our longterm goals was to get the program to a point where we could be playing in meaningful postseason games like this one and to be here as quickly as we are, in two years, is really special."
On this season
"We've had an exciting season, there's been some memorable wins for us.
It's been a special season in the Mid-American Conference and a privilege to be apart of such a competitive season and to see so many Mid American Conference schools going on to the postseason and being one of those teams."
On the bowl game
"This game against Central Florida is going to be a tremendous challenge for our program, so we are going to have to do a great job in preparation, but we certainly hope to come down here and represent Ball State well."