ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -
Tuesday was another busy day for the University of Connecticut football team as it continued preparations for the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl. The Huskies face Marshall in the game on Saturday, Dec. 26, with a 11 a.m. kickoff on ESPN and the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
The Huskies had a morning practice at Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater, which was followed in the afternoon by a pair of community service events.
The four Husky captains - Andrew Adams, Julian Campenni, Andreas Knappe and Marquise Vann - visited patients at the All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.
They were joined on the visit by former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike Alstott and his wife Nicole. The Mike Alstott Family Foundation performs a number of community activities each year in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area, including hospital visits.
The rest of the Husky team took part in "Fill The Bowl" with the Marshall team. Players had a competition to see who could bag the most groceries in a certain amount of time -- and the Huskies came out the winners. The groceries will now be delivered to those in need by Feeding Tampa Bay.
Here are quotes from the UConn media session following Tuesday's practice.
Head Coach Bob Diaco
On how the last couple days have been: "Great. It's awesome. The people of St. Petersburg, specifically the bowl hosts that we're with, they're just so accommodating and gracious, so welcoming and you can't help but just be so pleased with the bowl experience. It's just been great."
On how Bryant (Shirreffs) is looking: "I think he looks great. I think he is doing well. He's working hard. He's leading his team and doing a great job."
On his breakdown of Marshall: "They're an explosive team in all three phases. They have athletes in all three phases. They're a high-energy group. They're winners. They have tradition, deep, deep, deep championship tradition and they play like that, so they believe to the end. Again another year, nine wins and just a great team."
On the player match-up against Marshall: "You want to play great people and compete hard and enjoy that. If you can't embrace that and get up for those match-ups, then you're doing the wrong thing."
Senior, defensive lineman, Kenton Adeyemi
On his thoughts on Marshall: "I know they're 9-3 and they've had a good year this year. They were 11-2 last year so they're a good team, but we're preparing for that. I know they score a lot of points. They can put points on you fast. We're just preparing for whatever they throw at us. Our defensive line always enjoys a challenge, so we're up for anything."
On this opportunity to play one ore game as a senior: "I know, speaking for all the seniors, it's basically an indescribable opportunity to have one last chance to go out and get a W and just finish the season winning, especially having a winning record. We've been looking forward to this for five years. We've all been working hard, just going through everything we've been through and now to finally have this opportunity at the end to have a winning season and especially winning a bowl game is indescribable."
Redshirt-sophomore, quarterback, Bryant Shirreffs
On how has taken on a leadership role: "I believe respect is earned and it's something that you have to prove. It took me a while to start to be vocal, because I wanted to prove to the guys that I was 100 percent in and could produce on the field. I definitely see different roles for me and seeing what's right and wrong and helping the offense in a positive manner, the best that I can."
On how they balance practice and Florida fun: "We come out here to practice for however many hours and it's that time to focus on football and beating Marshall and then we have fun outside of practice. We just have to compartmentalize everything and execute when we're expected to."
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