Gator Bowl coaches, players hold final press conference

Author: Nicholas Jones, Associate producer, njones@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 31 2013 02:03:16 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 31 2013 02:04:47 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Coaches Bo Pelini and Mark Richt held their final press conference Tuesday morning before the Gator Bowl on Wednesday. 

Bulldogs tight end Arthur Lynch and defensive end Garrison Smith both attended the meeting. They shared their views about Wednesday's game, and how they felt about it being their last as college players. 

"As a senior, it's kind of a bittersweet moment," said Lynch. "It's something that I'm excited for, and I think everyone else is as well."

"I've got a lot of happy memories down here in Jacksonville, so I'm excited about it," said Smith. "At the end of the day, I'm happy. Nobody ever gave up, nobody ever quit fighting."

Hutson Mason, tomorrow's starting quarterback for the Dawgs, was looking forward to his time in the spotlight, but admitted he's doing nothing out of the ordinary to prepare for the big game. 

"It's the same thing everyday. I don't change anything," said Mason. "Just a lot of hard work." 

It was a similar viewpoint Cornhuskers' head coach Bo Pelini shared about the matchup as well.

"Whether you win, you lose -- no matter how the game goes tomorrow, the same challenges lie ahead as far as what we need to do as a football team to go win a championship," said Pelini. 

But for Ameer Abdullah, linebacker for the Cornhuskers, he said this game means a lot for him personally, knowing it will be many of his teammates' last.

"I really have a deep connection with the seniors on this team," said Abdullah. "I want to send them off the right way, the best way we can." 

And that's something the Bulldog's head coach Mark Richt strives to do as well, as he said this game makes him and his players think a lot about the future. 

"When you're in that locker room that's kind of the last times you're going to see all those guys together in one spot," said Richt. "I like to thank our seniors for the job they've done for us, and I like to challenge the next set of seniors -- the next set of leaders on our team. Because from that moment on, their leadership begins that day."