HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst addressed the media Wednesday at the Seminole Hard Rock, to discuss their upcoming meeting in the Capital One Orange Bowl. The game takes place Saturday, December 30th at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami, officially considered the home team, will be appearing in the Orange Bowl for the tenth time. It will be Wisconsin’s first ever Orange Bowl appearance.
Both programs had hopes of qualifying for the four-team College Football Playoff, before falling in their respective conference championship games. Miami’s loss to Clemson in the ACC title game was their second straight defeat, after ending the regular season with a road loss at Pittsburgh.
“I know our players certainly were disappointed at the painful outcome of the last couple games,” Mark Richt said, “but when the dust settled, and we ended up in the Orange Bowl, that’s about as good as it gets. We appreciate everything the committee has put together for us and we are looking forward to playing a great team in Wisconsin.”
Richt appreciates the opportunity that the four week layoff between games will give his team to catch their breath before bowl practices begin. The Hurricanes played games in eleven straight weeks after shuffling the schedule for Hurricane Irma.
“First thing is just to get away from everything,” Richt said. “We went eleven weeks straight after the hurricane and it was quite a grind for everybody. I think it’s good to get away from the game for a minute.”
For Wisconsin, their loss to Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship game was their first and only loss of the year. Paul Chryst addressed what a victory in the Orange Bowl would mean for his team.
“Certainly there’s momentum in anything you do positively,” said Chryst. “You’d like to carry it forward. But I really look at this game as being more about this year than next year. It’s the last time that this team will be together. I’m awfully thankful for what this team has done throughout the course of the year.”
Richt discussed the importance for Miami not ending the season on three straight defeats.
“Now that we’ve lost two in a row we don’t want to feel that way again,” noted Richt. “Now it’s time to turn the page and get after a really good team.”
After seeing their playoff hopes dashed in a lopsided 38-3 defeat to Clemson, Richt was asked about the challenges of preparing his team for a “consolation prize” like the Orange Bowl, instead of a national semifinal.
“We’re not gonna have a problem with motivation,” Richt insisted. “Our guys love to play football. They love to compete. We’re playing against one of the best defenses in the country. All you have to do is turn on the tape and watch the film, and everyone knows we’re in for a battle.”
The battle will commence on Saturday, December 30th at 8:00 PM from Hard Rock Stadium.