Some notable updates from the TaxSlayer Bowl Press Conference in Jacksonville:
TaxSlayer Bowl President Rick Catlett:
• Over 60,000 tickets have been sold to date. The average attendance is approximate 61,000, so there’s a great chance to have a larger-than-normal crowd.
• The move to Jan. 2 from Jan. 1 made a lot of sense for the bowl. It allowed them to have less competition, be on ESPN (as opposed to ESPN2) and they expect to have some of the highest TV ratings this year.
• To date, we haven’t had anybody late to events, they’ve been 10-15 minutes early to everything. I challenged our leadership and they’ve answered the call.
• Joshua Dobbs has a unique skill set. When he became our quarterback, we had to adapt to his strengths. Josh has been a symbol of resiliency and he’s a model student-athlete.
• Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scheff will be a challenge to our entire defensive front. They’re very well coached, it always starts up front. They’re offensive front defines “63” effort and it’s going to be a great challenge for Curt Maggitt and Derek Barnett and as a competitor you want to play against the best of the best.
• These bowl practices have been invaluable to our program. We were basically an expansion team this year and the “so-called experts” picked us to win 3-4 games.
• There are still a few days to decide a starter between Jakob Johnson and Kenny Bynum at the inside linebacker spot. We loved Jakob’s potential coming out of high school, but we knew it would take some time. He’s a student of the game and he’s coming along.
• Jones went into a long story about his upbringing in Michigan and his rise through the coaching ranks when asked what makes him so passionate. He mentioned his parents and how they pushed him as a child and
• It’s been different. We’re learning how to flip the switch on and off between being on the field and preparing for the game and having fun and enjoying our teammates.
• Justin Worley was my big brother/mentor when I got on campus and he’s been a great help since I became the starter.
• The first thing that pops out about Iowa on film is their offensive line.