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Coach and Player Quotes from Melbourne, Fla., Practices


Michigan Football Comments from
CompUSA Florida Citrus Bowl Trip

Pre-Citrus Bowl practices in Melbourne, Fla.

Head Coach Lloyd Carr

On the team's practices ...
"We practiced once Sunday, twice yesterday and will have two-a-days today (Tuesday, Dec. 22) and Wednesday. These practices are important to get where we need to be. We are not close to where we need to be but we're working toward that point. The heat is taking some time to get adjusted to. It has been really hot -- actually, they said today it will be close to a record for this time of year -- and some of our players are experiencing cramping. I am glad we're here because it is going to take some time to get accustomed the heat conditions."

On the difference in heat conditions from last year ...
"I knew it was going to be a bigger difference than last year at the Rose Bowl. The humidity is much higher and takes longer to adjust to. I hope that by the end of the week our players can get there legs back and that they are acclimated to the surroundings."

On the free time the players have ...
"We work hard practicing twice a day. When we finish in the evening, the players have free time to do what they want. The purpose of coming here is to focus on football and get the game plan set in. The players can go into town at night and sightsee but the majority of that type of stuff will be done once we get to Orlando. This atmosphere and the reason for this five-day stretch in Melbourne is to focus on football because next week we will practice once a day and participate in more Citrus Bowl obligated events."

On the enthusiasm at practice ...
"We had a spirited workout yesterday. The intensity is key. We need to simulate the type of situations that we'll be presented with against Arkansas, and if you don't practice with enthusiasm and intensity then you're hurting preparations. The real test will be today and tommorrow because the players are tired and sore. The heat really zaps your strength and we'll have to see about the players' energy."

Senior Cornerback Andre Weathers

On the weather difference ...
"Sure beats being in Ann Arbor at this time of the year. It's nice and warm here and I hear it's about 15 degrees in Michigan.

On being in Melbourne for a purpose ...
"This is all business now and we are looking to get acclimated to this climate. The heat and humidity is a big factor and the practice in these conditions will be valuable. We have the opportunity to work hard and practice in nice conditions and have fun while doing it."

On Arkansas' offense ...
"They have three good wide receivers that can get the job done and a good quarterback. They have a very good offensive line that protects the quarterback and also blocks well for their two running backs. Any time a team has the type of combinations that Arkansas does, it is often hard to stop."

Does Arkansas look like any Big Ten team you've faced
"Not really. They have two great receivers just like Ohio State and also have a solid 1-2 running game."

Senior Running Back Clarence Williams

On this being his last career game ...
"I am really excited about being able to play and share this moment with my teammates. I think that everyone who plays for Michigan wants to end their career with a bang, and I would definitely want to. We are going to have a very difficult opponent in Arkansas. This will be very special."

On what Arkansas presents defensively ...
"They are a very aggressive defense that is very quick. They run to the ball very well and they seem to be a very well-coached squad. Arkansas is very talented on the defensive side of the ball."

What do you need to maintain your energy level in this climate
"I think we need to go out and practice hard. We are looking to practice in game-like situations and sustain a solid work ethic during these three days of two-a-day practices."

On playing in the Citrus Bowl ...
"The Citrus Bowl is a great bowl game and we're looking forward to playing in this contest. We are happy to be a part of this bowl game and to be playing against Arkansas."

Junior Nose Tackle Rob Renes

On practicing in Florida compared to Michigan ...
"It's better than being in the 13-degree temperatures in Michigan. This has really provided us with a great opportunity to focus on football.

On this being a "business" trip ...
"We consider this a business trip. We got off the plane on Sunday and practiced and have had two-a-day practices ever since. We are here for one reason and that's to win the Citrus Bowl. The fun aspect will take care of itself, winning always does."

Is the team getting back into the groove after having the layoff for finals
"It is a little bit different after being off for three weeks with little time for practices. Two-a-days are a change after not having them for six months, but our coaching staff has worked hard to prepare us for this game. With some more work we'll be ready."

On what to expect from Arkansas ...
"They are a great team. The more film that we watch the more understand how close their two losses really were. They are a team that was close to being 11-0 and playing in the Fiesta Bowl. This is going to be a very big game for both schools."

On having a 10-win season in sight ...
"We expect to win 10 games. That's a motivating factor to be able to go back to Ann Arbor. That would cap a really nice season. It will help us build on something for next season."

Senior Tight End Mark Campbell

On this being a "business" trip and the pressure for a victory ...
"This is business before pleasure. There is definitely pressure on us to win and we expect that. Every game that we go into those expectations exist, and you come and play at Michigan because every game is a big one. We have learned to deal with the pressure and that is what you have to do to be successful."

On a 10-win season ...
"This team definitely wants a 10-win season. We started out 0-2 and fought back to win back-to-back Big Ten titles. We have come a long way and I'm as proud of this squad as I am of last year's national championship team. I definitely want to end my career with a victory."

On the Arkansas defense ...
"They are aggressive and fast and present us with a lot of challenges. They are smaller at certain positions but make up for it by changing their defensive schemes and with the speed they have. Basically, Arkansas' defense is going to be a lot like our defense and bring everything they have to the field."

Could heat be a factor in this game
"I think that it could definitely be a factor in this game. I think coming down here early will really benefit us when it comes to getting adjusted to the weather conditions. Arkansas is used to the heat but we're used to the 13-degree temperatures that currently exist in Ann Arbor."

Senior Offensive Lineman Jon Jansen

"We are really looking forward to this game. It is much warmer than the conditions in Michigan. We are enjoying the warm weather and the opportunity to focus on football."

On the mindset heading into this game ...
We are here to win a football game. We did not travel down here to go through all of these two-a-day practices to not show up on Jan. 1. I look forward to playing this game.

On Arkansas' defense ...
"They are not the biggest that we've played but they look to be the fastest. That poses a lot of problems that we don't see on a regular basis. We are going to be playing against a very good Arkansas team."

On ending his career with a win ...
"For this senior class, it would mean a lot to end it with a 10-win season. It is really the difference between being a mediocre team with four losses and a good team with 10 wins."

Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423

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