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Sat, Dec. 28 - 6:30 pm CST
Sat, Dec. 28 - 6:30 pm CST
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Team Announcement: Arizona Head Coach Jedd Fisch

Arizona HC Jedd Fisch

Opening statement:

“Well, I appreciate it, Derrick, very much and I appreciate all three of you up there today. We’re excited, we just got done with our end of season banquet and (we) couldn’t have been happier to share with our team the opportunity to play in this game. We’ve had quite a season around here, and the last six games have certainly been a highlight of what’s been a fantastic 12-game season. But we couldn’t be more thrilled to take on Coach Venables’ team, we have all the respect in the world for Oklahoma and all (of) the things that Oklahoma stands for and the national landscape, to be able to play a top 12. For our two teams to be 14 and 12 and be out there. What a special opportunity for all of us and we’re just thrilled to be there and can’t wait to get out to San Antonio.”

 On the growth and development of his team throughout the course of the year:

“Well, I would say we are playing with 13 starting sophomores out of our 22 players and our recruiting class of 2022, really is the group that kind of spearheaded the change in our program. We brought in, not only through the high school recruiting but the transfer portal as well guys like Jayden de Laura, guys like Jacob Cowing, guys like Tanner McLachlan and then with all the high school recruits as well. We’ve had a quarterback change in the middle of the season really due to injury and we’re sitting at 3-1, and then Jayden wound up spraining his ankle so we wound up having a ton of growth there offensively. We’ve been a good team the last couple of years, defensively, we made an enormous jump and super proud of the way our defense has played. And I think the growth of our team to go from 1-11, to 5-7 , to 9-3 really has to do with the way our defense has changed over these three years. So, we’ve been in position every week to win the game and really the essence of our defense.”

On first impressions about taking on the Sooners:

“Well, you know we played about two in the morning every week, so I’m able to watch a lot of college football. So, I’ve been able to see Oklahoma throughout the season at different times. But you know, our quarterback Jayden (de Laura) is from Hawaii, obviously doing (Dillon) Gabriel from Hawaii. So, you know we always talk about that with our group and keep an eye on that. Just the different quarterbacks and the scoring that’s been going on obviously, the defensive prowess that Coach Venables has had everywhere he’s ever been, and very aware of how good of a defense they are and what they’re going to be and how they’re going to cause all sorts of troubles for us. So, we recognize that it’s going be quite a football game. I’m excited about both teams, the way the teams score, and also the way the teams defend. So, it’s going be a fun game, a great game, and I hope that all San Antonio comes up and watch it.”

On what he hopes his team takes from their bowl game experience:

“Yeah, I would say this, the last bowl game that I’ve been at was the Super Bowl I guess, but other than that before that was the Cactus Bowl when I was the interim head coach at UCLA and then Michigan prior. But none of our players have played in a bowl game. So no player that’s been on a roster, unless they’ve transferred in here, has ever had a bowl experience. The last bowl game that happened here was in 2017, and we have no players on the roster from that year, so we’re going to try to make it an incredible experience. (We) hopefully come in on the 23rd, make it one in which we understand the importance of winning, but also the importance of the experience. And I know from what I’ve been told that this is the best bowl in terms of experience. And to celebrate Christmas with you guys, our kids are so excited for that, and we’re so excited for the staff.”

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