THE MODERATOR: It’s my pleasure to welcome the University of Washington and coach Chris Petersen.
COACH PETERSEN: Thanks for waiting for us. Merry Christmas and happy holidays. We’re excited to be here. Can’t tell you how excited we are to be here. We didn’t know where we were going for a handful of days. And when we heard we were coming here, we couldn’t have been more pleased.
We know what type of bowl this is. A handful of our coaches had an opportunity to come here a few different times for the Fiesta Bowl and it’s been spectacular.
So we just want to thank you guys for hosting us. We’re excited to play Penn State. We didn’t know much about Penn State other than seeing them win a lot of games from afar. And then you put the tape on and you’re, like, oh, that’s why we’re playing them.
These guys are quite an outfit. And we’re excited for the challenge.
Q. Can you just go over your day today? You got out late because of the snow and whatnot. Everybody make it and all that.
COACH PETERSEN: Can you say that again?
Q. Just what was your day today like, getting out late? And did everybody make it and what was that —
COACH PETERSEN: We got up early and sat on a bus for a long, long time before the plane got there. We’re here, at least a handful of us. We hope the rest of our players made it from their various places. We’ll get to the hotel here and see who is here and then go run around for a little bit tonight and get our mind right and get our bodies loose.
Q. In your previous trips here, can you just recount a little bit about that and what it’s like to bring a team here knowing what you know about the Fiesta Bowl?
COACH PETERSEN: I think the Fiesta Bowl does such a spectacular job. I think they get it, that we’re here to play our best football. And everyone is so accommodating and really helping that happen. And so the events that we have are really awesome. But there’s not too many of them.
So I think sometimes you go to places and you can get warn out in the waiting before you even play. So I think these guys really understand what we’re here for. And everybody’s been doing this for a long time. And they get what it takes to play their best football and everybody’s making sure both teams can do that.
The one thing we know coming here, because you’re always going to play a really, really good opponent, you have to play your best football of the year to be able to win. And I think that’s what’s exciting about coming to this game. If you can get that done, you know you’ve put your best foot forward.
Q. Having gone to the final four last year, were there any challenges getting your team ready to go to a game that wasn’t a semifinal because of having done that last year; or was that no issue?
COACH PETERSEN: No, not at all. I mean, like I said, I mean that sincerely, we’re as excited as we can be to be here. I think there’s probably more than four teams that are out there that are really, really good teams and on any given day could be one of the better teams in the country.
I know Penn State fits that mold. And so we’ll have to play our best football. We know what a challenge it’s going to be. So anytime you’re matched up like that you get really excited to play.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.