Published December 21, 2018
MOBILE, ALABAMA – UB football head coach Lance Leipold went 5-7, 2-10 and 6-6 in his first three seasons with the Bulls. The team was snubbed from earning a bowl invite last year despite being eligible. This year, UB won a program-best 10 games and is playing in its third-ever bowl game.
Those early struggles weren’t lost on Leipold when he stood at the podium Friday morning for the Dollar General Bowl press conference.
“I’m trying to savor it all in,” he said.
“It’s been rewarding. … We’re approaching the last 24 hours with some pretty special young men,” Leipold added.
“It really came to light to me when our players were on the (USS Alabama) yesterday and they were saying ‘Coach, we should have practiced in the morning so we could stay longer.’ When you talk about bowl experiences and what it’s all about for our young men to see things and be places they’ve never been, it’s definitely come true for us.”
Here are a few other highlights from today’s press conference:
Leipold on what stands out about the Troy Trojans: “When you hear about people’s reputations and programs, (Troy) Coach (Neal) Brown and his respect in this profession as an offensive coach – that’s the first thing you watch, how they use their personnel so well and so diverse. It really forces you to be disciplined.”
Leipold on the speed of the press conference: “I think this press conference is like the modern wave of college football. It’s definitely an up tempo press conference. We’re getting up to the line of scrimmage and getting this thing rolling.”
UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt: “We’re thrilled to be here and the experience has been fantastic for not only our student-athletes but our coaches and their families and all of our supporters that are here.”
Troy head coach Neal Brown about the Bulls: “The first thing that jumps out to me is them on offense. As good of an offense as we’ve played all year. (Quarterback Tyree Jackson) Has the strongest arm as we’ve played against all year. He’s got two NFL (caliber) receivers to throw it to.”
Archie Manning, keynote speaker for the Mayor’s Luncheon that followed the press conference: “I’m thrilled to be here. There’s nothing like a bowl experience. Even when you’re as old as me – I can remember the three years we went to bowl games. I can remember the bowls my kids went to. It’s just nothing like a bowl experience.”
Manning – who played 15 years in the NFL and is the father of Peyton and Eli – also heaped praise on the talent of UB’s quarterback. “We had Tyree Jackson down at the Manning Passing Academy. We don’t get many 6-8 quarterbacks there,” he said with a laugh.