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Junior inside linebacker, Monty Rice and senior tight end, Charlie Woerner spoke to the media today leading up to the Sugar Bowl on Wednesday. They were asked about what it means to play in the bowl game and the things they were looking forward to the most. 

They also talked about those who maybe didn't make the trip and aren't playing in the bowl game for various reasons. 

Charlie Woerner

On a different feeling this year than last year in the same situation: 

“It has been different, last year coming to the Sugar Bowl in the same situation like you said, but Coach Smart and the older guys have done a great job of changing things up. Coach Smart was saying practices have been a little shorter but very competitive. I think this team is a lot more excited to play in this game, and to play Baylor. They are a really good team.”

On keeping focus on the guys who are here and eligible to play: 

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“Those guys made their decisions and it’s great for them, they are headed to the next level, and guys have injuries and stuff like that. This team has bought into going out there and playing the game, playing for each other and just to win a ball game. We are playing to win a ball game. We all want to win and we all want to have fun. The Sugar Bowl is a great opportunity and it’s an honor to play in this bowl.”

Monty Rice 

On bowl practices and the tone set for this week: 

“We’ve been practicing hard just like we practiced for the SEC Championship. We are ready to go and we still have three more practices I think. We are going to get better during those and be ready to go for the game.”

On the motivation for a game like this after falling short of the season goals:

“One, I would say the loss last year, you don’t want to go out two years in a row losing in this game. There’s a lot of young guys who haven’t gotten to play much this year and they’re going to be able to start this game and play a lot of snaps. I feel like they can go out there and make a case of why they should be playing.”