While all seniors want to end their careers with a victory, a win Tuesday only would reinforce how much things have changed for the Owls.
“When I first got here, it was just loss after loss,” senior defensive tackle Andre Neblett said. “It was long rides home on the plane, sad faces after the games. Just after games to be able to smile and laugh and to enjoy each other, it’s been great. I think the rest of our teammates will want to keep that going and want the locker room to be like that for years to come.”
Similar sentiments hold at UCLA, which hopes it is also on the way up. Even though neither team enters the EagleBank Bowl ranked, both programs believe they’re not far away from earning that status regularly.
“I think both teams have a lot to play for,” Neuheisel said. “I don’t think you’re looking at this game as saying, ‘One’s a have and one’s a have not.’ That’s not the case. I think it’s a situation of great pride in both programs, both pointing in the right direction.”
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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