Maryland and Purdue began practice in Orlando on Saturday, just six days away from their primetime showdown in the 17th annual Champs Sports Bowl. The practices, which are closed to the public and held on the ancillary fields surrounding the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, were the teams first workout since arriving in Central Florida late Friday afternoon.
“I’m not a huge warm weather person, but if I can get out of the cold for a little while, I’ll take it,” said Purdue wide receiver Dorien Bryant. “We’re excited about playing down here because of the beautiful weather.”
Both coaches shared the interest in adjusting to the warmer climate of Orlando and getting some good, solid practice days in, while also enjoying the area.
“For the next three days here, we’re going to take in everything Orlando can throw at us,” said Purdue coach Joe Tiller, “And then after that we’ll zero in on what we want to get done.”
Both teams are focused on getting back in their stride after having several weeks away from game action. “We go against each other [in drills] maybe half the practice because I like to get used to the speed of things,” said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen.
With less than a week until the 8:00 p.m. kickoff of the Champs Sports Bowl, both the Terrapins and Boilermakers will be trying to juggle the entertainment factor of Orlando with the preparations for a major postseason football game. Tickets are still available for the Dec. 29 contest, which will be played at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. All tickets are $60 and lower-level seating is still available. Tickets can be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets, including www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 20 or more can be purchased through the Florida Citrus Sports box office (407.423.2476).