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Monday, December 6, 2010
JoePa talks Urban Meyer, Outback Bowl

By staff

Both Joe Paterno and Urban Meyer on Monday acknowledged the challenge of getting their teams prepared for a bowl after so-so seasons.

Paterno's Penn State team had back-to-back 11-win campaigns before slipping to 7-5 this season. Meyer's Florida Gators have won two national titles and a Sugar Bowl championship in the past four seasons but enter the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 with the same ledger as the Nittany Lions.

While motivating the players could be tough, both coaches are excited to share the stage in Tampa.

"Urban's one of my favorite people in coaching," Paterno said on a teleconference Monday morning. "It's going to be exciting to play against him."

The feeling certainly is mutual.

"Coach Paterno is college football," Meyer said. "He's what it's all about."

Paterno and Meyer have spent time away from the field together with their wives, who are friends. Although Meyer was just a toddler when Paterno began his career as Penn State's head coach in 1966, the two men have formed a bond.

"He’s honest, he’s not one of those showoffs or anything like that," Paterno said. "He's very modest. He's got a great feel for the game. I've looked at a lot of the tapes of his games through the years because he seems to always be one step ahead of people he’s playing against. I like being around him. I enjoy visiting with him."

A few more notes from Paterno: