Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy and right tackle Ian Silberman had gone through the bowl selection process before, but didn't really feel part of it.
That changed last Sunday when the Atlantic Coast Conference selected BC (7-5) to face resurgent Big Ten power Penn State (6-6) in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York on Dec. 27.
Murphy and Silberman were taking part in a spirited practice under the protective bubble at Alumni Stadium on Friday.
"I'm excited and it will be fun," Murphy said. "I'm just looking forward to being the guy at a bowl game and taking snaps behind center.
"Hopefully we can play well enough and get a nice bowl win."
Murphy and Silberman are graduate transfers from Florida who are making sure their remaining year of eligibility matters. They were contributing members of the Florida offense but neither player, either due to injury or depth-chart issues, ever played in a bowl game with the Gators.
"I'd been to bowl games but this is the first bowl game I'll be playing in, and I feel like my job is to make sure the team stays focused," Murphy said. "It is always better to finish off the season in the right way and 8-5 will be really big for this program."
BC coach Steve Addazio recruited Murphy to Florida when he served as the Gators' offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. Murphy appeared in nine games with six starts in 2013, but suffered a shoulder injury with three games remaining and the Gators finished 4-8. Silberman played 20 games with seven starts, but never played a down in the postseason.
"Honestly I had yet to play in a bowl game because of a coach's decision or injury so I'm really more excited about this than of my previous experiences," Silberman said.
Murphy started 12 games for the Eagles and established an ACC single-season rushing record for a quarterback with 1,079 yards. Silberman helped open holes for many of Murphy's daring runs, while the BC ground game finished 14th in the nation averaging 251.8 yards per game.
The NCAA's current graduate transfer eligibility rule was implemented in 2011 with the intention of rewarding student athletes that had earned a bachelor's degree and had at least one year of eligibility remaining.
The rule was meant for guys like Murphy and Silberman who needed a fresh start at a new institution. Both are working toward their master's degrees at the Woods College of Advancing Studies.
"I think it is a good rule in place," Murphy said. "It gives guys an opportunity if they want to go elsewhere to advance their education like normal students do when they graduate and want to get their masters.
"I have benefited both athletically and academically by coming here."