December 30, 2009 - by
Final Practice

Dec. 30, 2009




 

Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles conducted their final practice Wednesday morning at Jacksonville University in preparation for Friday’s 1 p.m. meeting with the West Virginia Mountaineers. 

Coach Bowden’s final practice as head coach of the Seminoles brought out the warm weather, plenty of sunshine and plenty of fans.  Bowden signed autographs before practice and after and had the opportunity to visit with some of his former players who have trickled into practice all week long.   

Fans will have one more chance to see Coach Bowden before game day at the Gator Bowl parade Thursday afternoon in downtown Jacksonville.  Bowden will serve as Grand Marshal of the annual parade and will be accompanied by his wife Ann.

 

Head coach Bobby Bowden

On his final time on the practice field:

“I haven’t really thought about it until you just mentioned it now.  It is really not on my mind.”

On all the events (guest speaker, Grand Marshal of the Gator Bowl parade) surrounding the bowl game that is set up to honor him making things that much more unpredictable:

“As long as it don’t lead to the cemetery.  Is there a cemetery out there some where?  This is something that will be different.  At first, I had preferred not to do it but these people have just been so gosh darn good that I felt like I needed to do everything for them I could.  I certainly appreciate everything they are doing, but if we were playing for the national championship I would probably say I could not do all this.  But the coaches are organized, I told them before we got here that they (the city of Jacksonville) have a lot of events planned for me, since it’s my last game, so I want you all to prepare your practice like you’ll never see me.  But I do get to see the practice.  They are good enough to get it done.”

 

Assistant Head Coach Rick Trickett

On the emotional ties playing against West Virginia:

“It’s a different feeling, but a good one.  You have to enjoy the moment and enjoy the friendships.  Come Friday you have to turn that off.  Like I have always told people, if my mom was on the other sidelines I still want to win the ball game.  It’s just the competitive nature inside me and they want to do the same.  But I have enjoyed it; it has been a lot of fun.” 

On some of the problems the Mountaineers will present to Florida State:

“The 3-3 stack, they have done a great job of changing a little bit, going to a four down line on third down and they are doing some great things with that.  They have really done a good job on their defense.  I haven’t studied their offense but I’m just lucky to a point that I was able to go against that (style of defense) for six years and have an idea of what they are trying to do and how they are trying to do it.  They have probably changed some things since I have been there but I can’t image having only three or four days to get ready for that thing.  I have seen the problems other teams have had.  We will find out Friday.”

On this being the last game with Coach Bowden:

“I don’t think it really hit us until one day at practice when they told the offense that they could go get their picture taken with Coach Bowden.  Then the next day the defense could do the same.  Then it was like ok, this day is coming.  Life is kind of a journey, I will be able to sit there and say that I worked for Nick Saban, I worked for Jackie Sherrill, I worked for Bobby Bowden and I worked for Rich Rodriguez.  I will be able to sit there and look back and ride off on my Harley and be able to enjoy all those things.  They are all good memories.”

  

Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews:

On preparing for Friday’s game against West Virginia:

“The one thing that shows up defensively more than anything is the way you tackle…for a bowl game, you have a few more days to put something in than you do for a normal game day preparation.  But the energy, the chemistry, just doing things together, the execution, that’s where it affects you the most.  It’s funny, I don’t care if you’re playing in a bowl game or just in the regular season, but execution and how well you do with the fundamentals will go along way.”

On the toughness of the West Virginia offensive players:

“There is no doubt about it.  They got some guys at the skill positions that are better than any one else you’re going to play against.  The thing we have struggled with all year defensively is holding gains to a minimum.  We have lacked in consistency to go out there and win first down, go out there and do it again on second down.  We have got to go out there and win those situational battles.  We have got to come through with a great team effort.” 

On the desire of the Florida State players heading into Friday’s game:

“We have had a good bowl preparation, better than what we have had in years.  After today’s practice it is all going to be mental, how is our mental preparation?  Can we out prepare them on a day we don’t go to practice, which will happen tomorrow (Thursday) and then Friday it’s about performance.  It’s a very strong challenge, but that is the way it is supposed to be when you are in a bowl game.”

 

Rod Owens, Redshirt Senior, Wide Receiver

Thoughts on his last day of practice:

“Get mentally ready; get physically ready for the game.  We put the game plan in motion now it’s a matter of executing and getting ready for the game.  For me, it’s a matter of doing the right thing all the time.  Knowing where everything is, being detailed oriented on my routes and off the ball blocking, blocking is going to be key.”

 

Greg Reid, Freshman, Cornerback:

On the defense and whether they have improved during the bowl game preparation:

“We are trying to improve every week.  We are going to come out and have some fun which is something we didn’t do all year, so that is what I am going to focus on now.”

On playing under head coach Bobby Bowden:

“He is a great man and a legend.  That’s all I really have to say about that.  We want him to go out with a ‘W’.” 

On the excitement of his first bowl trip:

“It’s been great; riding go carts, playing laser tag and staying in a beautiful hotel in a beautiful place like Jacksonville has been great!”

 

Jacobbi McDaniel, Freshman, Defensive Tackle

On his first bowl game experience:

“We have been going pretty good.  Everybody is coming out here and practicing really hard, preparing for the bowl game.” 

On what it is going to take to defeat West Virginia:

“We have to go out play hard and play as a team.  Everybody will have to be discipline and execute our assignments.  The offensive will put up points like they have all year, but the defensive will have to come out and stop the offensive threat.”

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