October 9, 2001 - by
Quotes From Rix, Maddox And Jennings On This Weekend’s Florida State-Miami Game

Oct. 9, 2001

QB Chris Rix

(when asked to evaluate Monday’s practice)

“I think we had a good practice. The energy is good and everybody is pumped up for the game. We know that we have to have good practices and play together. We put in some new plays and went over the stuff we needed to work on. For a Monday practice, I think we had good tempo and we executed pretty good out there.

(about last year’s game at Miami)

“It was frustrating not being able to do anything or contribute. That’s the main thing I am excited about with this year’s game – playing a role in the game. I remember the feeling of ups and downs, coming back from being down so much and almost winning. It was a real emotional roller coaster. The hard part was watching Miami’s excitement as they stormed the field when we lost.

(on emotion in Miami series)

“Growing up in California, it was always UCLA-USC and I never really knew about the Florida State-Florida and Florida State-Miami rivalries. But, just being here a year, I’ve become very educated on it and become very familiar with it. It’s fun and I’m glad to be a part of it. I can definitely see how intense this rivalry is. It’s the biggest game of the year for both teams.

(on home streaks on the line)

“We just need to focus on the game and on Miami and worry about what we are supposed to do. We can’t waste time talking about our streaks, we need to focus on our assignments and play Florida State football. If we play our game, all that stuff will take care of itself. It is something that is in the back of our heads, we don’t want to be the guys that end that streak. We can’t get caught up in thinking about what if, you just need to go out, play football and execute.

(on being a touchdown underdog)

“I think being an underdog is motivation for us because it’s very rare, especially in this game. I know the past few years we’ve been the favorite. Now the pressure is on them so we’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose.

(on Miami defense)

“The main thing that stands out is their speed and aggression. They fly to the ball. They are mostly a man (coverage) team and don’t play much zone. I expect them to mix it up. They hit hard and swarm to the ball, and are definitely a faster team than we’ve played all year.

(on pressure and preparing for this game)

“You want to be as prepared as you can for a team like Miami – watch film, go over your plays and the stuff your installing each night. The pressure is the same as it is for every other game, just a more extreme. I just want to stay within myself and do what I’m coached to do. I think so far we’ve had good game plans and I’m confident we’ll put together another one this week. It’s a matter of us going out and executing it.

(on what he can improve on after Wake Forest game)

“I can still improve on some of my decisions and some of my throws. I think I had an OK game against Wake in terms of doing what I’m supposed to do, and that’s getting the ball to the receivers and let them do things with it. I don’t think I’ve had an exceptional game yet. Against Wake, I should have taken the short guy a couple times and also stayed in the pocket a little longer and waited for receivers to get open before running. I am just trying to build on each game and get better.

(on Miami games of the past)

“I would say my frame of mind is different from the players that have grown up in the state and watched it year in and year in and year out. It is good to have that knowledge of the past so you know that this isn’t just any other game at Florida State. It’s a big game for this town and this program. I know that there is a lot riding on my shoulders and I gladly accept that and take it as an honor that I’ll be playing a major role in it.

(mood for this game)

“I know most of the guys on the team are excited, I’m very excited. Coach Bowden was in New York last week and said people were talking about the Miami-Florida State game. It’s going to be the center of attention and our energy level is very high. I think we’ll have a great week of practice and we’ll be ready. The best way to describe it is fun and exciting, this is what college football is all about.”

MLB Bradley Jennings

(on getting pressure on Ken Dorsey)

“If he can just sit back there in the pocket and feel comfortable, he can basically pick us apart. We are going to need a good pass rush from our defensive line. We need those guys up front to do a good job.

(on confidence in defensive line)

“I believe in those guys. I think that they will be able to get pressure on the quarterback in whatever type of game plan we put in on defense.

(on linebackers blitzing)

“That’s always a possibility. The coaches will have to put that together. We just have to come out and handle our assignments within the defense. If the coaches call for us to blitz then that’s what we’ll do.

(on being underdogs)

“I think that just give us a chance to go out and prove to everybody who’s counting us out that we are still one of the top teams in the country. Being an underdog in this game motivates us.

(on 10 years without a loss at Doak Campbell Stadium)

“I think everybody knows how much the home winning streak means to the team, to Coach Bowden and to the guys that played here before us. Everyone knows that we don’t lose in Doak and all the guys are looking forward to backing that up.

(on being from Miami and playing against friends and high school teammates)

“It’s kind of like a backyard fight. I know a lot of those guys and I’ve played with them growing up. Bragging rights are on the line so when you go home you hear it from the team that came out on top.

(on how much more intense the rivalry has gotten over the last 4-5 years)
“When I first got here, Florida State was basically dominating Miami. Now since they beat us last year, they feel like they have a chance. They think they can come into our house and beat us. It’s just much more of a rivalry. They feel like they are back.”

RB Nick Maddox

(on pressure and motivation for defending home turf)

“There is definitely motivation because you don’t want to be a part of that team that loses any of the streaks that we have going on. We are going to have go out and play our best Saturday and have a good week of practice leading up to the game.

(on going in as underdog with nothing to lose)

“You would like to say we don’t have anything to lose, but we do have a lot on the line. There is some pressure on them since they are No. 1, but just as much on us because we have a lot of tradition here that we would like to keep going.

(on leading the team in rushing vs. WFU after Rix had done so the previous two games)

“That’s one of the things where I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win.
If Chris (Rix) is going to be the leading rusher, passer or receiver on the team and we win then that’s what I want to happen. It just so happened that the last game the running backs were able to get more involved and Chris was able to get a couple more throws in.

(talk about the best way to attack Miami’s defense)

“They look real tough. They aren’t vulnerable in any aspect of their defense. Their linebackers are strong and fast and so is the defensive line. Their defensive backs are skilled and experienced. They have it all, they are the total package as a team. This is one of those games where we have to trust our coaches because they’ll know exactly what to do and what will work. Looking at them on film, they are a terrific team.

(how much time during bye week was Miami-specific?)

“All of it, of course. When you are have an open week like that and you are playing a big team like Miami, you need as much time as you can to get ready for them. We spent a lot of time going over their blitzes and getting prepared for them because they are a great team.

(on how team has handled all the injuries)

“I think that’s the mark of a great team, how they handle adversity. Hopefully we will be able to handle it.

(on being on the sideline as kicker decides a game)

“This year we have confidence in our kicker. I would have no problem seeing him out there on the field in a situation where the game is on the line. Last year we were a little bit shaky. I don’t think the coaching staff had as much confidence in the kicking last year as they do this year. If it comes down to a situation where we are inside the 20 or 30- yard line and it comes down to kicking it or going for the first down, they are going to take the kick nine times out of 10. We’ll be able to breathe easier this year with the stability of the kicking game.”

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