October 23, 2008 - by
Virginia Tech Expected To Test No. 23 FSU’s Third-Ranked Defense

Oct. 23, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  – A lot has been made of the Seminole defense trying to stop Tyrod Taylor but the talk at practice Thursday centered around Virginia Tech’s stingy defense. Both head coach Bobby Bowden and starting quarterback Christian Ponder called Bud Foster’s Hokie defense the best they have faced so far this season. Ponder said he needs to take responsibility for the FSU offense this week and keep the ball out of the hands of Virginia Tech defenders when the two teams meet Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Tallahassee.



Head Coach Bobby Bowden

On practice this week:

“They had a good week. We have a good plan but it’s a matter of executing.”


Is this the best defense Florida State has faced:

“Yes. This team plays great defense. They always have.”


Keys to be successful this weekend:

“In a game like this that you have two good defensive teams, I think the key for both of us is not to turn the ball over. They scored twice last week with their defense.”


On the stretch of schedule coming up:

“We only take them one at a time. We have to start with this one.”


Quarterback Christian Ponder:

 On the upcoming game:

“We have had a pretty good week at practice. We came in with the mind set we needed to practice well. I think it is important for me to come out and play well. I will just look at it as another game on our schedule. The offense starts with me and I need to put my team in the best position to win this game.”


On the conference standings and how this game will affect it:

“This game is big time. We have to win out the rest of the season, but we can’t look down that far into the road. We have to go one week at a time. We have to come out, fight hard and win it.”


On their defense:

“I think the biggest thing is that they play hard and are disciplined. Coach Foster has them well coached. They know exactly what to do and never really give up big things. If you turn the ball over, they are going to make you pay. They also have a great scoring defense. We need to keep the ball in our hands.”


On Graham Gano:

“We have a ton of confidence in him. He has done really well.  He has a ton of confidence in himself now and is relaxed when he gets out there. He has a great leg so if it comes down to him, we feel comfortable.”


DB Jamie Robinson

On the teams preparation

“It’s been pretty intense, we’re going to be getting back in front of our home crowd and it has been about a month since we’ve played in Doak Campbell so the atmosphere is going to be pretty good and we’re going to get after it.”


On Virginia Tech’s running game

“They run a lot of two back and two tight and they want to establish the run first so I’m going to be doing a lot of hitting on the running back and quarterback because they do a lot of quarterback draws as well.”


On the progression of the defense

“The things I like that we have been doing is stepping up to the challenge that coach Andrews gives us every week. I just want us to be consistent, step up to the challenge that [Mickey Andrews] presents every week, playing meaner, playing tougher and playing smash mouth football and getting after them. If we just stay consistent we’ll be unstoppable, but we’re our own worst enemy sometimes.”


On the defensive line

“Those guys are going to need to contain and do what they’ve been doing all season and that’s getting up the field and controlling their gaps. Those guys are talented, they are great athletes and we’ve got a good front four and good [linebackers] behind them.”


On playing a big game at home

“I just start thinking about how many plays I’m going to make out there and I try to get my mind prepared for what’s going to happen.”


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