November 24, 2008 - by
Seminoles Get Back To Practice After Getting Back In The National Polls

Nov. 24, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  – This was one of the better Monday’s of the year for Florida State football. The Seminoles returned to the practice fields for 12 periods sporting a new top 25 ranking and a new Rhodes Scholar as well. On top of that, kicker Graham Gano was named one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award and Everette Brown was named a Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week. Not a bad start to a very important week that will culminate Saturday at 3:30 p.m. versus No. 2 Florida.



Head Coach Bobby Bowden

On tonight’s practice:

“Well just about everyone was out there. [Darius] McClure was out there even, that surprised me.  When he got hurt everybody thought [he’d be out for the year] and he was out there working out a little bit.  I just saw him working there at the end. I’m not sure how much he was getting. He didn’t look real bad.”


On having Taiwan Easterling back against Maryland:

“He’s valuable; he’s probably been one of our most consistent receivers.  His blocking has been good too.”


On what a win against Florida could do for the team:

“It would be a step-up, no doubt about it. We’ll have to play our absolute best and don’t turn the ball over.  Hold those penalties down in a game like this. We’ve just got to play our best, that’s all there is to it.”


On the most difficult part of defending Florida’s spread:

“They have such good athletes running out for passes, they’re hard to cover.  Their offensive line does a good job at protecting the quarterback and their quarterback is mobile.  He can move around a little bit on you.  So they’ve got the full package.”


On what they learned from last season’s game against Florida:

“The things you’ve got to do that you didn’t do, you didn’t tackle well in the open field.  Like that Maryland game the other night, the first two times they had the ball we didn’t tackle worth a darn.  Then all of a sudden we started tackling.  They were catching a four-yard pass and running for 25 yards with it with about three guys missing them.”


LB Dekoda Watson

On his recollections from last season’s Florida game:

“It was just a lack of focus, a lack of confidence after a couple of plays.  They made a couple of big plays the first quarter and it just kind of slowed down our momentum after that.  Florida is a great team and it’s one of those teams where you just can’t get down after one play and that’s exactly what we did last year and after that it just went downhill totally.”   


On the helpless feeling the defense had against Florida last season:

“Personally speaking for myself, I thought it was a dream.  I was just ready to wake up.  We’re going to be ready this year.  Our confidence level is going to be up.  It’s not only that we feed off each other, we feed off the coaches too.  If a coach isn’t confident in what they’re doing and they get frustrated and they can’t figure out what’s going in, it hurts us as a team too.  So I told the coaches once they get their thing going we can get going too cause it really just starts with them.”


On what it is about Florida’s scheme that is so difficult

“It’s a scheme that you’ve got to respect. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel like Georgia Tech is one of the hardest offensives I’ve been up against and that’s just me speaking for myself.  But Florida just has an offensive scheme that you have to respect as a whole.  They’ve got the empty set for one.  With the empty set they’ve got so many players they can throw to.  They’re all outstanding athletes and we’re going to have to respect all of that as a whole.”


On the difference in attitude going into this year’s game against Florida:

“We’re better not only defensively but as a team.  It’s not just us anymore, it never really was, but at the same time our offense struggled these past two years.  But now I’m so confident with the offense that I don’t worry about it anymore.  We’ve gotten a lot better with special teams also.  We’re just bringing everything together and we’re playing as a team.  It just shows, seeing how Maryland went down.  It’s just a team effort all the way around.”


S Darius McClure

On coming back from his injury and being able to practice:

“I was out for I guess a week. But I’m feeling good. Tested it out today, everything feels good so far. When I jumped up, I landed on somebody’s foot and my knee went out. It felt pretty good running around today.”


C Ryan McMahon

On using the momentum from the Maryland win against Florida:

“We’re just gonna push the rock like coach always tells us to do. I’m real excited, everybody on the line is real excited, everybody on the team is really excited for this game. It doesn’t really seem like all the true freshmen, (Andrew) Datko, (David) Spurlock and Zebrie (Sanders) really seem like they’re freshmen.”


On Florida’s defensive line:

“We’ve just got to keep watching film and we’ve got to just do what we know we can do to get ready for Florida because they’re a tough team. We watched their film. They’re tough, they’re fast and they’re athletic. We’ve got to use good techniques and fundamentals against. They’re a real good athletic line.”


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