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November 12, 2004Were you pretty upset at that cheap shot you got in the back, especially when there was no penalty called?
"We didn't get a whole lot of those calls yesterday, period. We had a lot of calls that we just felt like were blatant but that is just how it goes. We felt like we are not going to let them lose this game for us, we wanted it to bad."
Where did that wheel route that went for a 25-yard reception in the third quarter come from?
"It has been in there for a while and we have only run it twice and both times we have run it they were in a defense like a zone where we really couldn't hit. This time they were finally in the defense that we practiced against and we just made it work."
As it played out a defensive end ended up covering you on the play.
"That No. 9 is a good athlete but I was like, 'No, this is not happening' (he's) 6-foot-7. I was hoping he would kind of miss so I could go on for a touchdown but I still got it, so that is cool. I was glad it worked because then maybe they will go back to it sooner"
Was the offense being too conservative?
"I think the plays yesterday, I think a lot of them could have worked but it seemed to me at least that I felt like on a lot of the runs everyone did their jobs except for this one guy and then that guy would do his job and another guy (wouldn't). So I think everybody just has to be on the same page. It is like in the first half, everybody was like I am going to do my job on this play and then not the next play and in the second half we were able to step it up."
Did the offense not respect N.C. State's defense going into the game?
"I wouldn't say so, because the last three years it has been a dog fight. Last year we had to score 50, if you had told us that we were going to have to do that to beat them we would have laughed. We kind of knew what to expect but at the same time they came ready to play, especially in the first half. Their defense was ranked real high anyways and they played like it. I was glad we could come up with big plays when we needed to."
How was N.C. State's defense able to create havoc up front?
"They did a lot of stunting and I think the offensive line had a lot of trouble picking that up and also they did a lot of slants. For us, we knew that it was coming, we knew that was going to be something we were going to need to pick up because when they blitz something is going to be open and we needed to take advantage of that and we didn't. That is the name of the game, whenever they blitz we need to expose it and we couldn't, but thank God the defense played good and Willie (Reid) was able to give us good field position the whole second half. That really helped us."
On your touchdown run in the third quarter running backs coach Billy Sexton's gave Bobby Bowden a big hug. What was that all about?
"I know Coach Sexton is the guy that is the goal line coach, he draws up the plays and things like that so I wouldn't doubt if that was his call because that is his unit. Even though the goalline package wasn't in, he probably still had input with it because he usually doesn't get that fired up over a touchdown. I know we took the lead and all that, but it was probably his call."
The blocking from Paul Irons and others on that touchdown was very good.
"Yeah, definitely, and then Cro (Craphonso Thorpe) at the end making sure those guys didn't get me. We were able to put it together when we needed it but for the most part on the road all year, it just seems like we are not on the same page but we need to fix that because in a bowl game we are not going to be at home. We are not exactly going to be at their place either but if they just happen to outnumber us with fans, we might as well be."
Was it important for Wyatt Sexton to stay in at quarterback in the second half?
"Very important because he can't be out there feeling like 'I can't mess up' because when you are out there playing not to make a mistake, you are not going to play good. He has got to go out there and just play and by them not taking him out I think it helps his confidence a little bit more. He will be able to relax a little bit more and not have to worry about making a play every time or they are going to yank me. It definitely helps him."
What are your thoughts headed into the Florida game?
"The biggest game of the year, everybody says Florida State-Miami and this and that, but the biggest rival we have is Florida, Gainesville, and that alone is enough to motivate everybody. They could be 0-10, but it is Florida and plus we still have a shot at BCS game and that is where everybody wants to go. No one wants to be in the Gator Bowl and a lot of the seniors on this team now know what that is like. I personally don't and I don't think I ever want to find out. That is still in our grasp. Even though we don't control our own destiny there is still a little something more we can do and that is beating Florida and trying to beat them handily so the voters and everybody else can see that we deserve to be in one of those games."