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Paul Johnson Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 27, 2012

Opening Statement:
“Good morning. It’s a nice, rainy day out there for practice. We’re excited to have the opportunity to go to Charlotte and play in the ACC Championship game. I know it’s going to be a huge challenge. I think Florida State’s a very good football team. Hopefully we’ll have a good week of preparation and go up there and put on a pretty good show; that’s our intention. We’re excited to have a chance to play in the game; it’s a great opportunity for us.”

On their defensive coordinator planning for our offense…
“I think they’ll stay within their base alignment, but we don’t know for sure. I wouldn’t imagine that in three days they’ll get too far away from what they do defensively. They’ve had so much success; they’re top ten in every category. I’m sure they’re going to do what they do. I don’t think they’ll make a lot of wholesale changes.”

On the mood of the team right now…
“It’s been a grind year. I think we expended a lot of energy getting back to where we got at the end. The last game is an emotional game with a rival. We would’ve liked to have played better but we’ll see where the mood of the team is today when you come to practice. I’m sure there was disappointment off Saturday, but you’ve got to move forward. They’ve been fairly resilient for a young football team and they’ve bounced back a couple different times when it could’ve gone south. They’ve put forth the energy and fought to come back. I think they realize they have a good opportunity in front of them and hopefully we’ll prepare that way and go up there and give it our best shot. That’s why you play the game.”

On the guys who stepped up in place of injured Orwin Smith against Georgia…
“There was some good and bad just like with everybody else. I wouldn’t say they played any better or worse than any other position. There is some depth at that position, but we hope to have Orwin play, and if he can’t play you can’t worry about it. You have to move on and somebody else has to go play. “

On if he expected to be in the Orange Bowl or not getting into bowl game…
“It’s been a different year. I mean it’s been a tale of two different seasons. The first part we lost a couple of close games and I think it really affected us. We came back, bounced back, got in the conference schedule and played a little better, but it’s been a different year. We’ve actually played far better in the conference than we have outside it; normally, that’s not always the case. Normally you pick up two or three wins outside the conference and then you have the conference record. This time we didn’t. Really the only conference game we got beat by double digits, we were still ahead in the fourth quarter at Clemson and they’re one of the better teams. The way the season’s unfolded, it’s been a grind; it’s been a grind on the kids. When you lose those close games like that early, you dig yourself a hole and you have to fight out.”

On what do you have to do to score more points…
“We have to show up and play with great energy and effort. We have to execute and clearly we’re going to have to win some points offensively; you have to every game to win. Defensively what you’re trying to do is get a few stops and maybe some turnovers. We have to get into our kind of game; a grind game, with not a lot of possessions, and the stops become premium. If you get four or five stops it’s a big deal. But that’s how you play every game; I don’t think you approach this one any differently.”

On the opportunity to play in this game…
“My goal for the second half of the season was to make sure we played better, got the ship righted, and made sure we got bowl eligible. That was the push and I thought that was realistic goal for the team going into the second half of the year sitting at 2-4. As we started playing and winning and you looked at the conference standings, it became apparent that it could happen. And all we could do was win each week and then see what happened and that’s what the kids did. They found a way to win the last four conference games and it ended up unfolding that way.”

On Florida State’s QB EJ Manuel…
“I think he’s an experienced player, has a lot of athleticism, can keep things alive and make good plays. They also have a great supporting cast, they have good receivers and a number of running backs. They lost their starter at the beginning of the season who was really, really good but you replace him with the other guys who are also good. You have the James Wilder, Jr. kid who everyone has a hard time getting to the ground, they’ve got other backs who are quick and fast so they’ve got a lot of weapons.”

On anything to take from how Florida played against FSU…
“We’re going to run the ball; that’s what we do. I think they went into the Florida game second or third in rush defense, so this weekend they’ll come in at the top 10 but it’s what we do and we’re not going to change in one week because you play a team that’s good against the run. You don’t change what you do. We feel like that if we go out and execute and play the way we’re capable of playing that we can move the ball and we’ll see, that’s why you play the game.”


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