Florida State Comments On Bama

Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden and some of his players talked about the upcoming Alabama game. Here are notes from that press briefing in Tallahassee Monday.



Alabama and Florida State will meet in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Saturday in a game nationally televised by CBS. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. central time).

Monday comments from FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

On Alabama Being A Big, National Game "I think they know that. I think they know that. Both teams."

Have you spoken to former Florida State – now Alabama assistant coach Kevin Steele? "I haven't talked to him in quite a while. They've got so many guys up there – Kevin was here, (Kirby) Smart was here, Curt Cignetti – his daddy was my offensive coordinator at West Virginia and he coached with Chuck (Amato) last year. Joe Pendry played for me at West Virginia. So many interlocking things. (Rick) Trickett and Jimbo (Fisher) working with (Nick) Saban – and (Lawrence) Dawsey."

Is There Any Advantage For Either Team? "I don't think there is an advantage. If there is, it balances out."

On Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban

"I was closer with his daddy and he was just a little kid hanging around. I remember his dad real well. I have forgotten all what happened. I would sense that we would have tried to hire him as a graduate assistant. He was always pretty close to our program. Terry (Bowden) worked for him, too. Terry was a graduate assistant at West Virginia after I left then Saban came in, I believe. Tommy (Bowden) was playing there. Terry was playing there and Terry became a graduate assistant there."

On What It Takes To Follow A Long-Time Head Coach

"It's just kind of proven that it's tough. Not just Coach Bryant but when Vince Dooley left Georgia – the same thing. Anytime a coach stays at a place a long time it been tough for a guy to follow."

Have you ever thought twice about not taking the Alabama head coaching job?

"Not much. But it gets brought up to me so many times especially when I go home. I never really thought it through at all."

From Linebacker Derek Nicholson:

"We are going out here like every other week. We are going to treat this team like it's a national championship game – that's how you have to look at it. It's the game right in front of us and they are a good ball club. We have to be prepared. They are going to be hungry coming off a loss. This game is a very big game – it's the biggest game of the year. Last week was the biggest game of the year for us – so this week is going to be the biggest game of the year for us. We have to approach it like that week in and week out. It's the biggest so far – we are looking at it like that."

Is there extra pressure on the linebackers this week against Alabama?

"We all have our keys and everybody has their assignments individually. If everybody does their job and does their assignments – the 11 players that are out on the field regardless – we will be alright. Everyone has to do their job and everyone has to do their assignments."

Comments from Quarterback Drew Weatherford:

"It was a great football game (Alabama vs. Georgia). Both teams played really hard. We are going to have our hands full. They are a very good football team coming off a tough loss like that so they are going to be motivated. We have got to match their intensity this week. We know this is going to be a dogfight due to watching their last two games and the kind of coach they have. Coach Saban is a lot like our own coach and he's not going to accept anything less than the guys giving it their all. We are going to have to go out and match their intensity and be as disciplined as they are."

Do you think the off week helped?

"I do. I think our offense got time to relax and just kind of take it easy for a little bit. We had a long first stretch playing on a Monday night and them coming back and playing five days later. I don't think we ever got a chance to catch our wind. We finally have the off week and I think it came at a good moment for us. We came out today and did a lot of good things. We practiced better today than we had in the last week and a half."

On Playing Alabama

"It's going to be exciting. Their fans travel great and so do ours. It's going to be a historical night, I think. I'm really looking forward to it like everyone else is."

On How Much The Bye Week Helped Him Personally

"I think a lot. I think it not only helped me but it helped our whole team. You just get a chance to relax. We got to evaluate the way we had been playing and why we were not playing consistently. It was a fast start – we had the three games really quick, we had a five-ay week and we were playing against good ball clubs. We had to do a lot in our offense we had to change a lot and do some different things. It was tough for to adapt to at first."

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