Thurs Teleconference Highlights

FSU coach Bobby Bowden and several of his players spoke with the media for abou an hour and a half Thursday. Here is a partial transcript.

FSU head coach Bobby Bowden

(on the ACC)

It has gotten tougher and tougher and tougher. We got into the league to bring the football in our league up to our level and our basketball up to the level of the conference. You'll see less and less of those undefeated teams in the conference.

(on recruiting effects)

The big thing that we needed to prove is that we needed to win another doggone ballgame. Recruiting is a funny thing – sometimes you have a bad year and it helps your recruiting. Sometimes you have a good year and it helps your recruiting. Some kids don't want to go to a team that's loaded because they think they wont play much. I don't think one win will make or break your recruiting.

(on bowl success)

It's like everything else – it goes in streaks. Sometimes you'll go through a run of six straight and sometimes you'll go through a stretch where you can't win. I don't know if there is any one formula to being a successful bowl coach.

Number one, we are going to down there to win the game. Number two, I want out guys to have as much fun as possible. Work as hard as possible and then have as much fun as possible…

(on Penn State's struggles)

He did what I felt like and he felt like he would – that is turn that thing around. The last few years weren't what the Penn State people and what Joe Paterno was used to. He had confidence while they were losing and turned it back around.

I've been a lot more irritable this year so I can sure understand Joe's frustration. I've been much less tolerant than in year's past. It bothers you if you let it bother you.

(on Jeff Bowden)

Tommy Bowden was the offensive coordinator at Tulane before he was the head coach. Terry Bowden was the coach at Samford before he went to Auburn. I feel that Jeff has the same potential. When I was looking for an offensive coordinator, I wanted someone sound and I wanted someone loyal. Who is going to be more loyal than your own family?

(on momentum)

If we win that game it would be a huge boost to us. If we don't, we can say that we make it to one of the four major bowls. We have our hands full. At this time last week, we were wondering if we would even get a bowl bid.

(on criticism)

I will not let public opinion tell me what I say.

When you win, nobody cares. If you don't, people are going to say, "it's passed you by, he can't get it done." That's why I like to use Joe as a gauge. Right now he is as good as anyone in the country. He is one play in one game away from being undefeated.

(on the offensive line)

It's so important. I don't care how good your passer is, you can't throw it if you don't have time. I don't care how good your runners are, you can't run if if they don't clear lanes. That was the difference in the Virginia Tech game – our offensive line played well enough for us to win.

QB Drew Weatherford

(on Bowden and Paterno)

They are probably the two most respected coaches in all of college football. It makes it a little more special for us.

(on shotgun)

We just went back to what we had a lot of success on early in the season – going four-wide and mixing in the run. We tried to run the ball a little more later in the season and it worked out. I think us trying to run the ball in the last three games really opened up things in the ACC Championship.

(on momentum a win would provide)

It would be a complete turn of events. Everyone around here was becoming pretty pessimistic. Winning the ACC gave a spark. If we can end our season by beating a very good Penn State team, it'll will springboard us into spring football and beyond.

(on Penn State's struggles)

They understand exactly what we are going through, that's why I know they won't take s lightly. We're just a good football that dropped three games late in the season. They'll be ready for us.

(on Bowden during VT week)

He got kind of fed up with it a little bit. He expressed a little frustration because he believes in us. He was annoyed because everyone counted us out. This is the first time I remember that we were completely counted out.

(on PSU's defense)

I see a lot of what we saw against Tech. They run well, they are big and aggressive and they are smart.

S Kyler Hall

(on Bowden VT week)

That was the first time I have seen coach Bowden like that in my five years here. It got us really excited and pumped up that he wanted this game so bad. You could tell by his body language and his tone of voice that he was upset about people disrespecting Florida State and saying we were going to get killed by Virginia Tech.

(on morale)

The excitement has never has left the team but I do think that we have been more together and focused as a team during this rough spot and that's why we went out there and played four great quarters and got a big win.

(on PSU struggles)

Our was just a three-game silde and they have been down for he past four years so I couldn't imagine what they were dealing with. It's an appropriate matchup for a lot of reason.

(on ACC Champ. Performance)

When everyone is counting you out and your back is up against the wall, you have no choice but to come out and play well. That's what we did. We came together and played the best of the season.

It wouldn't surprise me if we were the underdogs again but that doesn't really matter to us.

(on PSU QB Marcus Robinson)

He's an exciting player and if you don't contain him, he can hurt you. It can't hurt to face a player like Marcus Vick before him.

(on Marcello Church, who broke his left fibula against VT)

He's a great player and a great teammate and I hate the fact that he got hurt before his last football game. We've lost a lot.

(on gameplan)

We have to get to the quarterback and go from there.

WR Willie Reid

(on morale)

The hard times we went through this season and the losses we endured had a rallying effect for us and brought as closer together.

We wanted to get back to the ACC where we belong.

(on Orange Bowl)

It's going to be a big game and I think we just need to take the same approach that we take to every other game. We've been in big games before and we know how to play them.

(on Bowden's D-I wins record)

It's nothing that we talk about but I think it stands in the back of our minds. He can't be caught if we keep on winning games for him.

(when told Bowden is 1-6 vs. Paterno, 0-6 while at West Virginia)

We can't let him go 1-7, I know that.

(on Penn State defense)

They play hard-nosed, Big Ten foobtall. They are involved in physical games week in and week out where they have to play their top football to win. No matter what their record was, they were always a good team.

DT Brodrick Bunkley

(on struggles)

Losing is not a good feeling for any player. We're not accustomed to that. We're out to prove ourselves to be a little better than the record shows.

(on Orange Bowl)

For our young guys, this is their first bowl game and it's a big time game.

C David Castillo

(on matchup with PSU)

It's an honor. Getting to be a part of this game and a big piece of history. Getting to play in the game is something. There will never be two coaches that will accomplish what these men have done on the field and off the field.

(on ankle sprain)

These are my last rodeos as a Florida State Seminole, I want to get as much as I can. I don't care if we are playing a D I-AA team and beating them by 50, I want to stay in.

(on Drew Weatherford)

When we give him some time, you see what he can do and you see what our athletes can do when they get the ball.

(on momentum a win would give returning players)

It gives you motivation, some inspiration and it gives you confidence to beat an opponent like Penn State. It'll get things going in the right direction.

(on the wins record)

I think with the way that the way football and sports have become, I think this record will be very much unbreakable. These days, it's a "what have you done for me lately" mentality and fans get pretty antsy. There's less job security.

(on Bowden VT week)

He was very angry. In my six years here, I've seen him frustrated before but I've never seen him just plain angry. We're not just a football team, we are a family. When your family members get picked on, you are going to get angry.

(on playing in a BCS bowl)

I think the last game will be important in general. This is the last game that we get to wear the spears on our helmet and were the jersey. To able to win a BCS game for this team and this university would be great.

(on his future)

I'm going to give the NFL a shot. With the surgeries I have had, I didn't think that was an option but lately I have heard good things. I am going to train here in Tallahassee and take the MCAT in April. If the NFL doesn't work out, I'll be in medical school here at Florida State.

(on trip to NYC for Draddy Award presentation)

It was a lot of fun. It was my first time in New York. I had a great time meeting all the guys that were up there, seeing some of the sights that we saw and going to some of the parties that we went to.

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