Q & A with Stanford

FSU cornerback Stanford Samuels didn't make any excuses for the Seminoles' defeat at Louisville. If FSU is going to get back into the national championship race, Samuels said, that commitment begins immediately. "We were a good team coming into this game and I think this will make us a better team," Samuels said Friday.

What is the next step for the team?

"We have to fine-tune everything, we have to make up our minds that we are going to dominate everybody else from this point on. That was a tough loss last night and even though everybody said everything was in their favor with the rain and all that, that really shouldn't have mattered. As far as the defense goes we dropped the ball. The whole second half we were a totally different team than in the first half. They didn't really do anything different we just didn't make the plays we should have made."

Can you point to anything specific in the second half?

"There were just a lot people making dumb mistakes, like myself. I haven't watched the film yet but on the touchdown I gave up I did something that was stupid. Coach told us before the game, not coach Andrews but Kirby told us before the game that they can't beat us. They aren't fast enough to beat us deep so just don't do anything stupid and let them get by you. On that play I rushed the line and totally missed the man. I'm was fast enough and caught up to him but I just missed the ball. They had run that play two more times before that and we got sacks on the play because he wasn't open. It was mental errors like that. Then on the goal line I slipped. Once things started going wrong... they just started that trickle down effect just start happening."

You mixed up man and zone the second half?

"Yeah we did. I play what's called we were doing the same thing as the first half. It was just us not making the plays like we should have."

What was the animated conversation with Mickey Andrews about on the sideline during the game?

"Coach Andrews is a competitor and I'm a competitor. I'm the type of player where if I get beat I'm on myself, worse than he could ever be on myself. So when someone on the outside says something I attack because I don't need you in my head as well as myself. But that's coach Andrews. He's a competitor and he knows what's in you and he knows how you can play. He's not going to accept anything out of you. We just clashed on the sideline and he pulled me for a play, and that's what he generally does, to let you get your mind together. To me, I want to be back out there. Because I'm going to forget about the play but I want to be out there because I have to prove to myself that I can make the next play. And they came back at us with the same thing. We are just alike, point blank and that's one of the times we clashed. It's not the first time and it's not gonna be the last time. I still feel like I let him down."

Why did you do that?

"It was working and I should have just kept doing it because we were getting sacks off it. It was just me making a mental breakdown and trying to do more than I needed to do."

Alot of the sacks were coverage sacks.

"Yeah, and that is how it is supposed to be in our philosophy. I feel like we dropped the ball, we are better than what we put out there."

For Louisville's winning touchdown were you on the field? What did you see?

"Yeah I was on the field, someone missed a check. Basically that was it. We came from the sideline, somebody didn't get the call. Then once we checked to something different that person didn't get the call and left that hole wide open."

How did the defense feel after the Chris Rix interception? Was your mind into it?

"Yeah our mind was in it, anytime we take the field. but it was just a breakdown, another mental breakdown. That is what we can't have, especially when our offense is struggling. I mean you are going to have games where we struggle and the offense has to score a million points, you are also going to have games that the offense is struggling and we have to keep the other team off the board. This is one of those games where we are supposed to hold up our end of the bargain and we dropped the ball. Mental errors and for whatever reason."

Is it a lack of leadership?

"That has nothing to do with it. It was the right situation. We were caught in the right situation for Louisville. Everything was right for them. The leadership was there because we had plenty of people stepping up 'we need to do this', we need to do that' and that but we didn't have enough people to step up and make the play. But as far as having someone to lead and take charge and say 'look we got to get this together', we had that.

Can you refocus with Clemson, Miami and Notre Dame coming up?

"We have no choice, losing is part of the game, we win like champions and we have to learn to lose like champions. In my freshman year, I came in 98, and we lost to NC State. We got hammered by NC State and came back and won all of our games and destroyed everybody else. We turned our attitude around. We were a good team prior to that NC State game and we became a better team afterwards. We were a good team coming into this game and I think this will make us a better team."

Talk about the last play and the missed check.

"Someone thought that a certain check was supposed to be called but the defense that was called didn't allow for any checks. So we had one man doing one thing and 10 others doing something else."

Nole Digest Top Stories