Have you've been happy with the past three practices?
"They've been good practices. They've done everything we have asked.
Clemson seems to be a different team when playing FSU at home. What do you think is behind that?
"Well, I don't know. Sometimes it just happens that way. Again, this is another year. Nothing lasts forever in that regard."
Do you think your players understand that your season is at stake Thursday night?
"It's going to be that way every game from now on. What you've lost is your cushion. It's kind of like, since you don't have a playoff, everybody has a cushion because you figure everyone is going to lose a game before the year is over. Maybe one team might go undefeated. We've lost our cushion. That makes every game – I don't care who it is – it makes it a big one."
Tommy (Bowden) had a number of trick plays for you last year. He's probably going to have a few more. Is there any way to prepare for that approach?
"If he throws something at you.... the last four years he has done that. Fake punt, fake punt, fake field goal, fake punt. Now you know the nature of the beast. It might happen. What will they do? You better be sound in what you are doing. It kind of scares you a little bit on the punt rush. Looking for somebody peeling out there going out for a pass."
Does that neutralize you a little bit in terms of how effective you've been on special team blocks?
"It could. It will make you think a little bit."
How much has it hurt, especially since you've gone back to the I-formation, that you haven't had a tight end to be a productive receiver?
"It would be better if you did. When you are in the I-formation, you have two wideouts and two backs back there who can't get out. Then your tight end becomes your No. 3 receiver. You could have a much better balanced passing attack out of the I if you had a tight end who was excellent pass receiver and a route runner. We are like most of the teams in the country, I believe, that play a tight end as a blocker. He might be able (catch) if you had him out in certain routes. We just use so much wideouts. We could play with or without one (tight end)."
Clemson's defense has gotten a lot of attention. What is it doing differently?
"They are presenting more problems for you. In the past, we've been able to predict their blitzes and hurt them. Now, they are playing more conservative. Not giving you anything. Mixing it up. You don't know who is coming. They present more problems. I think they are No. 1 in the ACC against the run. They are doing a much better job defensively. It really concerns us."