Post-Game Interview With Dave Wommack

Following Saturday night's win over Florida State, Coach Dave Wommack talked about the play making ability of Christian Ponder and his receivers. He also talked about the changes they made in the second half to try and slow down the Florida State offense.

What changes did you make in the second half to stop Christian Ponder?

"We had five DBs in the game and we also slanted the front to get more pressure on him with a five man front out of the 3-4. We played two deep and straight man behind it. We didn't practice that this week. We put it in at halftime and did better."

It seemed that moving Derrick Morgan around helped to create some pressure on Ponder?

"I thought their quarterback was unbelievable. He made throws and there were some catches that were unbelievable. I give Coach (Bobby) Bowden credit for that. They did a tremendous job in the first half."

How tough was it playing them with all that's going on down here and the way they came out?

"We had never won down here. We can say we won and went and battled for it. It was very difficult in the first half. Again, their offense did an unbelievable job moving and scoring with the ball. I think they scored almost every time they had the ball. There were some long faces at there at halftime but I also give credit to our team offense, defense, and kicking for finding a way to battle back and win."

How nice was it to see Osahon Tongo get in there and make a big play?

"We have some guys that we didn't expect to play when the season start step up. They have and the most amazing thing is that the kids found a way to get it done. It wasn't pretty on defense for sure but they found a way to win."

Is that a building block from this game?

"It needs to be. It's been such a difficult first part of the season and now we have the best team in the league coming in next weekend. We'll try to enjoy this one first before we start on them tomorrow."

How much of a baptism was it for Izaan Cross?

"I think big. Losing the two ends has really hurt us. That's one of the reasons we had to go into some 3-4 stuff. We decided to do that on Sunday earlier in the week because we felt if we got one more guy hurt we would have to play a DB at end. It's just one of those situations. The kids are battling and thank goodness the offense was moving the ball like they did."

Was that also a reason we used a 3-3-5 sometimes?

"We were just trying to get to a point where we had three defensive linemen in because we were thin. I was wanting to play about twenty snaps with it, but when we went in at halftime we put a slant 3-4 in and we played straight man behind it at times. And we played a two deep bringing five guys and it helped us an awful lot."

The second half was much better than the first?

"It was, just what I was saying right there we made some changes to some things we had in the inventory of defense and we felt like we had to get pressure. The four man rush wasn't helping us very much. We brought a few fives at times, but we were playing straight man behind it and he was making throws and we were getting beat on it left and right. We had to make some change. We tried to do it in the middle of the second quarter. I said let's just get in at halftime and we'll go over it with them by position and get it in."

How did Florida State's receivers compare to those faced earlier in the year?

"Let me put it this way. I'm glad we don't play them next year because they're young and they're talented. They lost a bunch of receivers last year but they have some real speed out there. I thought they did a great job. Anytime you give up that many yards in the first half, I think it was right at or over four hundred yards, they're doing something right on offense."

It seem like they were trying to do a lot of different things with Taiwan Easterling?

"They did. They motioned him a lot. They tried to run the read play and they've done the reverse before. They tried more play action off it and the quarterback read. The quarterback had the knee brace on the past two games and he wasn't running the ball as much. That was the first thing I was looking for when he came out there. He came out with no knee brace and I think that makes a huge difference in his mobility. He can challenge you more as a threat."

How was it going out there often with the offense scoring so quickly?

"They're amazing especially these last two games. I think the play of the game was when Josh got the turnover back. The kids are finding ways to win. We have to play a lot better defense. We've had some problems making some combinations with some different guys because of injuries. That's not an excuse. It's a reality."

Do you think you'll have Anthony Egbuniwe back next week?

"I don't know. I hope so. We need to get everybody we can get back. There's no question about that."


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