Al Golden spoke about several topics following Monday's practice.
On finishing the season strong:
We have a lot of football left. The seniors are character kids. We have to go into another hornet’s nest. Starting today we have to make the most of this. Those seniors will get us to where we need to be.
On Gus Edwards:
Gus is doing great. He was close last week but there were some plays in pre game that made it seem like we couldn’t put him out there. We missed him. Duke’s play count was too high.
On being able to move on from that:
For me, it’s never been 48 hours. During the season you have to keep going. It was made more difficult because of how hard our guys played. They gave us a chance to win against a good team. It’s over and now we have to move around.
On the lack of RB depth late:
We didn’t have Gus and Duke was cramping. It was just Joe and he did a good job. To shoulder that load late, we weren’t really prepared for that going in. That made a difference, no question.
On closing the gap in this series:
You just have to learn. If we’re honest with ourselves, that was the first time we gave ourselves a chance to win that game. We were there in 11 but that was a really talented team. I think that was a 23-19 game. We hung in a little bit the next year and last year they were better than us. Our guys had confidence this time, including the young guys.
On Clive Walford’s play:
I don’t know if there’s a better one out there. He made a commitment to get better in every aspect. There were times in the past where he would have gotten caught on that long play. We ask him to block, pass protect, do everything a tight end needs to do. He’s a big part of why we’re averaging what we have been for the last five weeks. He’s a leader for us and I know he’s excited to finish the season on a high note.
On Phillip Dorsett:
Phillip worked very hard to get to that point. He won the offseason program, did a great job in the summer. He’s more elusive, not just straight line. He got a bender over the middle and you have to have guts to do that.
On the Tyriq McCord tip that led to an FSU score:
That’s a tough one. The bounce didn’t go our way. We have to leave it there and control what we can control. Plays like that you have to leave in the past and go forward.
On the improvements this team has made:
You can’t escape your record. It is what it is but we’ve gotten better in all three phases. We came up short but we can’t lose sight. A play here or there we could have done it. Throw it to me, I’ll make that tackle, I’ll block or I’ll kick it through. Any of those plays could be the difference next time. It starts with me and the coaches. We’re getting better and learning. They’re a big physical team on offense and one heck of a defense. It’ll be a great challenge at night.