Jonathan Vilma Q&A

Senior middle linebacker Jon Vilma took some time after practice to talk about Florida State and more with us. The Hurricanes and Seminoles clash Saturday in a battle between top 5 teams.

How do you think the defense performed overall last week against West Virginia?

Overall, I'd give us a B. In the second half they didn't get many yards. In their first half, it was just basic things, things that we messed up. Other than that I think we did pretty good.

After the West Virginia game you didn't want to talk to the media, was that out of frustration because of the way the team played?

Yeah it should never have been that close. You can't be happy about beating West Virginia by two points.

The coaches were pretty happy with the effort of the team aside from getting field goals instead of touchdowns and a few things here and there, what are your thoughts on that?

I think it's a lot of little things that are being magnified into bigger things than what they really are. We are getting down to the redzone and getting field goals instead of touchdowns. I think the effort was good.

What are your personal experiences with this series and how does the atmosphere change in leading up to the Florida State game?

Everyone gets up for this one. It's very, very tight. Everyone is very focused. From practices, film, and meetings.

Is this the most important game that you are going to play in, aside from the National Championship games, since both teams are in the top five?

I don't think I have ever played against Florida State when they were in the top ten. It's going to be a great game. They are undefeated and we are undefeated. We'll see what happens.

Do you think Florida State is playing the best that you have seen them play?

I think so. I think right now they are playing very well as a team. They have had some impressive victories. From what I have seen, they look pretty good.

As a unit what will it take to shut them down?

Stop the run first. Have pressure on the quarterback and just keep it going.

Georgia Tech did a great job in stopping the Florida State rushing attack, does that prove that they can be stopped and how will you stop them?

Yes they definitely can be stopped. The Georgia Tech defense was really going after the ball. They had one guy go in and hold him up until three or four more guys would make the tackle. We just have to go after the ball and make tackles.

Greg Jones is down statistically this year, do you notice anything different in the way he is playing?

No not really. From what I saw on film it didn't look like he was running any differently.

Do you feel this is a perfect opportunity to prove to people that Miami deserves its number two ranking?

This is a perfect opportunity. We would like to play our best game now. Whatever happens, happens. Hopefully we come away with a victory.

Do you feed off of the people that say Miami wont win this game because they are without Frank amongst other reasons?

I don't really pay attention to that. I feed off my teammates. I feed off of getting ready to play and who we are playing against.

Do you need any extra motivation for this game?

No it is Florida State, enough said.

The defense has gave up a lot of big plays this year, how would you assess where the defense is at?

I think we are doing pretty good. Aside from a couple big plays, we have been doing very well defensively. Last game we had a lot of missed tackles.

How big of a loss will it be without Maurice Sikes?

He's a five-year veteran. Not to say that Greg Threat or Brandon Meriweather can't do it, but Sikes is very solid back there.

How has your senior season been going after being slowed at the start with a hamstring injury?

The season is going pretty good. At the beginning it was pretty tough. My first start against Florida was a little rocky. Against ECU I got better and have been getting better each week. If I can stay on that track I'll be all right.

Being one of the leaders on this team, is that something you take pride in?

I take pride in playing really. If my teammates view me as a leader, that's fine.

You aren't the fastest linebacker or even the biggest, do you use your mind to your advantage on the field?

Yeah I think so. I'm not going to say I know where to go all the time, but if there are certain times when I can get an edge I'm going to do that.

You have great grades in the classroom, what do you attribute that to?

I think I was just lucky.

It's more than luck right?

I don't know, sometimes I grasp concepts quick. Whenever I see it I can apply it to what I'm supposed to do in the classroom.

Growing up did your parents expect you to bring home good grades?

Oh yes and if not, no football.

Did that ever happen?

No, thank God.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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