Orange Bowl Postgame Report

After the Hurricanes finished the season with another dramatic win over the rival Seminoles we caught up with several players who played their last game as 'Canes. Vince Wilfork, Jarrett Payton, Sean Taylor and more shared their thoughts on the game.

RB Jarrett Payton

On the game…
We wanted to prove to everybody that we are a good team. This was going to be a good game. We came out here and knew it was going to be a battle. We knew nobody was going to come out here and lay down.

On beating Florida State for the fifth time in a row…
Growing up my dad was a Florida State fan and I would watch Florida State and how great they were. To beat them five times in a row is something. I'll take that wherever I go.

On having that extra speed in the game…
Throughout the course of a season, a running back will get banged up. I was banged up a bit and it was good to rest before the bowl game. I was able to work with coach Swasey and improve on my speed and it showed on that run to the outside.

FS Sean Taylor

On the importance of the game…
There is a lot at stake. There is a lot of pride at stake. A lot of guys on our team want to end on a win. A lot of guys on their team want to end on a win as well.

On playing his final game as a Hurricane…
I think it is a good way to go out, with a win. It was great. It was my championship, it was our championship. We did what we had to do to win the Orange Bowl.

On the performance by the defense…
We have confidence. We had to put it on ourselves. That's how we always practice and that is how we always play. We always put it on ourselves to stop teams. We gave up 14 points, but the offense did what they needed to do to.

On getting an interception and the possibility of scripting a better performance for his final game…
I have had picks before. Picks don't make it a good game. As long as we come out with a win.

On the final defensive play…
Antrel broke it up and had great coverage. He did what coach told him to do, to make Rix throw the ball high. I just came in and cleaned it up.

On the possibility of four juniors going pro and being drafted higher than any team has had before…
I think about it everyday at practice. I don't think there is another secondary in the country better than ours.

On the 2003 Miami defense being the best defense he has played on…
I think this one blows all of the other ones out of the water because we had a little bit more pressure put on us to carry the team.

DT Vince Wilfork

On beating Florida State five times in a row…
Florida State fans cant say anything to me because we beat them five times in a row. There is nothing they can say to me. It is a great feeling. To beat a rival like that is real nice. They are one of the best in college football.

On the repeated missed field goals by Florida State kickers…
I don't know what it is. We talk about it, but cant figure it out. We try to put as much pressure on him as we can. If you see everyone coming at you trying to get a block it could bother you. That goes back to practice.

On leaving Miami, but remembering the times as a Hurricane…
Whether I end up playing on the east coast, west coast or wherever I go, I'll have Miami in my heart.

SS Maurice Sikes

On the game…
I think at the beginning of the game we weren't playing sound football and it got us in trouble. We let them score a couple of cheap touchdowns. In the second half we made a conscious effort on doing things that we should do. Obviously we didn't want to slip up in the fourth quarter.

On holding Florida State to just 57 yards on 28 plays (2.0 average) in the second half…
It goes back to having an intense style. You got Sean Taylor, Antrel Rolle, Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams, and Vince Wilfork. You have guys everywhere. The talent is unbelievable. When you have talent like that and we play together, who is going to get some yards on us?

On playing his final game as a Hurricane...
It will probably sink in when I come back from an all-star game. I will enjoy that and then enjoy this a little bit more when I look back on my career. I will probably look back and think ‘wow'. Undefeated against Florida State (5-0) and Florida (3-0), winning a national title, I cant really ask for anything more.

On playing in an all-star game…
I will be playing in the East-West Shrine Bowl. I leave on January 3rd and the game is on January 10th.

LB Darrell McClover

On the game…
This game was a battle. We came into the game with the mindset that this game was going to be a battle until the end. We weren't going to let up, they weren't going to let up. It was a typical Miami-Florida State game. Last game was the same way. We came into this game with the same attitude. Whoever breaks first will lose, we didn't break.

On the fourth quarter…
I think that fake punt we ran was the play of the game. Coach called it on fourth and one and we got it done.

On the fake punt play…
We practice that play every week. It is in the game plan for every game. Sometimes we do a pass.

On a good ending for the senior class…
Beating Florida State five times in a row is a great accomplishment. Playing at the Orange Bowl for our final game in front of our crowd. It ended real well for us.

On when it will sink in that this is his final game and what will be missed…
Going up there and wearing that orange and green. Competing in practice. Looking at Kellen every day and talking junk every day. All of that. I am going to miss all of that. Who knows when it will sink in. Maybe tonight. It will probably be pretty emotional.

RB Jason Geathers

On beating Florida State for the fifth straight time…
It feels real good. An accomplishment like that feels real good. It feels good to go out with a bang with the rest of my senior class made it even better.

On the way the fourth quarter went for both teams…
That is how the game goes, especially against Florida State. It was going to come down to who made mistakes and who made plays. Fortunately for us, we came out on top.

On making big catches on third down…
Like I have done all season. Once my number was called I am expected to make big plays and that is what I did.

On what he will miss the most about playing for the Hurricanes…
Probably playing in the Orange Bowl. That is a great feeling to have. The crowd makes it so special. Playing in front of a crowd like that is what I will miss the most.

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