Carroll Ready for FSU

With the season less than one week away, preparations for FSU have already started. Thomas Carroll, a 5th-year senior from Lakewood, N.J., is preparing for what could be his final game against FSU. Last season Carroll led the team in tackles for a loss with 16, tied for the team lead in sacks with 6.5 and amassed 60 tackles.

Are you finally ready to play FSU?

I think we have done a good job keeping everyone healthy. We have been out there running around and I think we are looking good right now. I am ready to go right now. I am always ready for the Florida State game. It will be good to finally get out there and play against guys that are not your teammates. It'll be nice to play against some new faces and see some new action.

Is the rest of the team hyped for the game?

A lot of people are getting ready for it. It is game time. There is no running or hiding from it. We are ready to kick it off. The last couple of night practices has really gotten me amped up—especially practicing in the Orange Bowl last night. This time next week we will be kicking off. I am ready to go.

Since UM has won 6 games in a row, is there a fear of complacency going to Tallahassee this year?

No. There is no complacency. We understand in order to reach our goal we have to go beat Florida State. That is the way it goes. They are the first game of the season. You have to take it one game at a time. There is no complacency, they are still our rival. It does not matter who leads the series. This is still the FSU game, it is one of the most intense rivalries in college football. It is a great way to kick off the college football season. It is going to get the whole nation ready for the season. The game is on national t.v., there is going to be 3,4,5 blimps there—it is showtime!

What do you know about FSU's quarterbacks?

I just know that the one they predicted to win the position (Lee) is not playing that much. I know they are going to have that guy Weatherford in and Xavier Lee. They have two quarterbacks that could play. We think they are going to be running the ball more, so we just have to be ready for that. With our defense we have to just get penetration in the backfield and stop the run and make them get into the passing game.

What did FSU show you last year that Miami has to be ready for next week?

Last year they came out and threw a lot of shifts and stuff at us. The defense starts with the D-Line getting penetration into the backfield. That goes with any game. If you stop the run first and force them into the passing game, that lets the D-line tee off in the pass rush and the secondary play the pass—everybody gets sacks and picks. We force more turnovers that way. If we can stop the run and force them into the passing game, that will be the key to victory.

With FSU's quarterbacks being young, will the defense play more aggressive?

We always got an aggressive defense. We just have to play in the backfield. We have to get penetration and make their backs bubble instead of running downhill. Don't give them a chance to break any tackles. If everybody swarms to the ball, we will be great as a defense if we have 11 guys around the ball all the time.

How much rotating of the defensive ends will take place against FSU?

Right now they have me and Bryan Pata as the starting ends. Eric Moncur is in the rotation too. Javon Nanton is coming in for pass rush situations. We have a bunch of guys that will run out there and be in the rotation. We are going to be fresh out there. We are going to rotate and play a lot of guys and everyone is going to make plays.

David Lake is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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