You have been here for three years now, what are your thoughts heading into your first start at Florida State?
Excitement. Myself along with my teammates are really ready to get on the field and get going. We worked hard in the offseason and we are ready to put that hard work into action.
Do you feel ready?
Definitely, definitely. The offense has come a long ways in the offseason. We have progressively gotten better and that is what we are looking for. We are ready to get on the field and prove that we can do it.
How are you dealing with the nerves of a big game?
I just have to get out there. I think butterflies are natural for everyone even if you have played in the game before. Guys who are fifth-year seniors get butterflies. I think somehow you have to concentrate and put that aside. There is no way to prepare for it or any way to get around it. Somehow I will have to calm down and get into a rhythm.
Do you anticipate Florida State bringing a lot of pressure?
Maybe the will try to do a couple new things on defense. We are looking for them to play a lot of the same way they have played in the past. They will probably have a few new wrinkles, but we are prepared.
Coach said you didn't come here to hand the ball off, he said you came here to be a playmaker
Oh yeah. The running game is the quarterback's best friend--it sets up the passing game. It will make my job a lot easier. I came here to make plays and we want to go out and put points on the board.
Does it matter any less that is the opening game and that you could play them again in the ACC Championship Game?
Not at all. I guess there is a chance we will meet down the road later in the season, but I don't want to talk about that right now. That first game--it is Monday Night Football--if you have the mentality that if we lose we could play them again. That is not the type of mentality we want to have. We are going to come out with a killer mentality in a hostile environment. We want to really take it to them.
Do you like the challenge of playing them the first game?
I think for myself and for the team we put more focus on being sharp and on top of our game to eliminate those first game mistakes that you might get away with against a lower caliber team. If we go out, execute, and minimize mistakes then we will be fine.
Talk about what it will be like playing on Monday Night Football with everyone watching.
I think it will be great to get the kind of exposure that we are going to get. It is a great rivalry and a lot of people around the country who won't get to see us later in the year will be watching.
Can you talk about the rivalry between these two schools?
When you talk about competing for titles in the last decade, two teams that pop in your head are Miami and Florida State. The type of talent that come out each year is great.
Have you watched any of the old games between the two teams?
One of the games I have watched recently is the game when Dorsey went up there and won 49-27. We are hoping to repeat that. We want that many points up on the board. We are just figuring out when they did and get a couple of pointers from that.
Last year against Florida State, what did Devin Hester's blocked field goal in the fourth quarter do for the team?
That was a morale-booster. They were about to kick a field goal and put the game away. It didn't matter that we were struggling as an offense or the crowd is dead, that is the type of thing that electrifies everyone. We then went down there and scored. It was the turning point.
Do you feel if you play steady and miniize mistakes in the game, that you will be okay?
That is the thing when you play at a university like this with the type of talent that we have, I don't have to do it all myself. We have guys on this team that can take it the distance on a little swing pass. That will make my job easier.
In a way, is it thrilling playing on the road in Tallahassee as opposed to at home?
It is. I don't think it is intimidating. I have been asked that question a lot. Growing up as a kid, I hate to say it, but I loved FSU. Even guys on our team are doing the chop in the lockerroom right now. It is something that gets you hyped up when you see their guy throw the spear in the ground, that is electrifying--not intimidating. It gets you pumped up. The first time I was there, Brock and I were warming up, and I told him to stop because I had to watch it. It is definitely something that is motivating.
Since you liked FSU growing up, why didn't you go there?
When I got there it didn't seem like a very good fit. I just felt more comfortable down here in Miami and fit in more. There were a couple of things that separated it, but it comes down to splitting hairs football-wise. Both teams are great programs with great athletes. It came down to being more comfortable at Miami.
Being a fan of FSU growing up goes all out the window now. I don't wear any FSU stuff anymore, it is all stuff with the 'U' on it.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com
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