Eric Winston, Tight End/H-Back
Q: In practice, you just kind of lower your head even on your own teammates.
A: Yeah, that's just the way I've always done it and old habits are hard to
break, but I don't think they want me to break that habit. I think that's
why they like me and I think that's why they put me in there is to try and
make a hole somewhere and I'm going to do that any way possible. Whether
it's through our teammates or their teammates. Hopefully it's through their
teammates, but sometimes you've got to push our guys out of the way.
Sometimes the linemen don't know where they're at sometimes, and I'll run
them over. That's just part of my job.
Q: It's not too often that you see a true freshman that's getting in pushing
and shoving matches with upperclassmen in fall practices. Where do you get
that mentality? Is it something that's just sort of bred in you?
A: Yeah, I think it's just one of those things. If you let them push you
around then they're just going to keep pushing you around. If you stand up
to them the first time they're off you then. I've probably gotten along
better with the guys since then. I think they know where I stand. I think
they know I want it just as bad as they do now. I think that's all they need
to know. Sometimes the upperclassmen do it purposefully, I don't know, but
you know that's just one of those things that's part of me. I'm not going to
take any crap, I don't care who you are. So I'm just going to go out there
and do their thing.
Q: Is that one of the things that you did in high school, lowering your head
and (plowing through)?
A: Yeah. If you can't tell, I'm not Roscoe Parrish. I'm not going to juke
around make you miss, but I'm going to try and make you not want to tackle
me. I think that's the biggest thing. In the first quarter, if I come down
and hit you and you try to tackle me... maybe in the third quarter when I
catch that ball, you might not want to tackle me as much. Maybe that's when
I break that tackle and I keep going. You never know. That's just part of my
mentality. I'm going to drop my head and try to hit you as hard as I can.
Q: You hear about defensive players in high school knocking out offensive
players all the time, did you ever knock out a defensive player when you
were on offense?
A: Oh, yeah. I've caught a couple of defensive backs not looking every once
in a while. Sometimes they're walking or something and you come down just
right on them after a take. Sometimes their head hits the floor or
something. But it's not something I go out there hoping to do. It's always
fun to say you or something, I guess, but it's just one of those deals where
you go out there and you play hard and sometimes things like that happen and
you can't do anything about and I'm not going to worry about it.
Q: Back in the last game (against FAMU and you were lined up as a fullback),
I've never seen (UM quarterback Ken) Dorsey move so fast to get out of the
way of the lead blocker. What's it like to line up at fullback, I don't know
if that's something you did in high school?
A: Fullback's a little hard for me. I did it a little bit, but not a lot.
The H-back thing, where I'm moving across the line, I'm used to that a
little bit more. But the fullback's a little bit different. You've got to
take better steps. A lot of it's balance and a lot of people don't realize
that. Everybody thinks that you just run in there as hard as you can and
just try to hit somebody, but you base coming with you and you've got to
have your pads lowered. If you don't do that you're going to look more
foolish than you are going to get somebody good. A little bit of it's
crazyness, but a lot of it's technique and you've got to get the job done.
Q: How do you feel about being on the number-one team, and yet you're the
underdog coming into this (game against Florida)?
A: We're the underdog in this game? I don't know. I guess. I don't know how
we're an underdog. I don't care where we're playing. Put us on Mars. I
wouldn't even consider us an underdog against the Martians. These guys are
awesome. I look at these guys walking around in the locker room and around
the field and I can't imagine that anybody has this many good players on
their team. I don't know. I've never seen anything like this. Andrew
Williams (for example), you look at that guy, I mean geez. Maybe if you've
got a locker room full of those guys, then maybe you can call us an
underdog. But I don't consider us an underdog. That's a surprise to me.
Fred Capshaw, Punter
Q: How important is field position when you go against a team like Florida?
A: As far as field position goes, I think it's very important because we
give them 90 yards to go then the percentages are in our favor. Our
defensive line is just ridiculously good and our secondary proved that they
can play really well against a team that passes a lot against (Florida) A&M.
So if I do my job and give them 90 yards to go every possession, then it's
going to be a big advantage for us.
Q: Have you watched Florida on tape? Do you feel like you've got a pretty
good read on their special teams?
A: I'd say they're better than they have been, but they're still not up to
the Big East caliber. The Big East prides itself on a having teams that have
good special teams. Teams like Virginia Tech and Syracuse will just come
after you all day and I don't see Florida doing that. They come after you,
but not as hard as those (aforementioned Big East) teams.
Q: How's your foot?
A: It feels good.
Q: Being a senior on this team, can you talk about the anticipation of this
game being on you schedule?
A: There was a lot more before we played them in the Sugar Bowl. I was
really looking to forward to playing this team in the Swamp, but when we
played them in the Sugar Bowl that kind of killed a lot of the anticipation
because we spanked them pretty bad. But I think it's going to be fun. I'm
really looking forward to it. I've never played in the Swamp so it's
something that I'm really looking forward to.
Ed Wilkins, Offensive Guard
Q: How are you going to take that crowd (at Florida) out of the game and how
important is that going to be up there?
A: I think it will be very important, but at the same time, I think we'll be
focused on the task at hand. As long as we're focusing in on what we need to
do then the crowd noise will take care of itself. We have little things that
we're trying to do to get used to the noise. Last year and the year before,
we brought out speakers to try to simulate the crowd noise and I think it
has worked well for us. Really it's just another game.
Q: But this isn't really just another game is it?
A: We try not to get caught up in the hype. We know it's going to be loud.
We know it's going to be a hostile environment. At the same time, it's just
another game on our schedule.
Q: How do you feel about being the underdog in this game?
A: We're number one in the country and we have to go out and prove that each
and every week by winning. That's why winning is our main objective.
Jonathan Vilma, Middle Linebacker
Q: Do you think the whole aura of the swamp might be kind of overrated? You
guys have played in tons of big places and in big games before.
A: I'm sure the swamp is a definite college atmosphere up there, but we've
been to Penn State. We went to Florida State last year, those are some rowdy
crowds. West Virginia is definitely a rowdy crowd. We can't really worry
about the crowd. We just have to worry about the game and who we're playing
Q: You guys are the defending national champions, but you're underdogs in
this game. Do you guys take that personally?
A: (I didn't know we were underdogs) That's another reason to be motivated I
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