Our senior class has just been outstanding. You take young men like our skill men Noel Devine and Jock Sanders, our linebackers like Pat Lazear, Anthony Leonard and J.T. Thomas, Scooter Berry and Chris Neild on the line, and Eric Jobe as a guard on the offensive line – they've just been tremendous role models and leaders for this football program, our University, and certainly for the people of West Virginia.
Morgantown is a very unique and great place to come as a young man, and to go from young manhood into manhood. It's just been fantastic how these guys have grown as seniors. Most have been here for four or five years, and it's just been really neat to see these young men grow.
We hate it. We'd like to keep those guys around for another year, but it is what it is. Life marches on, and so do these seniors. I hope they go out with a bang. I hope each senior has a banner day and a fantastic finish. We're going to win the football game the best way we can, and hopefully these seniors will have a big, big part in it.
On his message to his seniors:
I told them to hustle up, and they said it was the same old Stewart. I've been here driving them. I don't want to talk about it now with them, because I hate it. We'll talk about it tomorrow night at our meetings.
They (the seniors) will play hard. The last four weeks of this season, our senior class stepped up and played, and they hit the ball out of the park. What they have done for this program, the University and the people of West Virginia should be remembered forever. This is a senior class that has shown nothing but great resolve and great. When people were knocking us and trying to separate us and bust us within, our seniors didn't buy into it, didn't want to hear it and stayed focused. They stuck with the Mountaineer work ethic which they believe in, and they have done a great job.
On the seniors from Florida playing with too much emotion:
They have gotten better. When Jock and Noel were freshmen and played at USF, it wasn't a good outing. It was a rough night. They were just trying to do too much. I though last year in the Gator Bowl, we were trying to do too much. Florida State only recruited one of my guys. I think everyone was trying to prove too much.
They just want to play a game on Tuesday. We want to stay within the framework of our offense, defense and special teams, and keep in mind that it's just a game. It just happens to be in Florida.
On the windy weather affecting the special teams' preparation:
We're going to prepare today, still. I told them (the video crew) that I'm going to watch them on the lifts – I don't like that.
We have to kick (today) because we were inside for all of our work in Morgantown; we couldn't get out on the field, because it was so cold and snowy. We were hoping to get out down here, and now we have this weather. We kicked yesterday. It will be OK.
On the progress of Pat Miller's play this year:
He's gotten better, as has Brodrick Jenkins. Hopefully, we'll have our Swat 40 team in there, too, where we'll have our safeties up as linebackers. The biggest thing for this game, in my opinion, is that we have to keep them from big gains on first down. With Russell Wilson, they can't be first and 10, first and 10, and get into a rhythm. He'll run us right out of the park. We have to get them out of rhythm. If we do that, then we get a chance to play more of our speed guys, which will help guys like Pat or Brodrick cover their tall receivers.
It's big time important (for Pat and Brodrick to step-up). It's crucial. Those receivers are bigger and taller than our guys. From what I've seen, they look faster than our guys. I don't think anyone will give us a chance come Tuesday. We'll see. We'll play.
On NC State's defense:
They come at you. Here's the biggest problem I see with them – if their front seven can get to us before we can get the ball to our playmakers in space, then they will be very successful. If we can keep those guys from getting to us and get the ball in the flat to Jock and Tavon (Austin), I don't think those guys can tackle them. That's going to be the key. We can also pop them with our run game if they loosen a little. Geno has to run the football for us to be successful, and he will run the football. What you've seen over the last four games is what you're going to see Tuesday night.
Who will take Madsen's spot on the offensive line?
Eric Jobe will be our starting center, (John) Bassler and (Jeff) Braun will also play. Cole Bowers will be our starting right guard. There will be a chance for Bassler to get some time in there. We will have to pick up the saber and march on. These guys have all played. Jobe has played center here for two years so he has experience to get the job done. We are going to play just as if someone got hurt on the first series of a game.
What does Cole Bowers give your team?
He was able to get a lot of playing time at LSU. He's a very talented young man. He should have a heck of a future. He needs to go in and play, pick up the saber and press on. I trust him to get it done.
On if you will utilize Noel Devine more is he healthy:
We will play to win the game. We will play with the personnel we have within our game plan. Regardless of whether it is Noel, Jock or our seniors, we hope to be in a position to play who we need to.
On NC State's Offense:
NC State has a big, tall and a physical line. When I was watching the film, Wilson (Russell) bounces all-around. He put a game on by himself, his first 10-12 plays were passes or runs. We have to stop them from making hay on first down. He is their guy who sets the tempo. If we get them off schedule and out of rhythm, we have a chance.
On NC State's Defense:
They are a strong, physical and fast unit. Their linebackers come down the hill like ours do. Their front seven is very good. I watched them against other ACC teams and they knocked them back in the backfield.
On what you are trying to accomplish these next two days in practice:
We are going good on good today. We have most of the hard practices out of the way. We are going to run today but I have to watch because they were on their feet a lot at Universal yesterday. Our guys are doing great. We are really working hard and watching film. I'm very proud of these young men.