The teams that have given Florida State trouble in the last year or two... is there something they've done to connect the dots?
Takeaways is the one thing, and pressure on the quarterback. You have to be able to get him out of rhythm.
He's so good and if you just let him stand back there, the receivers he has are too good to let them run routes because a lot of their routes are really deep... crossing, posts or corners.
It takes time to develop, so you can't let him stand back there.
Are you happy with the progress your defense has made since the Old Dominion game?
Yeah, the last two weeks, they have played a lot better. They haven't given up as many big plays, they tackled and are playing harder. We've see better effort to the football.
How much has the confidence gone up with having four games of success under their belt?
We're so young and just to get those guys reps. We've got a lot of guys reps, that's the other thing. Our backups may not play in certain games, and they've played a lot so you feel better about the development of your second group too.
Winning two fourth-quarter games to start the season is huge. I don't care who you're playing, two comeback victories really helps your confidence. Then to have two blowouts, one on the road and one at home, I don't care who you're playing, a shutout is hard to come by. That helps the confidence of a team.
Do you see Pharoah [McKever] continuing to make strides?
Not really, I think he's kind of how he was a couple of weeks ago.
He's doing what he's supposed to do, he's playing hard... there's good competition and depth.
You see a good rotation with him, Mike Rose and Kentavius [Street]. That's what we want, we want to have fresh legs in there.
That's going to be key this game because they're so good. They have five senior offensive linemen. We have to have good, fresh guys in there competing against them.
How do you think Tony Adams did in his first start?
He did well.
This is going to be a test... the best nose tackle in the country is who he is going up against this week, but he did really well for his first college start.
For a true freshman, that's a lot to ask. This is going to be a big week for him.
It seems like he's a guy you want to rotate in. Do you expect to continue that as the season goes on?
Well, when Joe Thuney is in there, you have [Adams] and Alex Barr and Andy Jomantas, there's seven of them.
If a guy looks tired or you need to talk to a guy about something that you see, you feel like you can bring a guy out of the game and kind of settle somebody down or coach them up.
We couldn't do that a year ago, so that helps to have five starters and two guys that you feel like can play as starters.
Will you have Joe Thuney this week?
We don't know yet... don't know yet.
Is he just sick?
Yeah, he got one of those flu's. He lost a lot of weight last week, and we're just trying to get him back.
How do you handle the fact that all of the games count the same... how do you balance that with your guys?
We just talk about it as the opportunity that is in front of us. There isn't an athlete in the world that doesn't want to play against the best. They're the best until they get beaten.
It's an opportunity for us to play against the best team in the nation, and why not us? That's the approach we're taking... play as hard as we can, execute at a high speed with great effort, not turn the football over and take it away... we'll have a chance to win the game.
That's all we can talk about... to try to do the best that we can and hope that our best is good enough.