The fact of being able to work under his dad and him being the son of a man like coach [Bobby] Bowden, we've both been able to learn so very, very much from him and we both owe him so much. The first year I was here, coach Bowden told people that I was stepson, what a compliment for someone to say. We just worked one year together, but he was always around, no matter where he was as an assistant or head coach. He would always be there when we go to bowls, when they weren't going to bowls. It's not like a Bowden Bowl by any means. But there are a lot of similarities. That's what even adds a little bit more, inside of each of us.
Would you call on Tommy when you have problems with your team (i.e.
I haven't talked to him this year about it. I looked at box scores the other day, seeing like SEC teams and how many penalties are being called on each team and so on and so forth. But we'll talk about some things. We're not going to go on a date with each other. But there's no question about the one thing they've done this year, and I know for a fact, that they only have three turnovers. All three are interceptions - two of them came in the Wake Forest game and they were tipped passes and one was in the Miami game which was in overtime. They're second in the league in least penalized yardage. Those are things that help you to win the close games. But we're on the other end of that this year, especially on the penalty part.
Do you think the dynamics between these two schools are similar?
The fact that we're both land grant schools isn't as important. But probably sister schools of their state. There's a lot of things.
Development of Toney Baker and why he's gotten most of the carries.
Well, because if we didn't then you'd be asking why we haven't given him the football more. But you know he's really worked himself and he's so intense and so focused for a young kid coming out of high school. I mean he's four games out of high school and to learn the system like he did it shows you what kind of character and what kind of passion for competing and winning. I remember telling him last year, about this time when we were recruiting him, that people say this and that, we've got Bobby Washington, we've got Darrell Blackman and we've got Reggie coming back and at that point T.A was in there. But I said you know what, if you're as good as you think you are then I wouldn't worry about them, I would worry about [himself]. Some kids would run from that, and when he didn't, what does that tell you about someone? He's not afraid of competition and he's just scratching it, he really is.
Emphasis on goal line during practice.
We did it down [at Florida State] and we carried it to another level here, where anytime we're in pads, we'll end on the goal line, even during the season, live against one another and we keep score. We did it with the defense, because we're nasty people, with coach Bowden and the boys down there. If the offense scored, the defense would have to run gassers, because we were trying to build a goal line attitude. Nobody gets in the endzone. The offense didn't like it, because you have 11 people focusing on one little ovular thing. So when I got here, I said if you don't score then [the offense] runs, if they do score you run [the defense] runs. It really does help, because if you're running four, because we do four with each group, and then you have to do other conditioning prior to that, it gets the point across. We've really been fortunate. Three years ago we had three goal line stands in one year, with two in one game, because we do try to emphasize it.