Quotables: Bobby Bowden

Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden met with the media to discuss his team as they prepare for NC State.

On playing so poorly in the first half against North Carolina:
We had good preparation for the ball game, our kids seemed to really be into when we had all our meetings and everything, and I had even mentioned it to the coaches that they seemed ready to play. Now what caused all the disturbances, the delay of game, the off sides, the dropped balls, the fumbles and things like that because it seems like we had more of them than lining up wrong with our defensive team, because we could not get lined up … Why? I don't have the answer to that.

On if he has ever coached team that had 16 turnovers but still won:
No, to be honest with you, now we've had games where we've had a lot of penalties, and to be honest with you some of our best football teams, and this not a plus, some of our best football teams were heavily penalized football teams and my response to that was usually 'well they're so doggone aggressive, they're so aggressive they get penalties.' You still don't want it, but maybe they'd still win. But we've had games where we got penalized, but I don't remember that bad and that awful.

On how important Jamie Robinson's interception was in the North Carolina game:
There's no doubt about it, and those are the kind of plays that win ball games and thank goodness we got it, we need more of them.

On whether or not it's a good sign that the defense got stops and sacks in the second half:
Well, if they had not we'd of lost, it they had not we would have lost the game. It's a good sign, now the question is it going to last?

On the importance of the win:
Well, after losing three ball games like they had you can imagine how excited that they were to win this football game, and of course how excited the coaches were, how excited the fans were, everybody. Now if you would have been winning every Saturday, you wouldn't have been excited, but the reaction was very strong just like you'd expect it to be. I've had that happen before, where I've coached football teams and say we're not doing very good, then all the sudden win a game and it's very exciting at that time.

On if Ponder's performance in the second half reminds him of any other quarterbacks he has coached:
Remember, we played Miami, Chris Weinke's last year, they had us down 17-0 down there, we came back and tied it up 17-17, we might have gone ahead of them. And then they took it and made that last minute drive that put them ahead, then we drove back down and missed a field goal. That might have been a similar experience, although this one had more errors in it. I would compare his comeback, matter of fact I thought of it last night, was our comeback against Georgia Tech in 1992 when we joined the ACC and they had us down I think two touchdowns with 10 minutes to go or something like that and Charlie Ward had fantastic last 10 minutes. But he ran more than our quarterback did, Charlie ran a little bit more times, I remember him running for a touchdown of about 15 or 16 yards and running for some first downs, and yet Ponder did the same thing. I can't remember a better performance by a quarterback under that circumstance.

On whether or not he thinks the UNC win can turn things around:
Well, the answer to that is, yes it can. But the question is, will it? Did BYU turn things around? No. We had a great doggone ballgame and then the next week got beat - and lost, what, three in a row? Is it going to have that effect? It could, but nothing's a guarantee. So we're just going to see what happens. Again ? the effort of our kids is good. They're running hard, trying hard. But you're out of position and you missed a tackle and you missed an assignment. Those are things that we absolutely need to improve on.

On whether or not he was surprised they played so well against UNC's pass defense:
There's no doubt about it. I would think that anybody that knows anything about football, and knows anything about the conference, knows anything about North Carolina's defense, would be completely surprised. When we go out there to play them and we've got the No. 1 offense in the conference and they've got the No. 1 defense, we're looking at film of them and we're saying, 'How in the world are we ever going to be consistent enough to get some points on this team?' Because they're so good. The first half is what you'd expect. The second half, gosh, you can't hardly imagine that much success.

On the win taking some pressure off the program:
Well, gosh, it's a weight off of everybody. I think everybody that is an FSU fan or a coach or a player, this takes a weight off the shoulder. But what does that mean? Seven more days of peace?

On Lawrence Dawsey's good job coaching the receivers: I think the best thing they've done is catching the ball. And they're running good routes, though sometimes they're not. Most of the time they are. And they made key catches in that ballgame. It seems to me that we've been more successful on third down this year than any time I can remember. He might have hit three or four third-and-longs in a row in keeping a drive alive. But again, somebody has to make the catches. And we had a couple of very good catches, where the receiver got his head knocked off when he caught it.

On the win calming some of the distractions off the field:
It's the nature of competitive sports now. Whether it is baseball, whether it is basketball, whether it is football, whether it is any competition like that, the response of the fans is - I know how it is. I know how it's going to be. I know how to sooth it. There is only one answer and that is to win. You have to win. There is where the pressure comes.

On Ponder's sideline demeanor when the team was losing:
When you look at him on the sideline in a situation like that, you get a feeling of calmness. The guy is calm. He thinks he is going to win. But Ponder, don't you see we are behind 17 or 18 points?' There is still a calmness around him. That's just normal with him.

On where Ponder ranks amongst FSU quarterbacks regarding leadership abilities:
Oh, I would think he would rank up there with any of them. They are all different. They all have different styles. They all have different demeanors. Charlie is not like Weinke. Weinke is not like Charlie. Neither one of them are like Ponder. Ponder is nearly as quiet as Charlie, but not as quiet as Charlie. Ponder nearly speaks out as much as Weinke, but nearly as much as Weinke. They are all different, but with their different styles and demeanors, they are all winners.

On Christian Ponder's leadership:
Well, Ponder is the heart and soul of this football team. There is no doubt about it. I don't think there is a quarterback in the country that plays better than him right now. I mean you talk about your Heisman Trophy guys, they are playing pretty good but he is playing better than all of them.

On Rod Owens:
Rod has been one of those guys who has done what we asked of him really every game. You can count on Rod. He's supposed to be here, this is where is going to be. Some of the other guys are not doing that, they are getting better at it but Rod is very dependable.


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