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What were you and Coach Bunting talking about prior to the fourth-and-one? It looked like you were joking a little bit--like there was a little levity there.
Well, I'll tell you what--I was messing around with Coach Bunting. He told me, 'You go out there and take a timeout with one second,' and I said, 'What?'
He said, 'Take a timeout with one second.'
I said, 'Take a timeout with three seconds?' and he was freaking out.
He said, 'No-no-no-no--one second.'
I looked at him again: 'Two seconds?'
I was just messing around with him; he finally picked up on it and laughed at me. I gave him a hard time about it a little later on.
The key about the fourth-and-one is that we missed two the first two weeks, and we talked about, 'We've got to get the one yard.' And we got it, so--
What did you to improve running the football tonight?
What did we do to improve it? I don't know. I think maybe it was intensity, maybe it was our offensive line, getting drilled about not being able to run it so much. That kind of came with the mentality that we are going to prove that we can run the football. Ronnie [McGill] did an excellent job, which makes everything easier.
Tell me about getting the start, playing the full game, knowing you are going to be in there from the start. Did you approach this game any differently?
No, no, not at all. You approach it every [day] the same [way]. I try to approach every day as the starting quarterback. I thought maybe I would be a little more nervous at the hotel, at the movies today, whatever, and I wasn't. I was kind of calm--my teammates were behind me, my coaches were behind me, and when you know they are behind you it's not difficult because they are out there with you, and they are out there trying to protect me the best they can, which they did a great job of [doing]. It was great to get out there.
Tell me about the trouble you guys had stopping them out there today.
Honestly, I have no idea. When they came out in the second half, they had an answer for our answer…so I don't know."
Talk about the halftime adjustments. What did you guys want to do in the second half?
We wanted to stop their two biggest plays, the G-pull when the guard was--when the tackle was blocking down. And we wanted to stop that option that they were executing perfectly all through the game.
Did they just push you all around on the line tonight?
They didn't push nobody on the line, man. We don't get pushed. You watch every film--we [haven't] been pushed, not once.
We don't know. We made adjustments at halftime. When we come in Sunday and watch film, we're going to have an answer for that, and we're going to know what happended.
What happened on the key stops when you forced them to give up the ball in the second half?
We saw that they were in bad territory, bad waters, and we found out there was a weakness when--when he was looking to scramble he really wasn't willing to run out for that trap option, what they usually work on so we had the one-on-one and made a play.
Tell me your general feelings after a win.
You're always excited. You've just got to enjoy this win and, for the young guys who haven't been in this situation and don't know what's to come, you enjoy this now, but when Monday comes--it's just like a loss--you just have to put it behind you.
As you can tell, we still have some things to work on. So you take this win and enjoy it for the time being, but you go back to work on Monday because you want two in a row, and three in a row. But this is something to get us catapulted to that new start where we want--that 'New Blue' we were looking for for a long time.
Tell me about your involvement in the offense. You made some big plays. Tell me about your overall performance.
I think I did pretty well. I did what I was supposed to do. Being a senior, being a leader, being a captain of this team, being the playmaker that I am, I just did what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to go out there and will my team to win, and when my opportunity comes I've got to flourish. I've got to make sure that I take every opportunity to help my team win.
Again, there are still some things that I have to improve on. I missed a couple blocks out there today. Despite having the big game, the big touchdown, things like that, I've got to go out there and maybe make two or three more of those blocks that I missed--or didn't finish the blocks…
I think I had a very productive game, and it was a game that I've been looking for for a long time. I'm excited about it, but I've still got some work to do.
Now tell me about the play for the touchdown to take the lead.
That play is not even in our playbook. I don't even believe that play is in our playbook, but as [Cam and I] joked about in the summer time: 'It's not in the playbook, but it should be.'
What happened on that play?
They called the wrong play--I know I wasn't supposed to have that route. Sometimes you just have to go out there and just play football. That's what this game is about--just go out there and play football. Like Cam said, 'It wasn't in the playbook, but it should be.'
Tell me about the difference--a couple of weeks ago you catch the ball inside the five yard line but do not get into the end zone, and tonight you did.
Oh, I wasn't--you wasn't going to stop me now. I had a lot of [energy] built up in me. I was determined to get to the end zone. It was like, once I made the catch now--the blockers didn't even exist. It was like catch-end zone. That was the whole thing. My team needed that at that point in time, and they had enough confidence in me to give it to me so I had to deliver.
It looks like you've got some end zone paint on your face there.
Yes--it was the first time this year, and it was wonderful. I had to find a way to get into the end zone because I knew that was going to have to happen for us to win. Whoo, that was close!
You seemed to be a little more energized tonight. Was the temperature being cooler a factor?
Nah, I just felt a little energized. This is a team from South Carolina. I knew a lot of the guys who play on the team. I just wanted to go out [and perform] because they have been talking to me since last season when we found out we had to play them.
Take us through that first pass play.
It was a screen. I just stepped over, and when the guard and the center took off I just turned around and caught the ball. I was going to take my time because there was a guy running up-field, but he was getting blocked and then he just tried to dive in and I took off running. Hakeem [Nicks], he blocks down field all the time, and he was really the reason for the touchdown because he was way downfield making a block.
After you were tackled by one player you looked angry on the field.
(Lauging) I am angry. Every time I get the ball, when somebody tackles me--I don't like being tackled by one person. That just ruins my whole day, so if I get tackled by one guy, the next time I'm going to try to make four or five guys bring me down.
Jesse said he doesn't even like blocking for me because sometimes he thinks I'm down so he stops and then I take off running again. It kind of affects the whole team. Everybody likes it when I'm out there running like a madman.