Obviously we saw a big leap in the running game last year against Florida. Is there something where having more time as an offensive line really helps you fix mistakes or figure out some stuff?
“Yeah, I think late in the season you forget those fundamentals you focus on so much in camp. You’re focused more on gameplan and stuff, so this is a good time to get back to fundamentals, get back to working on double teams, working on pass protection. Just get back to fundamentals and really clean those up. I think that’s what made last year go so well and hopefully this year, too.”
For you going forward, do you want to stay at center or are you entertaining other moves?
“Yeah, I’d like to stay at center but whatever has to happen has to happen.”
Have you guys not had those conversations yet?
“No, no, not yet. Just right now it’s all Florida State stuff, so just focused on that.”
Have you made any progress on your NFL decision? Talked to anyone or had any extra evaluation?
“No, not yet. Just trying to gather all the information out there. Just gather as much information to make a good decision with Coach Harbaugh and the coaching staff and everyone. Just the more information you have, the better.”
If someone said a round attached to your name, where would you want to be to make the decision that you’re going to go?
“I don’t know if there is an exact round. Like I said, just talking with Coach Harbaugh and Coach Drevno and hearing their opinions and just trying to gather as much information as possible so I can make an informed decision.”
Are you on pace to graduate this spring?
“No, no, no. I graduate next December.”
[After THE JUMP: Kenny Allen, Mike McCray, and Matt Godin]
This will be your last game. Who do you think will be the kicker and punter next year?
“It’s hard to say. There’s a lot of good guys practicing right now, so I think it’ll be a good competition between everyone who’s on our team.”
(regarding his work load) Was it physical or mental? What was the hardest part to handle?
“I don’t really think it’s physically that hard. You obviously can’t kick too much. Mentally, when a kicker gets into a slum it could be really bad. I think in my case it showed us what we need to do and that there’s no time to waste. I think we did a good job as a team and the coaches helped me out a lot.”
You guys always reference what the Citrus Bowl did for you this season. Is it something you’ve talked about with the freshmen, how important this bowl game can be going forward next year?
“I think it’s kind of something that might be said but doesn’t really need to be said. Win or lose this game, that’s how the season starts for you, so you’re going to remember this game going into next season. I think we’ll kind of discuss that more as we head down there.”
What’s it like going into this bowl game after losing to Ohio State?
“The team, I think, has moved on from the loss to Ohio State. Probably took us like a week to get over it, but now we’re focused on Florida State, who’s a great team.”
What strikes you about their offense that’s something you’ll really have to lock down?
“Very fast and physical. Dalvin Cook’s probably the best back we’ve played all year. He’s a great player. Then they’ve got good receivers out wide, good offensive linemen. They’re a great challenge for our team to see where our defense is at the end of the season.”
Is Don Brown putting new stuff in? Is there stuff you guys haven’t been able to do because it was week-to-week and now there’s extra time?
“[Inaudible]. He adds wrinkles and things like that throughout the whole season and he’s continued to do that as well.”
On Dalvin Cook:
“I don’t know. He’s different. He’s different from anyone else we’ve played, so I really don’t see a comparison.”
Is there a game you saw on film that stands out?
“He had a really good game against Boston College. We’ve watched that a lot. Obviously they have some of the same defenses that we run, so we’ve been watching that a lot.”
Is it a good thing to have a defensive coordinator with recent experience against Florida State?
“Oh, definitely. He knows what they tried to do against him last year with his defenses. He knows what they’re about, so it helps.”