Nashville, TN - The FloridaState football team was supposed to hold its first Music City Bowl practice in Nashville at the GoodPastureChristianSchool. That all changed about 6:00 am when weather became a factor and forced the Seminoles to make other arrangements. Luckily the team was able to move indoors thanks to the good people at GallatinHigh School. FSU practiced for 18 periods in a basketball gymnasium and an indoor football facility. With just two more practices to go before the Seminoles face-off with Kentucky on Monday, here is what the team had to say before Thursday's practice.
"We are glad to be here. When you come to a bowl there is always some concern about weather.When we left Tallahassee it was 60, 65 degrees, pretty nice weather. When you go away from home you are always afraid you are going to get snow; you're afraid you're going to get ice. I know that folks, I lived up here for a year. I got my master's degree here at old PeabodyCollege.When people ask me now, I say Vanderbilt because that looks better on a resume'. I hope it doesn't get any colder than it is; it's not bad today, I just hope that the rain goes away and we will have good weather for football (on Monday)."
On the challenges facing FloridaState:
"Our biggest problem is depth as you can imagine. When you go into a season and all of a sudden you have 22 guys, a lot of them played that can't play, depth is the biggest thing. Starting line-ups ain't going to be bad. We are thankful for the bowl taking us. They didn't know what was happening and to be honest, we didn't know either when we accepted this bowl. They have been very good about it. We just hope that we can make a good show of it and give them a great game."
On any chances of any players playing both ways:
"No, no, no, but you never know. It could come down to that. If a couple guys get hurt, we may have to say, `you get over and play that position.' So far we haven't been that desperate and that is desperate.And I guess that could happen."
On playing in the MusicCity Bowl:
"I am glad to get back to Nashville and I know our kids are excited about it. They are just as excited as any other time. Maybe when you play for the National Championship, there is a little more sensitivity and direction and concentration when you are playing for all the marbles."
On what he expects from his team:
"I think we will play hard. We just have to hope that Kentucky doesn't wear us down. I think we would have been better off if we played a team that didn't throw. I kept hearing MississippiState or Kentucky. MississippiState is a pounding team; we would have a better chance against a pounding team."
"They are a good offense, you can't take anything away from them. They have a good quarterback, they like to throw the ball around, but they can run it too. As a defense, we have to prepare and be on our toes. The main thing is that we have to get pressure on Andre Woodson because he makes their offense go."
On how to defend Kentucky:
"We are an attacking defense so we are going to bring the house. We hope to get them on their toes and not really expect what is coming. We just need to go out there and play FloridaState defense."
On the pride of the FSU defense:
"FloridaState is FloridaState. We didn't come out here to take a week off. We came out here to win a ball game. We are going to go out there, strap it up at and play FloridaState football."
"Everything has been going really well since we got back. Since we have been back in Tallahassee we have been getting after it pretty hard. We had two really good practices before we left. Today is going to be our first one here in Nashville and we are really looking forward to it."
On the distractions being a rallying point:
"That is something we really aren't thinking about. We are really focused on what we can control. We are just happy to be here and excited about the game."
On what you expect to see from Kentucky:
"They are a very good football team on both sides of the ball. Their defense does a really good job of mixing up coverages. Their offense is going to put a lot of pressure on ours because they have scored a lot of points all year long. We are just going to have to go out, execute and not turn the ball over and we will be just fine."
On the opportunity that exists for his teammates:
"It has been really exciting for a lot of those guys. A lot of guys did not have an opportunity because they are young but they are all very excited to get that opportunity to go out and play. They are really taking advantage of it and practicing really hard. They are bringing a lot of enthusiasm, which I feel has really helped our team out."
"It is tough especially when guys you played with all season are not here. It is difficult especially when you get on a plane to come to Nashville and a lot of seats are empty, then it becomes reality. It has been pretty difficult to cope with but our coaches have done a great job of preparing our younger guys and help some of the older guys become leaders so we make sure not to lose a step in leading the younger guys."
On coping with the powerful Kentucky offense:
"Kentucky has a great offense. They are very explosive. They have a great quarterback. They have great skill position players so it is going to be tough. So it is going to be a challenge but we have played some pretty good offenses this year like BostonCollege and Florida. I don't think there is a better offense then the University of Florida so I think we are up to it. We have had some good practices in Tallahassee and I feel we will have a couple good ones here in Nashville to help us prepare for the game."
On getting back to practice and focusing on football:
"It is always good to get back to practice because we are like one big family. We are ready to go back to work and put all those distractions behind us. We have three days to put all that stuff behind us and concentrate on Kentucky."
On this game being a rallying point for the team:
"At first it was but really we are taking everything and putting it behind us. We still have a lot of guys here that can play. We just have to go out loose and come out with a victory."
On the team's mood since arriving in Nashville:
"We have been pretty happy. We went out last night to the Wild Horse Saloon (team bowl function). We will go out and practice today, have fun again tonight and get ready for the game."
Florida State practiced at Gallatin High School on Friday.