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August 30, 2005

Pre Miami Q&A: Drew Weatherford

It hasn't been officially announced yet but everybody expects Drew Weatherford to be the starting quarterback for the Miami game. The redshirt freshman signal-caller met with the media on Tuesday and discussed several issues including how he is handling the pressure of being the likely starter, overcoming his ankle injury, his extensive film study and more.

Were you able to forget about the big game a little bit having a couple days off?

It's pretty impossible to forget about the game coming up. We've all been waiting for it for a long time, but I definitely spent a lot of time watching film and studying my playbook, but I did relax a little. No physical work, just lying on the couch watching film and studying my playbook.

Have you been given any idea whether you're starting or not?

No sir. Coach Bowden hasn't made a decision yet and I'm assuming that's coming before the kickoff (laughs). So I'll just have to wait and see.

Would you like to know as soon as possible or do you care?

It's up to them. I'm going to be ready regardless if they tell me I'm starting or not. They'll let me know when it's time.

How do you handle the emotions of all this?

I try not to think about it too much is the biggest thing. I think and prepare about the game, but I don't necessarily think about 'how big it is.' When it really comes down to it, it's just a football game and we got to go out and execute and get things done.

How do you prepare for elements of the game that you can't simulate on the practice field?

You can visualize it. I didn't play much last year. I played one play, but I was out there and I understand how loud things can get and you know the emotions that are out there and the things like that that you can't simulate. You can just kind of visualize it from last year and remember.

Was there anything from the experience last year to get you ready as number two when Chris (Rix) went down that is helpful now?

I think so. I think it's just given me a sense of what it feels like to be capable of going in. Third string you really don't feel like you're going to have a chance to go in, but being the second string guy you get the same (feeling) of urgency and you want to be ready and studied up on as much film as possible. It gives me a sense of how I feel right now; I wouldn't of had that if that wasn't the case

Back in the spring when Wyatt was still part of the rotation the door was kind of open for the competition. Did you ever get a sense that you could be the opening day starter?

I always believed I had the ability to. I believed all three of us did, I always thought that, and you got to think that. I thought I had as good a chance as anybody and that's why it hasn't really been that big of a shock to Xavier or I. We both have the confidence level that we can get the job done and we both visualized ourselves being the guy for this game so it hasn't been to big of a shock.

Did you think the ankle injury over summer would throw you off course?

I did initially, but then I realized I had to just pick my head up, keep going, and get healthy. I knew the opportunity was going to come sooner or later.

Would you like to see the Miami game in the future not being played the first week?

Yeah (laughs)…that be nice to see how things are going to play out, I don't know, but at the same time it's nice not to know too it keeps it exciting and keeps me guessing of what's going to happen.

There's talk that this might not be the season opener. Is it different going to practice knowing that this is the opener? Does it magnify things?

First of all, I like it. I think it's a great thing for college football, it's a great thing for both schools, it helps us prepare…I mean preparing for Miami will help us prepare for everybody. We work that much harder and we're that much more focused because we know we got to come out and play a powerhouse for the first game of the season and I hope they keep it this way forever.

How much film (going back to last year) did you watch in a typical day, week?

In a week probably six hours of film…six, seven hours of film per week (on top of segment meetings). We actually for the bowl game got these DVD players so I use that all the time, I'll be laying in bed watching film whenever I get the opportunity.

Were you always watching Florida State?

I watch all sorts of stuff. I watch Peyton Manning sometimes, I watch USC and how they run their offense, but for the most part I watch us and the team we play.

How much Miami do you watch? Any more than others?

Right now that's all I watch. I mean I've watched the Louisville game and the North Carolina game probably five times a piece and all the different cut-ups from different teams and trying to find the best way to beat 'em.

When you were in high school were you watching extra film of yourself or other people?

I typically would watch teams that we were getting ready to play. I didn't really know how to watch film in high school to be honest. I was just kind of watching the game to be honest, trying to pick up on little things. We didn't watch too much film at our school; we never sat down as a team and watched the opposing team we were about to play.

Do you feel comfortable enough at this point when you watch things like the Louisville game to go to Coach Dickey and be like 'hey this worked against them'?

Yeah actually in the past couple days was the first time I've ever done that. I've pointed out some things and they've be like 'yeah we saw the same exact thing.' I saw something on the goal-line that looked really nice against them and I mentioned it to him, I think it was two days ago, and he was like 'yeah we saw the same thing' so it was really nice. And that encourages him because he knows I understand what's going on and he knows I'm watching film.

How much do you feel the pressure of possibly becoming a starter and with such a big game coming up?

The whole pressure thing…I put all the pressure on myself and I always have and that's why I don't think that the pressure from the media or being here at Florida State in general has ever really been a big thing because I put all the pressure on myself more so than anyone else.

How's Xavier handling the injury and how's he doing emotionally?

He's doing well. He's obviously upset about this having to happen and him having to get hurt like this at this point. But he's fine, I talked to him today, he feels like he can go out and perform this afternoon. He doesn't seem too down, he knows we're going to have to compete all year long.

Is it good that he's coming back?

Oh, it's great. It keeps me on my toes. I think I perform better in practice when I know I have someone right behind me that can take my spot like that.

You played a lot of defense in high school so what would you do if Ernie Sims intercepted your pass? You wouldn't take him on would you?

I would try to tackle him. He would probably run we over, but I'd throw my body out there, I would cut him at the knees. He would probably…..hurt me, but I'd try to that's for sure.

What is it about Miami, what is the key to their program?

Speed I would say. Speed and athletic ability and they play very aggressive, those are things they do well. They don't try to hide anything on defense very much, they don't try.

Transcribed by Aslan Hajivandi

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