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December 29, 2005

Bowden and players talk about the Orange Bowl

Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden as well as wide receiver Willie Reid, running back Lorenzo Booker and defensive lineman Brodrick Bunkley spoke to the media after Thursday's Orange Bowl practice. Topics discussed include how FSU's offense and defense matches up with Penn State, the team speed differences between the two teams, how Penn State's Michael Robinson compares to Marcus Vick and more.

Head coach Bobby Bowden

On the team's first practice in Miami:

"We've been off since the previous Thursday. We try to use the first day back to focus on stretching and getting back in the swing of things with no pads. We follow the same procedure that we've followed for the last 20 years."

On the coaching matchup:

"I was thinking about it this morning, I am exhibition B, Joe is exhibition A, that's all we are. There's a game in there somewhere, Penn State and Florida State are playing the game."

"It's very meaningful. We played in 1990 (at the Blockbuster Bowl) and when I was at West Virginia we played every year and they dominated us. It's amazing that it happened and I do enjoy the fact that that he's going to be on the other sideline."

On the team's confidence:

"After winning a ballgame over a team that a two touchdown favorite (Virginia Tech), you can imagine how much confidence you gain. As you lose, you begin to lose confidence. You can win 15 games in a row and then lose one, and then you start to wonder. It was a big boost for us as far as confidence is concerned."

"The three losses we had at the end of the year, it wasn't because our attitude wasn't good, our attitude has been good all year. We had good practices leading up to the (ACC Championship) game, we've had good practices leading up to this game, but even with all that (Penn State) are still heavy favorites."

On Penn State's offense:

"The biggest change in Penn State over the last few years has been their offense. Their offense now is so explosive compared to the past and a lot of that begins with their quarterback (Michael Robinson). He can take a busted play and do more with it than anybody we've faced. We played a quarterback at Virginia Tech (Marcus Vick) who was the same way and we were able to hem him up. I don't know if we want to hem him up, he may run you over like a bull if you try that. It scares you more than anything else, but they're a very solid offensive football team. What's he's needed the past few years is someone who can break open a game and now he has that."

"I think our (defense's) speed with match up with anybody. We have very good team speed. Penn State is more powerful and they're quicker than (Virginia Tech), in my opinion."

On the mood in Tallahassee after three straight losses:

"Once you get over the rope burns, it wasn't bad. It's been a very questionable mood outside of our staff. We had so many good years back to back that people expect it all the time. We have lacked consistency for the last few years. I think the hardest part of my job is winning enough games to keep people happy."

On what he remembers about the 1990 Blockbuster Bowl:

"I remember our horse running out on the field and Joe got mad about that. I know we had to get special permission to do it and we did. I don't know if Joe knew we got it or not, but he was mad. I thought he was going to go tackle the dadgum horse. I was about to tell him 'go high don't go low' on the horse. That was about the maddest I've ever seen Joe. I didn't anything to him though. I was afraid he'd slap me."

On age as an issue:

"I've always used Joe as a gauge. We both like working with kids and we both think that we can help them on and off the field. We both have reached the age which when the first time something goes wrong, they say 'he's too old'. I think Penn State did the right thing staying with him and his experience and maturity."

"It's one of those things I've had to deal with for the last 15 years. It all started with those two scoundrels, Tommy and Terry Bowden. They started it. Every kid I recruit now, I feel like I'm going to coach the whole time he's there and I tell them that. When I don't feel that way anymore, I'll have to let them know."

Player Quotes

Willie Reid WR

On the Penn State defense:

"They're a real talented group, real strong and physical up front and very quick on the edges. It should be a tough challenge for our offense."

On playing any defenses similar to Penn State's:

"They are ranked so high in every category and we haven't really seen a defense that good."

On how much confidence the Virginia Tech win gave them:

"We lost a couple of games and I think our confidence level dropped a little bit, but we came back on the field and played a great game and our confidence is sky high right now."

On playing in a game featuring the two winningest coaches in college football:

"We want to get coach Bowden a win because it's probably the only time they will be coaching against each other again. He wants to go out with a win and we want to give it to him."

Lorenzo Booker RB

On their team speed matching up against Penn State:

"They played Ohio State, who has very good team speed and they did pretty well against them. We've been looking at that game a lot. Ohio State turned the ball over; I think that's going to be the key factor because Penn State doesn't make a lot of mistakes."

On how much confidence the Virginia Tech win gave them:

"It just proved to us that we are as good as we always thought we were. We learned all we have to do is worry about our job and our assignments."

On questioning themselves during their losing streak:

"Anyone that goes on a losing streak questions what's going on because they are not winning, so obviously there is something you're not doing right. We went through that and you learn more from a loss than a victory."

On winning the game for coach Bowden:

"This is a game that could possibly never happen again. You have to coach a long time to get as many victories as these two guys have. At coach Bowden's age you never know what he's going to do on any given day and you never know which game is going to be his last so I want to be a part of the team that sends him packing as a happy man."

Brodrick Bunkley DT

Comparing Michael Robinson to Marcus Vick:

"He's fast and he can run you over and we have to work on containing him."

On winning the game for coach Bowden:

"It's JoePa verse Bobby Bowden. It doesn't get much bigger than that."

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