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Butch Davis's Sunday Press Conference Remarks

Oct. 1, 2000

Comments from head coach Butch Davis – Sunday, October 1, 2000

On the Rutgers game:

“It’s nice to win a ballgame, obviously. I never expect a game to get out of hand like the one last night. As we look at it, we have to wonder schematically how was the plan and I thought our offensive and defensive staffs put together an outstanding game plan and that was the thing that allowed us to get off to such a good start.

“Offensively, one of the best things that happened was the success we had running the football. I thought that James Jackson really gave a real spark. He looked quick. He looked fast. He was hitting holes good. Kenny Dorsey had an outstanding game throwing the football and our offensive line really did some nice things. They made some good adjustments on the sidelines. They threw a little different front against us than they’ve been playing the last couple of games and I thought that Art Kehoe (line coach) and the offensive line did a nice job there.

“One trend that we’d love to see and would like to see it continue is the defense continues to put points on the board. Two weeks in a row and three times in the ballgame – two touchdowns and a safety – that’s a great trend we’d like to see continue for at least one more week. But it’s a deal where really you’re never as good as you think you are and never as bad as you think you are. There are some things last night – some of it because so many new people played – but I was really disappointed with some of the penalties we had in the kicking game. I didn’t like seeing that, I’d like us to be more efficient. But, for the most part, it was a really good performance.”

Will Najeh Davenport continue to play at the fullback position and, if so, will he continue to start?

“A lot of that certainly is going to depend on the health of the football team. I don’t so much look at him as a fullback as I do as a running back. He’s just a guy we can throw it to and hand it to. It was interesting that, with the short amount of time for preparation, he really did a nice job last night. I think that speaks volumes about him as a person. He did that for the betterment of the football team. We literally had no one else. We went up there last night with only two running backs and one fullback.”

On the injury front, can you give us an update on the health of the team?

“Hard to say. We left a good number of kids off this trip because of injuries and we’ll have to see what the evaluation is later today when the medical staff looks at them. We’ll find out how we came out of last night’s ballgame, particularly the ones that did not play. Howard Clark has a high ankle sprain and didn’t play. D.J. Williams, Will McPartland and Damione Lewis and David Williams did not make the trip to Rutgers. Hopefully, we’ll get some of them back, but I don’t know.”

What do you think the key is to slowing down the Florida State offense?

“Well, they’ve got an excellent scheme. They’ve got a quarterback that has a ton of experience, and is very confident, very calm and very poised. He doesn’t get rattled, stands in the pocket and makes some throws. He’s got people around him who make plays. Their receiver corps, in the six years I’ve been here, has always been very talented. Their running backs, although they don’t feature the running game, it is good and it makes you play them honestly. If they just threw the ball every down, they’d be a totally different team. You have to be able to match up with them in the secondary and your secondary is going to have to make some plays to keep you in the game.”

How important is it Saturday to make big plays, particularly early in the game?

“The game is won by making big plays. You’re going to have to make some big plays. Last year’s game was 21-21 at halftime and that came as a result of us making some plays. Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne had some big plays and Kenny Kelly was able to throw the ball down the field some. Our running game, although James (Jackson) was injured, had some success. We cannot be one-dimensional against a defense that is as good as they are and players will have to make plays. That’s what the game is all about.”

Some people judge your career and the entire program off the game with FSU. Do you think that’s fair?

“I don’t know. Everyone judges on their own opinion. You just have to look realistically at how your team played and how they prepared. Obviously, these are games that are very important to this program. It’s very important to these kids and this staff to play well and win the game.”

You’ve only played one game at home, but your toughest remaining games should be home games.

“Literally, we just have to take it one game at a time. The West Virginia game was a big game. It was on the road, we just had a tough loss. It was a huge game. As you win, every game becomes big.”