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Offensive Football Player Press Conference

Dec. 31, 2000

New Orleans, La. (www.hurricanesports.com) — –
NOKIA SUGAR BOWL
NEWS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Friday, December 29, 2000

MIAMI QUARTERBACK KEN DORSEY

(on feeling of pressure to make offense work) “I don’t really feel any pressure, because that is just my job. That is what I’ve grown accustomed to. I think the key for us is to get into a rhythm and stay in it, run the ball and have receivers run good routes and do a good job like they’ve been doing all year.”

(on the loss to Washington) “Without the loss to Washington, we would not have been as successful against Florida State and Virginia Tech. We took so much away from that game not only as a team, but as an offense. I think that game helped us more than it hurt us.”

(on offensive weapons on the outside) “Reggie (Wayne) and Santana (Moss) have been coming up big all year. I’m sure they are going to do their best to come up big in Tuesday’s game. They love these big games and they seem to come up with their best games in these types of games. That is just their mentality – to come up big in these games.”

(on teams focusing on Santana Moss) “We have so many other weapons – our tight ends and our backs. We have a lot of other guys that can hurt you and that is what we have success doing, spreading the ball around. If Santana can’t get his touches, we have others that can make plays. That is a big key about our offense.”

MIAMI WIDE RECEIVER SANTANA MOSS

(on animosity between the teams) “We are not concerned. We just want to go out there and play our game. We’re not going to worry about what happened (on Wednesday night). My concern on Tuesday is being a better player than whoever comes up against me.”

(on the rivalry) “Rivalries come and rivalries go. We have so many. After Tuesday night we can say what the rivalry is going to be, but right now it is just a game.”

(on trash-talking) “When you talk, you better be ready. Everyone talks. I’m just going to do my part and when all is said and done I’ll have the last laugh.”

MIAMI WIDE RECEIVER REGGIE WAYNE

(on playing in his hometown) “I never thought this would happen. This is like a dream come true – playing in my last game, coming to the Sugar Bowl, playing in the Superdome, playing for a chance at the national championship. It couldn’t get any better than this. I just want to make a good showing – a good homecoming for me getting to play in front of my family and friends.”

(on being in the Sugar Bowl) “Even though we are not in the Orange Bowl, I am glad to be in the Sugar Bowl. It’s funny how things worked out. Deep down inside I wanted to play here – to play at home in the Dome.”

(on the game being a potential national title game) “It’s a lot at stake here, we have a lot more to lose I believe and we just have to stay focused and limit the mistakes and just worry about the little things and not get out of our game plan and things like that and stay focused and play Hurricane football.”

(on Florida defensive backs) “We still have to run around and make big plays. We have to try to get them out of their zone and get into a zone of our own and just go out there and have fun. That’s the main thing, like we have been doing all year.”

(on has the team peaked yet) “I believe we are never at our best, it’s always room for us to get better each game. Hopefully this game we can get better than we were and it’s going to be tough because Florida is a great team. That just brings out the talent in ourselves we just have to be more talented than they are to win this game.

MIAMI RUNNING BACK JAMES JACKSON

(on this game turning into a grudge match) “I think this is a big-time grudge match. I think everyone is ready and pumped up from the little incident that happened (Wed. night) but what we have to do is stay focused.”

(on sharing the national title) “I think we should (get a chance to share). We knew what we had to do coming into this year – win straight out – in order to win the national championship. But we got the loss against Washington and it slipped away from us a little bit. Then we come back and beat Florida State and Virginia Tech to get back in it.”

(on keys to a win) “Keys for a win are for us to pick up the blitz protection as well as protect Ken Dorsey, so that he can have a chance to get the ball off to Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne.

(on being a straight ahead runner) “There are certain things my dad wanted me to do this year. He didn’t want me to read the newspapers or any magazines, I think I only read one newspaper this year. He read those things and some of the things he read he came back and told me. Like some of the books said I would be a third-down back at the next level or whatever the situation might be. Some of the things they said were, I am great outside runner and can’t run inside and stuff like that. My job was to go out and prove to people and myself that that I can get the job done. I’m strong, fast and I’m not scared of anything. It’s just the simple fact of the play calling. If the play was called for me to run outside I ran outside.”

(on where do you hope to go in the NFL draft) “I think it’s any athletes dream to go in the first round of the NFL draft, I guess that would be a good thing right there.”

(on reaching 1,000 yards after having a slow start) “It was great considering that I might have had only 115 yards in the first three games and to do what I did in the last seven or eight games it was great, real great.”

(on was gaining 1,000 yards a goal at the beginning of the season) “Not really, I think my major goal was to stay healthy and that was pretty much the major goal, I didn’t necessarily talk about gaining 1,000 yards or anything like that. I think I did a great job of getting that done.”

MIAMI LINEMAN JOAQUIN GONZALEZ

(on confidence of Miami’s team) “Confidence is a big thing, once you get the ball rolling it’s like an avalanche you just keep on going and kind of just break down how you play the game. We haven’t played a game in like 30-something days now, so it’s kind of rough going away for finals and things like that. Coming back for you are a little bit rusty and I think we are all oiled up now and we feel that we have to coming into the Florida game ready to play. It’s just a matter of getting back into the flow of things, but I feel that we are back into it now.”

(on Florida’s defensive ends) “I think out of all of the defensive ends we’ve faced Alex Brown is at the top of the charts with his athletic ability and speed and he has a lot of strength to combine that with. We faced others like him especially against Washington, Pittsburgh, Florida State and Virginia Tech. We faced challenges like this all year.”

(on hating Florida, when they haven’t played each other in 13 years) “I just think it’s an in-state pride thing. It’s kind of like the state championships at stake here. It’s one of those things where the guys over at Florida are guys that you played against in high school or you either know them from playing with them in high school. So it’s one of those things that gives you bragging rights and that’s what makes this rivalry just like it makes the Florida State rivalry.”

MIAMI LINEMAN BRYANT McKINNIE

(on the game plan) “We need the offensive line to go out and control the line of scrimmage, so that our receivers will be able to get open and the running backs can make big plays. That’s what we have to do. It is up to the offensive line because they have a good defensive line.