Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson met with the media in Charlotte on Friday for the final time before their teams face off Saturday night in the ACC Championship Game.
- Fisher on replacing injured DE Cornellius "Tank" Carradine (ACL) -- "I asked for 13 guys because he plays like two or three guys. They won't give them to me, though. You're going to have Giorgio (Newberry), Mario (Edwards), Toshmon Stevens, all those guys. You know, it's just a great opportunity for those guys to step up, just like when Brandon (Jenkins) went down. We were worred: Can Tank really have that kind of year? Well, he did. We have other great players, and it's not just going to be that defensive end, it's going to be collectively as a defense. Football is not a one-man game. Bjoern (Werner) will take care of his side, and we'll have to keep rotations and things. When young players you've never heard of get an opportunity, they jump up, and somebody else is a hero. That's what sports is about."
- Johnson on injured RB Orwin Smith (ankle) -- "Well, we didn't have Orwin last week. If he doesn't go, we kind of play that position by committee anyway, but B.J. Bostic will probably start opposite Robbie Godhigh. We'll go again and see if Orwin can go. I think doubtful is probably about right but just not final yet."
- Fisher on how the team looked at practice -- "I'm very proud of the way we practiced, from the first day on Monday. Sometimes Monday will linger even a little bit after you've lost, but it did not show this week. Kids come out. You don't have a chance to win a championship. You go through our coaching staff. We've got coaches who have coached 25, 30, 30 years on our staff and they've got one ring, two rings, maybe three … Those opportunities don't just jump out at you, and we have a great opportunity to achieve another goal where we're at and very proud to be here, and our kids understand that they've earned the right to be here and they understand how important it is to play for a championship in our conference."
- Johnson on how the team looked at practice -- "I think we've had a good week of practice. You know, there's been some energy, and I think the guys understand what a great opportunity we have to be in the game. So I feel like our guys will show up and play well."
- Fisher on defending the Georgia Tech option -- "It's just hard to simulate. You can get your assignments and what you're going to do, but during the game you're going to have to make adjustments and see as the speed of it comes at you. Practicing is one thing … you have your assignments and you've got your leverage and you want to do all the things we do, and we think we've got a great plan, but we have to get used to the speed of it and how well they execute it. It'll be a huge challenge for us, there's no doubt."
- Johnson on keys to the game -- "I think it's going to be, like most any game, the turnover battle will be huge, especially for us. We need to be on the positive side of that. We need to be not only efficient in running the ball, but we're going to have to score some points and not give up big, explosive plays in the kicking game. We've really struggled with that aspect in a lot of games this year. And if we can do those three things, you know, I think we can hang around."
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