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October 29, 2014

Bobby Petrino

COACH PETRINO:  Our team is really looking forward to the game tomorrow night.  Expect a great atmosphere, one our players will be excited about.  I think it's a great opportunity for our program and players.  We're facing the defending national championship, which is a great challenge.  But we're certainly looking forward to it.

Q.  I know the offensive line has had some ups and downs this year.  Where do you feel like they're playing right now heading into this game against a solid defensive front?
COACH PETRINO:  I think we've shown improvement.  Last week we were able to run the ball and protect the quarterback.  So it's been a work in progress.  But they continue to work hard and get better.

Q.  Why do you think you saw some improvement last week?  Is it getting these guys comfortable with what you're doing now on offense, more experience for them?
COACH PETRINO:  Well, a little bit of everything.  We did a much better job on our assignments.  We're utilizing our techniques.  I think they worked harder at finishing and playing till the whistle.

Q.  I know you haven't played Florida State yet, but do you see this game potentially turning into one of the bigger rivalries for you guys in the ACC for the foreseeable future?
COACH PETRINO:  Yeah, I think all of that is going to be yet to be seen.  We're excited about being in the ACC.  We've had some great games so far.  We're just looking forward to this game tomorrow night, being able to be on the same level and competing for a championship in our division.

Q.  Jimbo said when he looks at your offense, he sees a few similar concepts with what he likes to do offensively.  Do you see any of those same things?
COACH PETRINO:  Yeah, I think some of our formations, some of our concepts in the passing game are very similar.

Q.  A lot of people are talking about the 2002 game.  I'm curious if that has come up at all inside the program, if you talked about that?
COACH PETRINO:  No, we really haven't even talked about it.  I remember watching it on TV.  I think it was a weekend there was a hurricane that came through, so it was awful weather.
It was a great win for the program at that time.

Q.  Your defense has played so well all season long.  Can you talk about some of the key players on it and what they've done to make them so effective.
COACH PETRINO:  Well, I think the one thing that we've done is played together as a team, so the entire defense being able to work together, being on the same page, being able to stop the run, run full speed to the football.  We've done a great job of rushing the passer.
It's more like the entire defense playing together and doing things together than just individuals.

Q.  What does Florida State pose for you?  When you see them as a team, what concerns you about them?
COACH PETRINO:  I mean, they're very good.  They have a great offensive line.  They run block really well.  They protect the passer.  They got a great quarterback.  Talent at all the skill positions.  It's a great challenge for our defense.

Q.  Can you talk about the keys going up against Jameis Winston, what you need to do to slow him down.
COACH PETRINO:  Well, I think first thing we're going to have to do is stop the run so they don't have the great down and distance situations.  That's important.  They're very good at running the football.  We're going to have to make sure we have good, tight coverage, be able to put pressure on the quarterback.  We're going to have to change up our looks because he's very good at reading defenses, going through his progressions.  He has a quick release.
He is a great player and it's a great challenge.

Q.  You talked a little bit about Florida State's rushing attack.  At times they struggled this year.  Jimbo said sometimes that secondary, as long as you can run the ball in critical situations, last four minutes, goal line, red zone, do you feel similar about that?  Sometimes it's not how many rushing yards you get but when you get those rushing yards?
COACH PETRINO:  Yeah, what you have to be able to do or what you try to be able to do is run the ball when you want to run it.  But it's really important that you're able to run the ball when you have to.  Whether that's short yardage or in the red zone or last part of the game to get out with the win.  I think that's one of the great challenges, is being able to run the ball when you have to run it.  They do a good job of that.

Q.  Is that something that's been more recent where it's just about running the ball when you have to, with a lot of teams seemingly throwing the ball more than ever before?
COACH PETRINO:  There's a lot of passing game going on right now, no question about that.  Some guys are throwing the bubble screens, the nows, the little quick passes to the receivers.  Really you count that in the running game.
I think some of the statistics as far as the rushing, if you added those yards into it, would be a little bit different.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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