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December 28, 2014

Lawrence Dawsey

Randy Sanders

Karlos Williams

Jameis Winston


THE MODERATOR:  We are here for the official offensive press conference for Florida State.
Seated next to me, we have offensive coordinator Randy Sanders and offensive coordinator Lawrence Dawsey.  Seated to the right of Coach Dawsey is quarterback Jameis Winston.  Winston is a sophomore from Bessemer, Alabama.  He's the only college quarterback since the 1964/'65 season to win his first 26 starts.  He ranks third all time at FSU in wins since 1980.  Last year's Heisman Trophy winner has a quarterback rating of 164.2 in the two ACC title games and the national title game last year that took place at Rose Bowl Stadium.
Seated next to Mr. Winston is running back Karlos Williams.  Karlos is a senior from Davenport, Florida, and is ready to return to action after missing the ACC Championship game due to injury.  A talented tailback, he scored a touchdown in 7 of his 11 games and has multiple rushing touchdowns in three games.
Just want to know how the trip to Southern California has been and being back at Rose Bowl Stadium, second year, kind of what are the expectations going into this year's game?
COACH SANDERS:  Obviously, it's exciting to be here.  Playing in the Rose Bowl, we got to make the trip to Los Angeles and play in the BCS Championship Game last year, but it wasn't the, quote/unquote, Rose Bowl.  So getting to experience this has been great.  We're enjoying the time.  We're enjoying the weather.  But, obviously, we're out here to play football.
We're trying to enjoy ourselves, but we're trying to treat it as much like a business trip as we can.  Sometimes that's easier said than done with Bowl games.  This group's been pretty focused on the task at hand.  Obviously, you don't win 27 games in a row not doing that.
So we're excited to be here, but we're also excited to play.
COACH DAWSEY:  Just like Coach Sanders said, it's good to be back out in California in the BCS Playoff.  This is the first year, and we're excited about it.  The fact we get a chance to come out and relax, bring your family out, and let them have a chance to go to Disneyland yesterday and do some things.  So it's been a fun time.
Now it's time to start getting focused on the game.  We're just excited and glad to be here.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It's a blessing to be here and actually play in the Rose Bowl again and actually play in the actual Rose Bowl game instead of the National Championship is a fun experience.
We'd just like to thank the Rose Bowl people for allowing us to come back.  We look forward to the game.
KARLOS WILLIAMS:  The trip has been exciting.  Being able to be around your teammates, everybody has the same focus.  Everybody just gets to be able to relax and have some time away from being back home in Tallahassee or being back home, back where you're from, just to be able to experience something new and see the sights around here.
First time going to Disneyland.  Being from Davenport, around Orlando, going to Disney World all the time.
Just being in the parks and being able to bond with your teammates on a different level.  It's been exciting.  But like coaches said and Jameis said, it's time to focus and lock in on the football game.

Q.  Karlos, can you talk a little bit about Oregon's defensive line and what you've seen from them when you start breaking down the film.
KARLOS WILLIAMS:  They're very, very athletic, very long guys, use their hands, play with their feet very, very well.  Take on blocks very well.  Be able to shed blocks and make plays, keeping containment on the edge.  The nose guard is very active, very low centered guy, can play with his hands and stays low to the ground.  They're very fast and athletic, just like much of our defensive line.  We have guys like Mario.
I believe No. 96, No. 91 on their defense.  He's very active, makes plays all the time.  Every time we turn on the film, he's going after the ball and chasing after the ball.  He stays very, very active.
We're going to have a challenge before us, but we're going to step up to that challenge, and we're preparing every day.

Q.  How does having this new playoff change the way you deal with a game like this?  It's not really a normal Bowl game.  Has it altered the way you guys set up your week?
COACH SANDERS:  No.  I don't think it's changed anything necessarily.  It's different having to play two games to win the championship as opposed to one.  It's strange, when you win 13 games and you've won your conference championship, but you haven't achieved anything nationally yet.
We've approached each game this year as if it was the biggest game of the season.  We'll approach this one as if it's the biggest game because it's the next one.  If we're fortunate enough to win and get on to the final game in Dallas, then that will be the biggest game of the season.
Other than changing a little bit around Christmas with my wife and daughters, it hasn't changed a whole lot else in the way we prepared.
COACH DAWSEY:  I agree with Randy.  We take it just like it's another game.  We don't look at it as being bigger than any other game, but the main thing is just the next game.  We just have to go out and prepare like we've been preparing for each game every week as just being the next game.

Q.  Jameis, you've been asked this question a ton, probably not the last time.  What can you say about Mariota as a player?  And as a competitor, what does it mean?  Is there any excitement to go head to head against a Heisman Trophy winner in this kind of game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Mario or Marcus?

Q.  Mariota.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I think he's been amazing guy and amazing player.  To have opportunities to see him on the sideline and watch him personally will be a great experience for all of us actually, especially down in Tallahassee never got a chance to play against him.
Like I say, I think it's going to be a great battle between the two teams.
As me, I don't think we'll be where we're at without our team.  It's going to be a great game.  It's going to be a once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity to get a chance to see a guy as efficient and as talented as he is on the field.

Q.  Oregon's All‑American cornerback Ifo is not going to play in this game.  Do you want to test the new starter who's going to be relatively inexperienced early?  How do you handle a situation like this in your approach to this game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I said a lot of times, and I don't mean to come off as arrogant, but we don't discriminate.  Even if he was on the field, we were going to be looking forward to playing him.
It's going to be a football game.  Things happen in football games.  Things happen at football practice.  Like I said, it's a team thing.  It's not just attacking one player or picking on somebody.  If we see some matchups‑‑ because I believe we've got the best something in the country in Rashad Greene and the best tight end in Nick O'Leary, and I believe our other guys are pretty good too.
We don't fear nobody.  Richard Sherman get out there and line up against us, we wouldn't throw away from him neither.
COACH SANDERS:  Personally, I'm glad we're not playing Richard Sherman.
First of all, I hate it for the young man.  He's an outstanding football player.  Injuries are part of the game.  It's an unfortunate part of the game.  You hate to see it to happen to anyone, period, but especially someone of his stature, what he had achieved to get to this point in the season and have it happen in practice, it's really heartbreaking.
But at the same time, him not being there, no question will diminish a little bit of their defense, but it's not like the player they're putting in behind him is not good.  Oregon doesn't get to‑‑ you don't get to a position to play in a game like this without having good players, and they've got more than one.  So we know whoever comes in will be a good player.
That being said, we also believe, if we do what we do well, then we'll be fine because the guys we go against in practice each day are pretty good too.  I'm not saying they're as good as him or better or anything else, I don't mean that, but it's more about us taking care of our business, our process than it is necessarily who's on the other side.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach Dawsey, do you have anything to add?
COACH DAWSEY:  It was well said by these two young men.  I can't say anything different.
COACH SANDERS:  That's the first time I've been called a young man in a long time.  I appreciate that.

Q.  Coach Dawsey, what did you need to see from Travis Ermon early in the season to feel they could handle extensive reps, and when did you feel comfortable giving those to them?
COACH DAWSEY:  Consistency, more than anything.  And Jameis getting confidence in them and working with those guys as far as the timing.  And the main thing is just consistency and confidence.
As the season went on, probably halfway through the season, you start to see them really starting to pick up the system, starting to understand it and what we were demanding and expecting from them.  We're definitely pleased with how they have progressed throughout the season.

Q.  For Jameis and the coaches, Oregon is averaging just shy of 25 points a game in the first half.  How important is it in this game to get off to a good start in the first half?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, no matter who we're playing, it's always good to get into a good start in the first half.  That's one thing that we always talk about is starting fast and finishing strong.  So it's definitely going to be important because they play fast, and their defense does a good job of keeping the ball in their hands.  So it's going to be a great matchup.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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