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CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL: OLE MISS v TEXAS CHRISTIAN


December 29, 2014


Senquez Golson

C.J. Johnson

Dave Wommack


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

THE MODERATOR:  We'll start with an opening statement from you, Coach Dave Wommack.  Talk about your bowl experience and how it spares to other trips you've taken.
COACH WOMMACK:  Showing my age here but I guess this is my 22nd bowl, second time to the Peach Bowl and these people have been so nice and kind and all the events that we have had to go to and players a lot of them it's the first time to go to the bowl, especially the freshman, obviously, so it's a great experience for them and we are very excited to be in one of the top six bowls in the country.
C.J. JOHNSON:  It's been great, the hospitality, going to and Andretti's last night was a fun thing for me and we're just excited to be here and can't wait to play.

Q.  You guys tied up the battle for bowl week yesterday with a fantastic trip around the track.  How much pressure going into the feud to bring home the belt?
SENQUEZ GOLSON:  It's been awesome, the competition throughout the week and things that we have got to enjoy.

Q.  What's been your favorite event?
SENQUEZ GOLSON:¬† The go‑cart event, definitely.

Q.  Were you fast, or were you dragging them down?
SENQUEZ GOLSON:  I wasn't the fastest, bought I thought I was.

Q.  Can y'all talk about the emotional highs and lows of the season, all the great victories and a couple of the losses?  I know you're not in the playoffs but has the season been a success?
COACH WOMMACK:  Everybody has been talking about TCU and they were in the third and they got picked down to the sixth spot and I thought, golly, we got left out in that conversation, too, because the way our game was very close at LSU and everybody knows the play at the Auburn game, and I think we got a really excellent football team overall.  Our kids have been passionate about practicing and working throughout the spring and the summer and I knew we were going to be very good on defense after going through the spring, but emotionally it is, it's tough.  It's a roller coaster, and here I am 58 years old so on these young guys it must be tougher because they only get that one shot to do it and then move on.
I've enjoyed it.  I wouldn't trade these guys for anybody in the world, I love them and can't wait to play on Wednesday.

Q.  For both of you, the TCU players seemed to be tired of hearing about the SEC.  Do you think of conference when you're in a bowl game like this?
C.J. JOHNSON:  You have to represent your conference when you come to a bowl game, and we understand the magnitude of how we play football in the SEC and how everybody perceives the SEC throughout the country so it's really big for us to represent the SEC on this stage.
SENQUEZ GOLSON:  Basically same thing C.J. said, we are here to represent the SEC.  They're here representing their conference and it's basically what it's about, representing the pride of each conference.

Q.  How do you guys game plan for such a dynamic quarterback that TCU has?  It puts a strain on the defensive line and also on the secondary because of his ability to run.
COACH WOMMACK:  I think the guy finished fourth in the Heisman, there is no question he is a key to their offense and what they do.  They've got some very good players surrounding him, too, so in breaking them down and watching them, they're very similar, their passing attack to Texas A&M, although they're running attack is a little bit different than Texas A&M.  He's more of a dynamic quarterback, and that's, in essence, without giving away the game plan, that's who you have to stop is their quarterback and give him different looks.
C.J. JOHNSON:  I think as a D lineman coming into the game like that you have to have good pocket awareness.  We rush the quarterback a lot, and it's kinda hard sometimes with four guys rushing six lanes with a good quarterback who likes to scramble, so I think if we have good pocket awareness, we will be fine.
SENQUEZ GOLSON:  Going into the game with a good quarterback there's always a red flag, means you might have to cover a little longer, so I try to last through a little extra, basically is what it is, as a corner back group, we know we're going to have to cover longer.

Q.  Coach, what do you notice about the athleticism of the TCU receivers and the way they go for jump balls and things like that?
COACH WOMMACK:¬† When you said right there is the first thing you notice and especially No. 90, Josh Doctson, he's a guy that's going to go up, I think he has eight or nine touchdowns, seen him go up over receivers.¬† They throw the ball deep quite a bit, along with ‑‑ throwing the balls to those guys, so we have had to work hard on working with jump balls with each other and getting into the receiver is and doing those types of things against the receivers.
Got a great receiving crew across the board, I think.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH WOMMACK:  Yeah, to me, we play great receivers every week.  Not to take anything away from TCU, but in our league we see the best, I think, of everything almost every week, and it's consistent, whether you're playing Texas A&M or Auburn or LSU, those types of people.  The big, long receiver is becoming more and more dominant in college football and they've got a couple of 'em and they do it extremely well.

Q.  Coach, who would you compare TCU to in the SEC that you played this year?
COACH WOMMACK:  Probably most closely, because of all the spread formations in other words, empty backfield sets, we did a large breakdown on them and a lot of empty sets and obviously ten personnel, one back, and four wide receivers is their dominant personnel.
Without question most closely, to Texas A&M but not exactly the same.

Q.  Coach, every year you get these extra practices before the bowl game and invariably a player will step up maybe that you haven't seen as much all year, or you'll get players who are you are looking forward to 2015 seeing what they're doing during these bowl week practices.  Is there anybody you've seen or any group or unit of players on your defense that you say, wow I'm not only exited to see them play in the Peach Bowl but in 2015?
COACH WOMMACK:  Yeah, the two that come to mind to me, and we were fortunate to redshirt some defensive linemen and we have some defensive linemen leaving, but I would have to say Victor Evans and Breeland Speaks would be the two guys, young guys that I noticed the most.  In the back end a lot of our young guys, we're not in the position where we could redshirt them so the C.J. Hamptons and the Moore boys and Kendarius Webster, really have showed out, too, for us, throughout the year.

Q.  Coach, you guys have had some transition over these last few weeks with Coach Batoon coming on the staff.  How has that gone practicewise and how has that gone on the defensive side?
COACH WOMMACK:  It's been smooth, being able to help back on the Arkansas State, Coach Batoon did all of our kicking game, and he coached the secondary force at Arkansas State, so it's been a smooth transition.  Hate losing Tom Allen, such a good man and football coach but, again, that's a complement to our players, and the way we have been able to play defense, your coaches are going to get opportunities to go so in some ways it's a good thing in some ways a bad thing but the transition has been very easy.

Q.  C.J., someone talked about the TCU offense.  What have you seen from them on film and what makes them so dangerous?
C.J. JOHNSON:  I think the way they use Trevone Boykin on offense is what makes them go.  He's a tremendous player, his athleticism is second to none.  The way he gets out of the pocket, he's so loose with the football in his hands.
I think for us, the biggest challenge against their offense is going to be up front, the D line.  We take that challenge every week because we play in a conference where teams like to run the ball.  You have to stop the run to win football games and it's something that we challenge ourselves on the D line, so I think if we can stop the run and be able to rush the quarterback we'll be fine.

Q.¬† Dave, earlier in the week you guys were suffering a couple of guys with flu‑like symptoms, has that improved?
COACH WOMMACK:  Defensively it was just one guy and he's out there practicing again now for us so we should be fine from that standpoint.

Q.  Senquez, what's it like going through your last bowl week and playing in your last college games?  What are your emotions like?
SENQUEZ GOLSON:  A little bit of mixed emotions.  I don't know exactly how I'm feeling until once I get out there.  I remember during the State game I came in halftime, I bawled my eyes out, because it was my last game, but before I got into halftime I was fine, so I'm going to have mixed emotion, you know what I mean?  I don't know what to expect, but I'm definitely ready to play.

Q.  C.J. and Senquez, how much do you guys look at this as a business trip versus having fun as a reward for a great year?
C.J. JOHNSON:¬† I think all year this team has took a business approach going into every football game.¬† It's kind of a reward, but at the same time it's kind of a business trip, but at the same time you get to play in a New Year's Six Bowl, which is almost as big as playing in the college playoff to know that you're at the elite.¬† That's what we have been trying to do‑‑ both of us, when we were recruited in high school we both said we wanted to come to this school to change the face of the program and we went from seven wins our sophomore year, eight wins last year, to nine wins this year, hopefully to get ten wins, so I guess it's a reward but at the same time this team has a business approach to things.
SENQUEZ GOLSON:  Definitely, bowl games are a reward, but it's also a business trip.  Take couple of the other classes to make sure that the younger guys stay focused and understand why we're here.
Of course, you know, we're here to have fun, it's hard not to have fun in downtown Atlanta, but, you know, I think the most important thing is the game.

Q.  For the players, does this season feel like a success because of everything you've accomplished or a disappointment because you came so close to making the playoffs?
C.J. JOHNSON:  I think it's still a success because we keep improving every year.  We increase the wins every year as I just mentioned so to be able to get that tenth win this year would mean a lot.
SENQUEZ GOLSON:  Basically the same thing.  You know, it definitely was a success from what we came from a lot of years ago.  We redshirted a lot of guys this year and that would never happen when I was coming in.  We got so many players in, it definitely was a success.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, gentlemen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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