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December 30, 2014

Mario Edwards, Jr.

Eddie Goldman

P.J. Williams


THE MODERATOR:  We're going to get started in here.  Seated next to me, we have cornerback P.J. Williams, who is a junior from Ocala, Florida.  He started every game for the Seminoles and was tied for the fifth leading tackler with 60.  Williams also had a huge championship game with nine tackles, including two for a loss.
Seated next to P.J., we have defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.  Mario is from Gautier, Mississippi, and has been Mr. Dependable with ten tackles for a loss in the last nine games for FSU.  He leads the team for tackles for loss in 11 and is tied for second in sacks at 3.
Next to Mario, we have defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.  Eddie is a junior from Washington, D.C., and was a dominant force in the middle of FSU's defensive line.  He was one of the nation's top interior defensive linemen while earning All‑ACC First Team and All‑American First Team honors.  He lead the 'Noles with four sacks and had eight tackles for a loss.

Q.  Something fun.  If you guys had to choose a New Year's resolution for Coach Fisher, what would it be?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  Definitely win the championship and win this playoff game and go on to Dallas and be able to handle business.
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  I guess a New Year's resolution for Coach Jimbo would probably be‑‑ I'll get a little funny with this one.  Get a little something to cover up that little spot he got missing right there.
EDDIE GOLDMAN:  I would say just winning this game and going on to the next season and try to be as successful as he's been.

Q.  I hit P.J. up with this earlier, and then, Mario, your dad's here because he's paid to be here, right?  Eddie, could you talk about the difficulty of families of players getting to a site this far away from home as this.  California two years in a row.  You were in Dallas.  If you win the game next week, you're in Dallas.  How difficult is this going to be for a lot of families?
EDDIE GOLDMAN:  It's going to be very difficult because not a lot of families are fortunate with having a lot of money.  So to travel all the way here and hopefully make it to Dallas, it's definitely hard.
My dad's coming to California, and my mother's not because she didn't have enough finances.  If we're fortunate enough to make it to Dallas, it's going to be tough making it there too.

Q.  For any of you guys, as you look at Oregon, I'm sure Marcus Mariota stands out, but who else, if you had to identify the second most dangerous player, a guy that scares you or worries you, who would that be for the Ducks?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I think they have a few players that can definitely make a whole lot of plays for them.  They have a couple of receivers that I think are very explosive and that definitely has made a lot of plays for them.  And their running back, they have a good running back that runs the ball hard and can do a lot of things out of the backfield.
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  Just pretty much touching on what he said, they have a few players that line up in the backfield that are able to go six for a touchdown at any given moment.  They have two to three different running backs, some with speed, some with power, and you definitely have to know who's back there so you can know what you're getting.
EDDIE GOLDMAN:  I don't think we try to pinpoint players.  We just try to focus on everyone and treat everyone the same and just try to play within the confines of the defense and do our job.  That's about it.

Q.  Mario, describe your team's confidence, the edge that you guys have.
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  We've been pretty confident just because we know that we have a great coaching staff and a great defensive coordinator.  We know we have great players that can go on and make the system work.  We also just know that, as long as we do what we've been coached to do and love, trust, and believe in each other, no one can beat us.
We may have close games and things like that, but as long as we can go in and make adjustments, we know it's never the opponent that's beating us, it's always something that we didn't do right.
We're confident in the fact that we know, if our coaches correct some things and we go out there and make it happen, we'll come out victorious.

Q.  You guys have been a confident group the last two years especially.  Have you noticed‑‑ I know people are talking about ticket sales coming out here, and you mentioned the difficulty, just financially, getting families out here.  Have you noticed that maybe fans or friends are so confident that you're going to win this game that people actually just waiting to go to Dallas?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I'm not sure because I know a lot of games they're like, dang, man, we're about to lose.  They already got their tickets for Dallas early, they was probably a little sad that they got them, but we always came out with the win.  If they're confident in us, they'll definitely believe we're going to win because we're definitely confident and we believe we have what it takes to win.
I believe they'll definitely be ready to go to Dallas.
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  With me, that's kind of crazy if you already bought your ticket to Dallas because anything could happen at any given moment.  If they're confident in us, then that means that we need to be confident in ourself, which we are, and go out there and play a great game come Thursday.
EDDIE GOLDMAN:  Yeah, like Mario said, the fans have confidence in us, we're definitely confident because we feel like we can get the job done under any circumstances.

Q.  P.J., how helpful is it for you to have somebody like Rashad to go up against in practice and kind of vice versa?  How helpful is it for him to have somebody of your caliber to go up against every time out?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  It's very helpful, man, because Rashad is one of the best players in college football today.  He runs great routes.  He's good off the line.  So us working together definitely makes each other better, and we work hard, and we compete at a high level every day we go against each other.
And with me, he gets to go against a physical cornerback, and it helps him be able to get off the press and stuff like that.  So it definitely helps the both of us.

Q.  Now that you've watched film and you guys have gone against the scout team, what's the biggest challenge you see against the Oregon offense?  And perhaps now you're more familiar with it, perhaps the biggest opportunity you have and feel confident about going against that offense?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I just think the speed they have of their offense and the ability to make a whole lot of big plays, some explosive plays.  I think just them having a whole lot of great players is always going to be tough to put a great team and a team that's used to winning just like us.
So just us being able to execute our plays, play fast, and play physical, I think we'll be able to slow them down.
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  Just touching up on what he said, definitely just the speed and the tempo of Oregon.  And then you have to try to contain an athlete like Mariota and his ability to extend plays and get out of the pocket.  He's not just a runner or a scrambler, he keeps his eyes downfield, and he can make a big play at any given moment.  It's definitely going to be kind of tough to contain an athlete like him.
EDDIE GOLDMAN:  I think just adapting to the actual game speed because, even though we try to imitate that in practice, carrying that over into the game, the game speed obviously is going to be different.  And just settling down because it's going to be a big game, it's going to be a nice atmosphere.  So just controlling our nerves and trying to play with a clear mind basically.

Q.  Question for Mario.  When you said anybody who makes the claim that Florida State somehow doesn't deserve to be here because, quote, they haven't played anybody yet or so many other games have been so close?
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  I try not to even feed into that.  It's negativity and clutters, as Coach Jimbo would call it.  That's how some people feel, then that's their opinion.  But we get to go out there against somebody on Thursday, and we can go out there and prove them wrong come Thursday.

Q.  If you could describe this Oregon team in one word as you get ready to prepare for them, what would it be?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I guess I would have to say explosive.
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  You took my word, P.J.  I would have to say probably explosive or just athletic.
EDDIE GOLDMAN:  I would say fast.

Q.  I was wondering if you guys have played any teams that you think might resemble Oregon during your season that you can compare to?
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  I've answered this question before too.  Nobody this year that we played.  Only one I can compare them to is National Championship last year against Auburn‑‑ the speed, the athletic quarterback and different athletes in the backfield that can touch the ball and go for six at any given moment.
As far as this year, nobody's really had that up tempo or the type of athletes that Oregon has.

Q.  Guys, talk about the excitement as you guys have prepared to come out in this game on Thursday.  What's the excitement level of you guys?  Is it even greater than it was last year?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  It's going to be just as exciting, man.  We love the game.  We love playing in big games on the big stage.  This is one of the biggest Bowl games in history.
So we're definitely going to be excited out there to be able to play in front of a big crowd and be able to get tested by a really good team.
We're just looking to make plays and be able to beat a good team.
MARIO EDWARDS JR.:  We're definitely going to be excited, like P.J. said, to play in the "Granddaddy Bowl."  It's just going to be that our emotions won't be as high as it was our first time playing because we've been here before.  It's not our first time.  We've been here before.  So we know what to expect.  We know how to feel and everything else.  So I think we'll be prepared for it.
EDDIE GOLDMAN:  I think that, yeah, we're going to be excited, but like Mario said, we can't get too high or too low as far as emotions.  We have to keep it even keel, and we have to just play our game.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  It definitely helps because Auburn had a whole lot of tempo last year.  If you're not ready for it, it can definitely hit you really hard by surprise.
It's really just making sure you're executing plays and practicing the tempo as fast as you can in practice and having them duplicate it as fast as they can and making sure we're doing what we have to do.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  John Franklin has been great for us.  He's a very fast kid, and he definitely can throw the ball downfield.
So him being able to roll out at a great speed really helps simulate how Mariota does.  And looking downfield and having the receivers scramble around and keep going while he's scrambling and just having us be able to cover him and stuff like that.  So John has been very good for us.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  Definitely, man.  He's competitive.  He's going to try to jump, and we'll try to jump back at him.  We're going to try to stop him and try to win the day.  Everyone wants to win the day.  After practice, we're like we beat you today.  It's definitely competitive for us.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  It's just fun, man.  It's just fun and competitive.  It's a whole lot of competitiveness.  We all feed off of it, and we all go out and practice hard.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I think just because we're a physical group, we're a fast group, and we're a group that's going to compete all the time and be able to do a whole lot of things that a whole lot of groups can't do.

Q.  Talk about the readiness factor, where you guys are in preparation for this, where you are on a scale of 1 to 10.
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I think we're pretty much at 10.  We have a few more days just to clean up a little bit of things, but we got pretty much everything in, and we're definitely confident in what we've got going on.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I guess the quarterback.

Q.  The receiver or anything like that?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  Not really.  They have a few good receivers.  So we just look them in the face.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  Not really.  Not at all.  They run different stuff.  Especially for me playing cornerback, I wouldn't compare those offenses.

Q.  Anybody you've played this season that you think comes close?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I guess you could say Clemson.  They run a few things similar and a few good tempo plays, but it's definitely a difference.

Q.  Talk about being on the West Coast.
P.J. WILLIAMS:  For me, it doesn't really matter, man.  I love to play in front of a big crowd no matter whose crowd it is, theirs or ours.  I love to hear a whole lot of fans screaming.  If they've got more fans, I love for us to be able to quiet them down.  It's just being able to play in a big atmosphere.

Q.  What's going to be the key (off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I don't think it's anything specific.  It's just us being able to execute and get back lined up to the ball and play fast and physical.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I've been hearing about it, but that's not really something that I worry about or take any kind of way because I know they're going to do their job out there and we're going to do our job here.
If it's meant for us to win, we're definitely going to win.

Q.  Does it fuel you a little bit?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  I always want to prove people wrong.  So it definitely does a little bit, I guess.

Q.  When you see the balanced offense, is it hard to prepare for how balanced they are?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  We prepare for it all, but all of it is tough.  It's going to be a tough challenge, and we're definitely looking forward to taking the test.

Q.  You talked earlier about what it's like to have the emotions last year coming into the Rose Bowl Stadium.  Can you talk about that a little bit more.
P.J. WILLIAMS:  It's crazy, man.
It's a crazy feeling you get inside, and it's one that you can barely explain.  It's just, when you're in that stadium and all those fans and stuff going crazy and those lights shining down on you and it's about to be game time, smoke all in the air and stuff like that, fireworks, it's just a crazy feeling.
It's a feeling that has you ready to play football.

Q.  Is there a difference between the excitement of playing in a National Championship Game last year and playing in this Semifinal Game and having it still be called the Rose Bowl?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  It's pretty similar.  This feels like a championship game.  We've got to win it to be able to go to the championship game.  So we've got to bring just as high of intensity as it is a championship game.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  Because in practice we practice our second team just like they're the first team.  We hold them to a standard just as high as the first team.

Q.  (Off microphone)?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  Definitely.  It's a few guys, especially the cornerbacks, Malique Jackson, Marquez White.  It's definitely a few of them.

Q.  What do you see in them?
P.J. WILLIAMS:  They're competitors.  They're players that are going to compete.  They're not just going to take getting beat as what it is.  They're going to get better every day and has good technique.  They're definitely going to be good for Florida State in the future.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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