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December 1, 2012

Devonta Freeman

E.J. Manuel

James Wilder

Karlos Williams


Q.  Karlos, obviously this week I'm sure was pretty emotional given Coach Stoops' future.  What was it like for you going through the week and then as the game ended with that play, what was going through your mind?
KARLOS WILLIAMS:  It was a great week of practice.  Coach Stoops didn't really talk about his move to Kentucky or him leaving at all.  It was more focused on playing Georgia Tech, playing a sound defense and winning, and I was behind Moody all week in practice, getting good reps, making sure I knew my assignment alignments, and after he went down the first kickoff my name was called and I was kind of nervous, but it's the game of football, you've got to go out there and step up and it was my time and I think I played pretty well tonight.

Q.  Karlos, could you go through the interception, just what happened?
KARLOS WILLIAMS:  Coverage was called, they're trying to get the ball downfield, really spread the ball out, trying not to really so much milk the clock, but try to run a little hurry up and I was covering 3, 3 to the field, he came across and the quarterback threw a pretty bad ball.  I just broke on it and tried to tip it up and bat it down, but luckily it tipped up in the air and I just tried to make a sure catch and that's what happened.  I'm just happy I got the call and we're ACC champs.

Q.  EJ, it's been seven years since Florida State has won a title.  What's it feel like to be a champion again?
EJ MANUEL:  It feels great.  I think we're going to have even more.  I'm honestly at a loss for words right now.  I'm just enjoying the moment, I'm happy for my teammates, happy for our coaches and happy for our fans.  To be able to do this and get Florida State on the right track while I'm on my way out of here, I'm extremely excited and proud.

Q.  James, kind of walk us through the sideline when Karlos intercepts the pass?  I know they were kind of rallying there for a minute.
JAMES WILDER:  Yeah, I was standing on the bleachers getting the crowd pumped, and I knew they was going to come through and fight for each other.  That's one of our mottos is fight for each other, so we were just making sure everybody on the sidelines was standing up, getting krunk, and getting loud and Karlos came up with a big‑time play and he took it all the way back to like the 2‑yard line and it was just a great defensive play by Karlos.

Q.  EJ, could you talk about your last drive?  It kind of worked like a punt anyway, and not only that but you got a few 1st downs to make them burn time?
EJ MANUEL:  Yeah, that was huge for us.  We wanted to get points but like you said we kind of used the go route as a punt more or less.  I hate throwing interceptions, but it is what it is, and kind of took some time off the clock, put their team with bad field position, tried to help our defense get a little breather or whatever.  We wanted to get points but we didn't.  I thought we made some huge 3rd‑down conversions and continued to move the ball down the field.

Q.  Karlos, how did the team respond this week and in this game?  You guys lose Tank, Mark Stoops has one foot out of door, a lot of distractions that could have gone the other way against you guys.  Did it work in a positive way this week?
KARLOS WILLIAMS:  Not so much inspiration.  Coach Jimbo always talks about you can't drive a car looking in the rear‑view mirror, because you end up crashing yourself and end up dying.  But the team focused and we always look forward through the front mirror and we drove perfectly right to Charlotte, North Carolina, we had a very good time at the hotel, eating good meals, hanging around, being the great team that we are, and we steered correct right here to the ACC Championship and we won.
Thinking about Stoops, I'm very happy for him going to Kentucky.  Tank, I'm very proud of him; he played a great season, great season, losing B Jenks early in the season, but as far as that, we kept looking in the front mirror as coach Jimbo always talks about, and we're home safe now going to Miami to play in the Orange Bowl.

Q.  Karlos, the offense turned the ball over three times in the second half, so how important do you guys feel like defensively you were able to step up and really preserve this lead?
KARLOS WILLIAMS:  It's always important to have a good defense.  We believe in our offense week in and week out, those guys make great plays, blocks, runs.  There was never no point where we're not going to worry about the offense, it's all on defense.  We knew that they were going to make their plays and we were going to make our plays, and it came up on the defensive side tonight.  A couple weeks ago, it was offense saving defense, so we just stepped up, really locked in, you know what, it's defense tonight.  Let's do it for them, you know they are having a hard time, we have to step up and that we did, the whole defense as a crew.

Q.  EJ, talk about your special senior season, you becoming the seventh Florida State quarterback to pass 3,000 yards passing.
EJ MANUEL:  It's a great feeling.  I'm extremely proud of it.  And I thank my teammates, my offensive line, they did a great job this year.  I think they really took it upon themselves to protect me, and my backs, tight ends, receivers, all my supporting cast, I thank them.  Any time you get yardage like that, you have guys that are out there making plays for you.  So I'm just happy and proud of my teammates.

Q.  Devonta talk about how important it was the way you guys established the run early, especially against a team like that and they're the team that usually does that?
DEVONTA FREEMAN:  We just tried to establish the run, run the ball, knock a little time off the clock.  But still execute the plays and stuff, just go down the field and drive.

Q.  EJ, is it special for you to be the quarterback that got Florida State back to this stage and got over and won the ACC title?
EJ MANUEL:  Definitely.  I'll be extremely proud of it 10, 15 years from now.  I'll be able to say I helped our team get back to where we needed to be as far as the BCS conversation, the national championship conversation and things like that.  I want to see greatness from here on out.  We have a lot of great players, a lot of great young players and guys understand what it takes to get to this point, so I don't see us going back to where we used to be.  I think Florida State is back in the conversation.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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