Top Quotes Following Florida State Seminoles Thrashing of Gators

Gyi0062627169_mediumMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

*  "First of all I want to say is I'm so happy for us, actually I'm really happy. I'm happy for all of our kids. But those seniors, that’s who I’m really happy for. What those seniors have been through the last four years here, and all the controversy, the academic (scandal), to the coaching changes,  things they had no control over. And these guys didn't say anything, they didn't complain. They just lined up and played and worked and did everything we asked them to do. They just kept their heads down. And to have that last game in Doak Campbell. That’s who I’m truly happy for. That's a special group of seniors that's going out." - Jimbo Fisher

*  "I guess they have a reputation of being more of a tricky team and not being tough. You hit 'em in the mouth, and they don't like it. Other teams that have beat them just hit them in the mouth, so that's what we started out with.'' -Florida State safety Nick Moody

*  "Florida has been as good as anybody in the country for the last six years.  This puts us at 9-3, it puts us in the ACC Championship (Game), and that makes us relevant for BCS bowls so that puts you back in national talk. I ain't saying we're here to win it, but we're heading in the right direction. We're becoming a factor again in this league, and we're becoming a factor in this state. I don't say that arrogantly, but our kids are doing a great job and I'm very happy for that. We had to re-establish ourselves in this state. That makes us relevant."  -Jimbo Fisher

*  "This is really the greatest day of my life so far. My dream is to beat the Gators and go the ACC (title game) and that's why I came here. Our goals are being accomplished. Now we just have to go up there and win it."  -Nigel Bradham who finished tied for the team lead with five solo tackles.

*  "We're headed in the right direction."  -Jimbo Fisher

*  "It was amazing. The night was electric. We felt like we had just won the national championship. It's something this team needed, this program needed, this community needed. This was something all of Seminole Nation needed. It lets the fans know that we're coming back."  -Shawn Powell

*  "To find out after beating Florida that you're going to the ACC championship game, that's pretty special."  -Christian Ponder

*  "This is just a topping to a great day for us. What a perfect day for Florida State football. It's been a heckuva day. Like I say, our kids are doing a great job and they deserve to be going where they are going. I'm proud of them and looking forward to the opportunity."  -Jimbo Fisher on learning about the Noles berth in Saturday night's ACC Championship game against Virginia Tech.

*  "We knew all week they were going to do fakes just because of the coach they have over there. I guess it's just football players' instincts. We could feel something was up when we saw the punter moseying up back there. We always go through those checks (when a fake is possible), but at that time, we weren't really thinking something was coming. … But you could feel something."  -Ochuko Jenije  

*  "I think it was a big turning point in that we were able to score right after that. He (Meyer) was playing to win the game. He does a great job at that, but we know that they have a tradition of doing that so we worked on a ton of different fakes and different things they did and tried to use indicators and keys and made our kids very aware of those situations because they're a great special-teams team. That's something we worked on hard all week."  -Fisher on successfully stopping the fake punt. 

*  "I just wanted to make something happen. We didn't coach smart." Meyer on the fake punt 

*  "His numbers may not have 3,000 yards, but what the people watch when they're watching Christian Ponder play, I hope you have a respect for it. The guy is as good as I’ve had. When people function around him he’s as good as there is in this country. He’s been banged, he’s been bruised, the pain he played with, the toughness he’s played with. … You can’t understand what that kid is like and you don’t get to coach guys like that very often. He takes all the blame, that’s what great kids with character do. The guy is the ultimate competitor. I wish I could coach him for a thousand years."  -Jimbo Fisher

*  "Since I came here, I had a lot of hopes and dreams of things that changed pretty quickly. A lot of things didn't work out in our favor. But to be a senior today and be one of the people who helped start a new legacy of Florida State beating Florida, and giving the team confidence to do more of the same in years to come, I'm pretty proud right now."  -Kendall Smith

*  "It means so much to me. Just beating those guys. They were recruiting me so heavy. I remember when I didn’t go there, they said, ‘You will never beat us.'  For me to do it, it just shows them that they were wrong, you know? Words can’t really explain the way I feel right now. This is why I came here. I had an opportunity to go to Florida, but I chose to come here because I felt it was my home. I haven't seen this since I was in middle school. Words can't explain the way I feel right now."  -Nigel Bradham

*  ``It's been kind of frustrating at times. I've spent a lot of times in the training room not feeling 100 percent healthy, 100 percent effective. It gets a little frustrating, but I think it helps build character. I've been through a lot, and it's definitely made me a better player.''  -Christian Ponder

*  "That's a tough guy.  Every time he comes to the sideline you see him, he's got ice bags on his elbow and stuff like that, but he goes right back out there and makes plays. That's a big thing.''  -Receiver Rodney Smith on Ponder playing through the pain that has become the senior's calling card and earned the respect of the entire FSU locker room.

*  "The way he went out there and played in his final game [at home], he was sticking that ball in holes and making plays. Getting us in and out of runs and checks, jumping around making runs, the guy is the ultimate competitor."  -Fisher on how he couldn't be happier for Ponder and the way he played in his final home game.

*  "Oh my gosh. The crowd was roaring. It was giving everybody goose-bumps out there."  -senior center Ryan McMahon

*  "It's what you do on a day-to-day basis and how you move on. Like I tell ya, control what you can control. Focus on what you can focus on and take it one day at a time and keep moving on. That's what our kids did. They didn't look at the outside distractions."  -Jimbo Fisher

* "It's a little tough. I would say (the pass) was a little bit (forced), but the corner (Mike Harris) made a great play. He covered the fly, then peeled off, so he kind of baited me. He got me. Things happen."  -UF QB John Brantley

*  "It killed us."  - UF coach Urban Meyer

*  "Turnovers, period, just killed us. Every turnover we had hurts a lot. That one (interception) pretty much put the dagger in us."  -UF center Mike Pouncey

*  "The atmosphere was great. The fans were great. I think they had an affect on the game and the communications early. That atmosphere out there can be like that all the time and that’s what we need if we’re going to go to where we want to go to and make ourselves significant in the country."  -Jimbo Fisher

*  "This feels unbelievable. Unbelievable."  -Lonnie Pryor

*  "This is just a topping to a great day for us. The big thing today was Florida and it's exciting for us to be able to do this while we're bowl eligible. We'll probably appreciate this a lot more tomorrow but what a perfect day for Florida State football. Like I say our kids are doing a great job and they deserve to go where they are going. I'm proud of them and looking forward to the opportunity."  -Fisher on the 38-31 loss by N.C. State to Maryland which now pushes the Seminoles into the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game next Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7:45 p.m. against Virginia Tech at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

*  "It's exactly like that. You make sure the ball goes low. Hit it about 30 yards and let the ball roll and do the rest of the work. My three rugby punts actually did what I wanted them to do. Because you can never tell where that ball is going to go. I lucked out and got it there down inside the 10. I couldn't have asked for anything better. It's something I've been working on all year and I've finally found my niche with it. I just think I've gotten better at it."  -FSU punter Shawn Powell on his rugby-style kicks in which he takes off running toward the right and then hits what amounts to a golf-like chip shot with his right foot. The last four times Powell has attempted a rugby punt, he's downed three inside the UF 10 (on the 4, 7, and 5 yard line) and then hit one off a Maryland player last week that was recovered by teammate Mister Alexander.

*  "Turnovers, penalties and big plays — that's the key to all games. The fact that we were able to get those and capitalize on them was huge in the game."  -Jimbo Fisher

*  "You can't turn the ball over. I did not think our guys did not play hard. We did not play smart. We didn't coach smart and we did not take care of the ball. We had four turnovers and I know at least three led to direct touchdowns. I didn't manage the game right on that fake punt."  -Urban Meyer

*  "The defense created a lot of turnovers for us, and we had a couple of short drives. It's big that our senior class can be remembered as the team that came out and beat 'em. And we had a lot of help from the underclassmen."  -FSU senior offensive lineman Rodney Hudson

*  "I didn't sense them picking on anybody. They just played good. They were able to call out a lot of our blitzes before it happened. I guess we have to do a better job disguising (our rushes)." -UF linebacker Jelani Jenkins

*  "We played against a very good quarterback."  -Urban Meyer

*  "Unbelievable feeling.  For us to go out and play like we did and finish the game 31-7, it could not have played out any better in my mind. For us to go out and execute the way we did was unreal."  -Christian Ponder

*  "It was because of nights like this."  -Jimbo Fisher on how he always knew they would come and why he waited patiently as HCIW instead of leaving for another opportunity

*  "It couldn't have been a better feeling. We wanted to leave our legacy on this program, and there's no better way to do it than going out there and beating Florida."  -FSU senior center Ryan McMahon

*  "I feel good, it just goes back to wanting to help your team out. (Ponder) threw me the ball and I made a play."  -Rodney Smith on the 39-yard TD that gave FSU a 17-7 lead. Fisher elected to go to his 6-foot-6, 222-pound receiver and Ponder connected with Smith, the sophomore from Miami, who finished the day with four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.

*  "Rodney Smith just keeps emerging and emerging. I thought he had a really good week of practice. That big body and he used it well. He used his hands well, and he's really growing. It's great to see.''  -Jimbo Fisher

*  "I can’t describe how good it feels to beat Florida for the first time in six games and go to the ACC championship game. To beat Florida on senior day, you couldn't ask for more."  -Senior Ochuko Jenije 

*  "Yeah and it was exactly the same (halftime) dadgum score. We reiterated it, that we wanted to go out and win the second half. We didn't want to go out and have it given to us and hope to win it. You have to take those things."  -Fisher on not being comfortable with a 24-7 halftime lead after watching what happened to Alabama and Boise State on Friday

*  "The physicality has always been there. I just think it's being more focused, doing our job and getting to the ball."  -Senior linebacker Kendall Smith on the big hits have been a part of the success, but how there's more to it than that

*  "We are just really ineffective in certain areas, really, really ineffective. So if that's because of the three quarterbacks we will blow that thing completely out of the water."  -Urban Meyer

*  "Words can't really explain the way I feel right now. Beating the Gators, being the state champion, knowing you're going to the ACC — a lot of things happened at once. I'm just overwhelmed with all of the emotions. It's a feeling you can't explain, man. By beating them by so many points and knowing that you had the game won – and knowing that Maryland was winning, we pretty much was just so excited that … You can't explain the words for the excitement."  -junior linebacker Nigel Bradham, who sprinted over to the student section after the game holding a stuffed gator head

*  "I don't even know that happened. I just know I reached around to grab him, and I had hit his arm at the same time.''  -Nick Moody, who recorded eight tackles and forced a Jordan Reed fumble that set up a 38-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal

*  "We started a new legacy. It's a feeling I've never felt before. We went out with a bang."  -Senior linebacker Kendall Smith

*  "No. I mean, not that I know of. I have not been made aware of that."  -Meyer dancing around rumors that defensive line coach Dan McCarney has been offered the North Texas job

*  "He has done an unbelievable job in his first year as a head coach. For us to beat Florida, that moment was definitely special. Hopefully, people will start taking us seriously.'' Ponder on Fisher

*  "The fans played a huge part tonight.  They caused a lot of frustration for UF's offense. Caused a lot of penalties just by being loud. In the first half they caused them to use all of their timeouts. They were just a huge part of the game tonight."  -Nigel Bradham

*  "The line was having a tough time hearing me. [Meyer] just wanted me to get the play in quicker and everything. I was trying to get it in as quick as I can, but the line wasn't able to hear.''  -UF QB John Brantley after being admonished by Meyer for not getting the plays off

*  "That's the loudest I've ever heard this place. It was deafening sometimes."  -Shawn Powell

*  "It was electric out there. The crowd was great tonight. We had everybody behind us and cheering us on."  -Senior guard Rodney Hudson

*  "It's definitely sweet.  Finally beating the Gators, beating Miami in the same year, and going to the ACC Championship game, I don't know what's a better feeling."  -FSU quarterback Christian Ponder on seeing the Maryland/NCST score after the huge win over Florida

*  "Our kids could have been thinking about that, but they didn't.  They kept the focus on playing Florida and having success against Florida — doing what we had to do. And I thought that was huge too."  -Fisher on the outcome of the Maryland/NCST game and why he requested the Wolfpack's score not be shown during FSU's 31-7 victory over Florida

*  "It wasn't about me, man.  It was about those fans. They stuck by our side."  -Sophomore cornerback Greg Reid on leading the cheers throughout the final minutes of the game

*  "It was pretty incredible. Pretty special."  -Ponder on watching from across the field as his teammates with fresher legs sprinted to the student section. They were parading a stuffed gator head in front of the masses. He was content to watch the show. The gimpy old man didn't have the energy to rush the field. He joked later that he didn't even have the strength in his right arm to lift the stuffed gator head if he wanted to join the parade.

*  "Obviously, we are down a little bit.  I didn't believe we'd be that far down but we are."  -Urban Meyer, whose Gators at this time last season were undefeated and the No. 1 team in the nation with a third national championship in four seasons looking like a real possibility.Yet, starting with a loss to Alabama in last season's SEC Championship Game, the Gators have gone 8-6. The offense is a mess, and the defense is barely better. Depending on the outcome of a bowl game, this could be UF's worst season in more than 20 years.

*  "I was planning on giving him a big hug.  Obviously, Coach Fisher has helped me out a lot. He developed me as a quarterback. He's done an unbelievable job in his first year as a head coach. And for us to beat Florida, that moment is definitely special."  -Ponder on his teary reunion with Fisher after the game

*  "When Christian came up and hugged me and he had tears in his eyes, I realized what it meant to him and those seniors. You coach for those kids to have that feeling. I know what it meant to him. And that's why you coach. You coach for kids to have that feeling. We all want to win, but you're in this game for the kids."  -Fisher said of the tearful scene after the game

*  "And he said he loved me. And I said I loved him and I loved coaching him.  And I"m just so happy for him because he can be cemented now as one of the great Florida State quarterbacks of all time … (for bringing) Florida State back to national prominence."  -Fisher continued

Interesting tidbit:  FSU's 24-point win on Saturday was the Seminoles' largest margin of victory in the rivalry since 1988 – when they destroyed Emmitt Smith's Gators 52-17 

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