* "Florida State outsmarted us and outplayed us completely in special teams. We had the turnovers, didn't give ourselves much of a chance. They played a lot better than we did. They were the better-coached team tonight than we were, simple as that, a lot better coached." -South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
* "A lot of people were talking about the SEC size and all that. We pretty much took that through all the bowl practices and all that. We went into it as we are Florida State and I feel like at Florida State, we can play with anybody. We came ready to play." -Nigel Bradham
* "Our defense created turnovers and that turned the game around for us. We did our job to help the team win. We came to play and didn't back down." -cornerback Xavier Rhodes who also intercepted a Garcia pass.
Hit the jump for more.
* "I hate it for Christian. He got dinged on the back of his head and he came off and he was kind of out of it a little bit. I hate that because of what he means to us but EJ, oh boy, I'm glad he's on our team. EJ is special. He is going to be a really special player." -Jimbo Fisher
Thank you to future NFL'er Christian Ponder (7) for being the first QB in the Jimbo era and helping us turn the corner. You will be missed. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
* "Marcus is still at the hospital. He got hit right under the helmet and got a little bit of a concussion. It hurt a bit, no question about that [Lattimore's absence]. We would have kept trying to run a little bit more, that's for sure." -Steve Spurrier on Lattimore, who fumbled for the first time this season when he was hit hard by Greg Reid, and could not get up. USC trainers hurried onto the field before the play even ended and while FSU LB Kendall Smith was in the process of returning the fumble for a 46 yard return.
* "I didn't really know he was hurt until a couple plays after. But that's just football." -Greg Reid on Lattimore
* "We knew we were going to have to run to win this game because the only teams that South Carolina lost to were teams that had run the ball well." -Chris Thompson
Florida State running back Chris Thompson (23) reaches for extra yardage as South Carolina cornerback Brandan Davis (23) hangs on for dear life. (AP Photo/John Amis)
* "Both defenses played really well tonight. Defenses weren't letting it get out of hand. I think both defenses did a tremendous job tonight. We just kept scratching and clawing. We played with a lot of toughness, and a lot of will. Our defense played phenomenal. I'm tickled for the kids.'' -Jimbo Fisher
* "I couldn't imagine it ending like this. My last game of my college career. Us coming together for a 10-win season. All that hard work, 365 days, I'm just so proud of my teammates. And I'm proud of my seniors that we left out on a good note." -Senior LB Kendall Smith
* "Man, I was so happy we were able to win this game. We weren't moving the ball how we wanted to, we wanted to get touchdowns but we got field goals instead. Whenever you do that, you have to hope your defense goes out there and gets a lot of stops and turnovers for us, and they did." -EJ Manuel
* "We know he can play, there is not an unknown there. And more importantly in his mind he knows he can play." -Fisher on Manuel, the FSU backup who has led the Noles to back-to-back victories in their last two bowl appearances.
* "I just made a play with my feet and kept my eyes downfield." -EJ Manuel on the third-and-goal roll out to the right, from the USC 7-yard line, which resulted in a touchdown pass to Taiwan Easterling. With just over 5 minutes left in the game after USC trimmed FSU's lead to 19-17. According to Fisher, this read was Mannuel's fourth option on the play.
* "EJ stepped up pretty well. He came in and talked like something I never heard EJ talk before. He just had a bunch of intensity. You could tell he had a passion for it. He wanted to get in the end zone real bad. We just knew we had to do what we needed to do for EJ to make a play for us." -Chris Thompson, offensive MVP who ran for 147 yards and a touchdown, on EJ's intensity in the huddle just before the touchdown.
* "We knew we had to get the ball in the end zone or else we were going to be in trouble. We couldn't continue to put our defense in that position where were only getting three points." -EJ Manuel, who finished with 11 of 15 for 84 yards and 46 yards rushing, on the crucial drive which began at the FSU 37 with almost 12 minutes remaining. FSU had struggled on 3rd downs until this drive, when Manuel converted three 3rd downs. The first to Thompson on what appeared to be a Manuel run when at the last second he threw a heads-up 11 yard completion on a 3rd and five. The second, an 8-yard completion to Bert Reed on 3rd and 7, for a first and goal. And finally the 3rd and goal touchdown to Easterling in the back of the end zone for the final score of the game.
* "It means a lot. We haven't won 10 games since I've been here. And for us to be remembered as the senior class that put the program back in the right direction means a lot to me." -Rodney Hudson
* "We couldn't get the big plays in the passing game. We ran the ball really well and our defense kept us in the game." -Jimbo Fisher
* "It's not about me. The O-line did a great job and the receivers got open. Those are the guys that made the plays." -EJ Manuel
* "It's a big turnaround and it means a lot to our program." -Chris Thompson, offensive MVP who rushed for 147 yards, on the likelihood FSU will finish the season ranked higher than they have in the past 6 years.
* "Most definitely. You want to graduate and we are going to be a really good team next year. When you have potential like this, you have to see it through. We pretty much just set the tone for next year. We have a lot of people coming back next year and we want to compete for a national championship. I don’t feel like I had a good enough year." -Nigel Bradham on his plans to return for his senior year and graduate.
* "We have some really special corners. There is a guy out there who is 5-8 and 180 pounds who thinks he is 7-3, 380 pounds." -Jimbo Fisher on defensive MVP Greg Reid
* "I felt like he kind deserved it. I jumped up there, told him I loved him, and hopefully he's got a smile on his face after this." -Greg Reid who jumped into the stands to hug his dad after receiving his MVP trophy.
* "We only have eight seniors. And even though those guys are huge players to our team, we still have a lot coming back. I hope that shows those guys in the recruiting world to come play for us. We are going to try to play for a national championship and that's our goal." -EJ Manuel on the future
* "It's good to see that, and it was missing for a while. Coach Fisher has done a great job of bringing enthusiasm back to the program." -Charlie Ward on how Fisher has turned the program around
* "It was a game that if we played well, we'd have a chance. Unfortunately we didn't give ourselves much of a chance to win the game with the turnovers and interceptions. Give Florida State credit. They played a hell of a game." -Steve Spurrier
* "They're a tough team. They wouldn't break." -Rodney Hudson
* "I’m very excited about our recruiting class. I think we’re getting the guys we’re going after." -Jimbo Fisher on the next recruitng class
* "This game was for the fans. We played ball tonight and it was just fun. If we always play like that we will always win. we are going to go into the off season and work hard. We still had four losses this season so we are going to keep trying to get better." -Greg Reid
* "The program is definitely going in the right direction. The underclassmen played outstanding this year." -Rodney Hudson
* "He played a great game and he played with so much passion. It really showed and he played his tail off, and I'm so proud of him." -Terrance Parks about Greg Reid
* "Interesting coincidence that on the first day of 2010 the Seminoles began the year with a victory in Bobby Bowden’s final game. And on the last day of 2010 Florida State is seeking to end Jimbo Fisher’s first season with a victory – one that give the Seminoles a 10th win for the first time since 2003." -Andrew Carter in his pre-game comments
* "We punted twice and they ran both of them down our throats. That tells you who had the athletes on special teams." -Steve Spurrier
* "I think it’s huge going into the off-season with a great taste in your mouth, winning 10 games, beating a great quality opponent like South Carolina. Coming to a big time quality bowl game, playing the ACC championship game and having momentum like this going into the off-season is really important. To have success like this is great going into the off-season." -Jimbo Fisher
* "It's too great of a game for us to not get into." -Fisher on the potential of FSU appearing in the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic against Alabama.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, is doused by his players in the final seconds of their 26-17 victory over South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, in what will be the first of many bowl championships. (AP Photo/John Amis)