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Meet The Press: Al Golden Previews Florida

Courtesy: Hurricanesports.com
          Release: 09/03/2013
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -  Prior to Miami and Florida renewing its in-state rivalry for the 55th time, Hurricanes head coach Al Golden met with members of the local media Tuesday afternoon in the Edgerrin James Room.

Several players also visited with reporters, including senior QB Stephen Morris, senior DE David Gilbert, senior WR Allen Hurns and sophomore DB Antonio Crawford.

Head Coach Al Golden | Watch Press Conference

Opening remarks…
“We’re excited for the opportunity we have this week to play the Florida Gators - 12 o’clock start. We had practice yesterday and another one today. We got a lot done today. Obviously a great challenge for us in all three phrases for us against Florida.”

On players stating there will be no on-field “trash talk”…
“I’m sure there won’t be. (laughs)  To me, we’re a more mature team to be honest with you. I think it’s more about our guys focusing on what they need to take control of, the things they can control, and stay in the bunker and just get ready to play. We’re playing a great team – a team that runs the ball with power and authority, excellent quarterback, guys that can make things happen on the perimeter on defense, stout front seven. They’re playing a lot of guys up front, they get guys back that are difference-makers. Obviously there are enough challenges. We don’t need anything else. That’s plenty.”

On channeling his team’s emotions in a positive fashion…
“I think they’ll be ready. I hope we don’t have to convince them that it’s going to be a big game or going to be fun. They know what it’s all about. The key is to have poise and not hyperventilate in the beginning and now you’re shot. We need to have some poise and use our maturity - it’s nice to say that word, to say we have maturity and experience - and just keep our composure.”

On the status of Deon Bush
“He was a little better today. He’s kind of right there. We’re getting close. It’s also that time of the week where he’s either in or out. We’re being supportive of Deon, and he is setting the pace when he is coming back. When he’s ready, we’re ready. It’s as simple as that…It’s going to have to be today. We’re going to have to prepare for tomorrow, and he’ll have to be ready to go. He is a bright young man. He is medically cleared. He was better today than he had been. That is going to be up to him.”

On Saturday’s matchup representing a “benchmark game”…
It’s obviously a big game, but worrying about anything on the outside is not going to change what happens in between the lines. The biggest thing for us is to focus on what we can control. Everything else that surrounds it, we have no impact on. We have an impact on how we prepare and what we have to do in between the lines on Saturday.”

On jump from first game to second game being pivotal…
I buy into it, but I think it has to do with how much you played and when you played. If you played the last eight plays of the game, and it wasn’t in the balance and there wasn’t pressure to bear to play at a high level. I think FAU - give them a lot of credit like I’ve been saying. They exposed a lot of things we need to get fixed. Leading 3-0 at the end of the first quarter and playing a team that was as aggressive as they were, as physical as they were, as prepared as they were, is really - in the long run - going to help us. It exposed some of the things we have to get fixed. It has allowed our guys to focus on some little things from game one to game two. In that respect, it has.”

On the impact Saturday’s game can have on a potential recruit…
“The things that go into this decision-making process these days, I would say yes, that it does. But there are so many other variables that go into it - the school, the style of offense or defense, comfort level, distance from home. There are so many different variables, this is just one. But it doesn’t winning this game.”

On struggles to convert on third down relating to production on first two downs…
“I would say yes - and I know that was one of the issues last year - was the distance that we were in. We were in very manageable distances on Friday night and didn’t convert. We have to throw and catch better. We weren’t as sharp as we need to be and that’s it. No excuses. We protected well, except for one time, but other than that we have to throw and catch the ball better, we have to be more precise in our routes. That starts with me, we have to make sure we get that done this week in practice, but it wasn’t a function of being in a lot of 3rd-and-11’s or 3rd-and-12’s.”

On the difficulty to produce similar rushing success against a tough opponent…
“It’s going to be harder. It’s going to be a great challenge. They’re big, physical up front. It’s a great defense. It’s a very talented defense and they play a lot of guys. It’s a great challenge for our offense - our offensive line, our tight ends, our fullback. But it’s a great opportunity. They should prepare all week to be confident and let it rip on Saturday.”

On the presence of Florida Gators fans in Sun Life Stadium Saturday…
“There are a lot of things I’m worrying about today, but I’m not worried about the Gator fans that are going to be in Sun Life…We’re excited about our fans that will be there supporting us, our student body who came out really well last week, and our fans that came out really well last week for an opening game. I was really pleased with that. At the end of the day, there have always been Florida or Florida State fans at the Orange Bowl or Sun Life when the Canes play. I hope we have a big crowd when we play up in Tallahassee. That’s something I’m not really concerned about, to be honest with you.”

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