"We want to go to a January bowl," said Clemson linebacker John Leake about his team's chances for…
Q&A with John Leake
Is the misdirection that you guys are encountering from teams the last few weeks taking away from your aggressiveness and making you a little more flat-footed?
Leake: Not really, it's not making me flat footed and I don't think it's doing that to LeRoy either. Everybody has their own gap. If they cut back into that gap, and if somebody's not in the gap and they are supposed to be then we can give up a lot of yards, but I don't think we are going to see that this week. I'll put it this way, if someone breaks a long run, usually it's because someone isn't in their gap. It's all little mistakes that we can correct. We know where we need to be; we just haven't been there the last two games. We just have to be ready for everything and I feel like we'll be ready for it.
Do you feel like you guys have another Georgia Tech game somewhere?
Leake: I feel like we do. I feel like we have some high expectations and we still have a chance to put it all together. We have to put it together against Florida State. They are a great team, and deserving of their ranking. We are going to have to play well if we want to win this game.
Coach Bowden seems to think that you guys are really going to have to stop the run if you are going to have a chance against Florida State, what's your assessment?
Leake: Oh yeah, they have three great backs. Whoever is in there is a great back. They have a great quarterback and a great line. We have to stop the run if we are going to have a chance in this game. So, I feel we have to make them one dimensional and get the offense the ball back by creating some turnovers.
Do you look at this game as more of a redemption game after what happened on the Greg Jones play last year?
Leake: I don't know if I would say that. I just get another chance to play Florida State. I'm excited to play against them, because I know that they are a great team. I'm just looking forward to playing those guys Saturday night.
What about the atmosphere on Saturday night? You have to figure that it's going to pretty exciting once the game gets underway.
Leake: I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be a big game and I think the fans will be crazy and hopefully that will help give us an edge to win the game. We expect to win, and hopefully that's what the fans will see Saturday night.
Has practice been any more difficult this week with FSU coming up and coming off a pretty bad loss to Wake Forest?
Leake: Not really. I feel this team isn't going to be any different this week. We are playing Florida State; nobody is going to care about what's happened before this game. We are all just focused on FSU right now.
Do you feel like a win Saturday night may help a lot of people forget what happened last weekend, and this team may be starting to take a step in the right direction?
Leake: Yeah, if we'd win that would obviously help us out a lot. We aren't happy with the season so far, and we don't really feel good about it and we feel like we are better than what we are. Records can be deceiving though.
How do you start to feel better about the year? What do you do?
Leake: Get wins. We need wins. We need to win out this season and win the bowl game. We need to finish 9-4 this year.
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