November 12, 2004

Jonathan Alston Q&A

Has it been a tough adjustment practicing in cold weather?

Well, for some of the guys it is because a lot of the guys are catching colds and catching the flu and all kinds of different things. You know, you've just got to adjust to it. We're in the part of the season now where we've just got to go. We've just got to be more cautious.

Did you play much in your last trip to Gainesville?

Yeah, Coach put the second unit in there. I think it was like…he put us in early in the game so we got a little bit of playing time and a little bit of exposure in that game and got a feel for it.

What do you remember about that game?

I mean the biggest thing I remember was just the atmosphere. You know, it's a different kind of atmosphere. You've got a stadium that's built crazy, but at the same time, you know, they have great fans, and they're going to be loud. We've got to come in there focused and come with our "A" game.

Would you say "The Swamp" is the hardest place you've ever played?

Na. I'd say Tennessee was the hardest place to play just mainly because they had so many people there and were just so loud. I can even think back to when we played in Arkansas, not the new stadium but the old one, the one they always make us play in. They've only got like 50,000 in there, and it's so loud because it's a bowl. It's real hard to really hear things in there, and I think it's going to be kind of that same atmosphere when we go to Florida.

This is Ron Zook's last home game as head coach and the last home game for their seniors. Do you expect to get their best effort?

Yeah, I think we're going to get their best effort regardless. I think that they're going to come out and try to help them go out on a positive note. We're doing the same thing. We're trying to go out and have our seniors go out on a positive note, myself and everyone else.

The offense has put up a lot of points the past few weeks. What has been the difference in the offense's improvement?

It seems like we're just flowing. We're just flowing. We make mistakes and have different things go on, but we're just flowing a lot better. I think being our 10th game coming up, I think it's just experience now. Everybody's really getting the games under their belt and starting to just click. It's late in the season, but at the same time, it's a great time for it to start because we've got some big games coming up, Florida, Clemson, and the bowl game.

What young offensive linemen have you tried to take under your wing as the season has progressed?

Really all the guys that came over. People like Chris Tucker. I'm amazed to see what he's done. He's hurt right now, but he came in at crucial times and played a big part. Freddy Saint Preux. He came in, and he's doing pretty well. I think he's going to have a lot of playing time in the Florida game. You know, Web Brown is improving, and you know, those guys are just improving day by day. I look forward to watching them next year.

Do you have a preference of where you'd like to play the bowl game?

Oh yeah. We all want to go where it's warm. You know, you don't want to go where it's cold. Hopefully we can go somewhere in Florida. Atlanta maybe.

Have you ever played in a dome before?

No. I'd love that. I would love that. But if we could do something like that it'd be great. It'd be real great.

Your season is winding down. Have you been thinking about your future and what lies ahead for you?

You always think about that. It comes to mind. You've just got to kind of push that back.

So your aspirations are to play at the next level?

Yeah. It is. It is. I mean, you never know so right now I'm just trying to take one thing at a time and just go from there.

There have been a lot of things swirling around here lately, and I'm sure you've read about them. Has it been a distraction?

No, it hasn't because that's not our focus right now. Our focus is on getting these wins, and you know, that's that.

Does it kind of make you mad to hear all of these things when ya'll haven't even finished your season yet?

No, it doesn't because there are always going to be rumors out there and different things going on. You can't pay attention to that because you'll lose focus of the goal at hand, which is winning.

Has the situation been addressed by the coaches?

No, I mean there are always things in the media that come out, and they are addressed, but at the same time, it's not a big deal because like I said, we have different goals in mind.

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