Senior offensive guard Cordaro Howard entered the 2009 season with one last chance to win the ACC…
Cord Howard - We Took It on Our Back
"Honestly, I didn't know. I'm always opportunistic and I always think positive through whatever situation. So, I was just open to change. Everyone knows change is what we needed. Anytime people think change is for the best and we agree, I think that's how it came together. All my dreams pretty much came true. I won my first championship ring ever in anything – high school or college. So, its just a good feeling. He's a good coach and came in and turned this program around."
Can you talk about how you guys came together as an offensive line through all the injuries and no subs?
"That's fine. On the average team, you don't sub much on the offensive line. Coach is trying to give us breaks because this is a fast-paced offense and it kind of wears you down. As you saw tonight, it kind of wore them down before it wore us down. We knew we had to come together as an offensive line. That was our goal from the preseason to get bigger, faster, and stronger. And to not be what everyone's talking about as the down side of the team. So, we took it on our back."
Tonight you had 2-3 new guys playing alongside you. How did they perform?
"I think they stepped up and grew up. Both of them have game experience. They may not be the starters but they have game experience. They were just told that the balls in their court now so they need to make a play and step up. We just went from there and told them if they needed anything to ask. I know it was nerve-wracking for them to come fresh from the sideline and to jump in there. We just stuck together."
Did you instill in those guys the same confidence you've had all year making a lot of final drives like the one you made tonight?
"That's where you, as an offensive line, see wear you are at. We have this period called option drill where we go live for 20 minutes. The last quarter was option period for us. The last drive was option period where we go nothing but run. That's what we do. We take pride in that."
With you leaving, what kind of offense and offensive line are you leaving?
"Its going to be a pretty good offensive line I think. I'll be the only person leaving. From what I see when I'm not in, these guys are good players. I talk to them and help them any way I can. They have the ball now and I know they'll come through and take care of business."
On the first 4th and inches play where Nesbitt got stopped, what happened on that play?
"It was to the other side. I really don't know. But, I think they just penetrated. But, I stood my guy up so he didn't get through. We came back and had something for that."
When is it going to sink in to you that you are ACC Champions and you are going to the Orange Bowl?
"It will probably dawn on me when I get on the plane. Right now, I'm just living it. Its crazy. I'm used to playing in different bowls but nothing of this caliber. I'm excited. I'm very excited."
What did you think of the fan support tonight?
"Fan support was key. The fans came out. I had parents and my girl come down. To see everyone here, it let us know that last week everyone got past it. It was a loss. But, people didn't jump off the bandwagon. They just kept up with us and they helped. It was very helpful."
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