Tuesday, September 5, 2017

What the Coaches are Saying

David Cutcliffe, Head Coach, Duke

duke_cutcliffe.jpgOpening Statement
“I want to start with one reflection because I see a number of my friends. When we have employee appreciation day, it is awesome to see so many people I’ve met who are a part of our program on that day. I want to say a public thank you to all our employees at Duke who have been so important to our program.

“Northwestern is a very good football team. This might be the best Northwestern team we’ve played. With their defense, they’re physical and experienced. We are very familiar with their personnel. They are also extremely well coached.

“On the offensive side, it starts with the running back and quarterback, both [Justin] Jackson and
[Clayton] Thorson are as good of a combination as you’ll see in college football. They are very talented and smart. They return a lot of their interior line and receivers and their tight end is a heck of a player. As I look at the tape, I see déjà vu, but I’m also seeing a better team.

“In the kicking game, they have an outstanding punter and a new kicker who looks awfully good. As I look at Northwestern, the challenge they bring is making you beat them. They are a complete team and that is a great test for us.

“We were extremely well prepared to play our opening game because we were coming off of camp. Now we have to find out how to prepare coming off a week of practice. There is a completely different tempo to that and it puts more value on each day.

“Today we had a good day, but our team has to understand we now have to have a great day Wednesday, and each day right up to game time. It is a big game between the ACC and the Big 10. We are excited to represent our conference and excited for the challenge.”

On Duke’s Offensive Line
“They were efficient. They’ve been better in camp and up to now than during any time last year. They’ve worked very hard, have taken a big challenge in the weight room and are stronger and more athletic. Coach [Marcus] Johnson has driven those guys every day in practice to do every little thing better. That is a trend we need to see continue.”

On Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald
“Pat is everything Northwestern is when he was playing there. He was a good athlete, smart and a fierce competitor. So now, you translate that as a coach and he knows what it takes to win at Northwestern. He was an All-American and a Hall of Fame player, so he completely understands who they’re trying to recruit and how they’re trying to coach a winner at Northwestern. It shows.”

On Duke’s Offensive Preparation
“I thought today, Daniel [Jones] and Quentin [Harris] were able to get everyone on the same page in practice. That created some execution level to the last half of practice. We had a really good day with ones going against ones at almost full speed. That is a positive time for our offense. They have been well prepared by their coaches in meetings.  “We practiced Sunday and they are completely off Monday. They met this morning, took everything from their meeting to the practice field and accomplished it. The difference from a year ago is that wasn’t enough time for us. You have to build a system and understand the system. Certain teams prepare well in a week’s time and some teams do not. I am anxious to see how well we can accomplish that. We are still young and everyone knows that, but there is some experience with our youth.”

On Graduate Transfer Evan Lisle 
“He was really consistent in the game. He is a big, physical man and he likes to compete. Until you see a player in a game, it’s hard to measure that competitive edge. He played smart and tried to play fierce.”

On Quarterbacks Being Aggressive and Last Year’s Northwestern Game
“The game last year didn’t get away from us, but we did get behind. We cannot have wasted plays or turnovers against a team like Northwestern. You’re going to find they are very experienced and have a highly explosive offense. Daniel Jones’ role is to do his job so well that everyone can do their job.  “One of the first things a quarterback does well is make the other 10 people on the field do better because of the way he does his job. If we do that, we’ll be competitive in this game. It’s probably going to come down to the fourth quarter for both teams if we play well and that will be a great challenge as well.”

On Duke’s Kicking Game
“I thought we had a great day today. I won’t be comfortable until the season is over, to be honest after what we went through a year ago. Every week, I’m evaluating what we’re able to do. We had an excellent day punting. The operation, snap, hold and kick were as good as they could get today with both Austin [Parker] and William [Holmquist]. It’s not a week to week thing, but I have the option to go either way and that is a good option.”

Larry Fedora, Head Coach, North Carolina

Bobby Hundley - fedora_larry_13_014.jpegOpening Statement
“After a thorough evaluation of the film, the things that you saw in the game are really the things that happened. We made way too many mistakes in both phases, both offensively and defensively, to win a football game. We were fairly sound in our kicking game. I was pleased with the way our guys performed with our special teams. We did not create a game-changing play, but we were sound. We played well enough in that phase to be successful. But in both the other phases, offensively and defensively, when you turn the ball over three times on offense, it’s hard to win a football game. We did create a couple of takeaways on defense, which resulted in points – which was good for us. But we gave up too many catastrophics to overcome them.”

On how he thought the quarterbacks play after looking at the film
“I thought Chazz [Surratt] did a really nice job. I thought both of them did a nice job with their poise. Their poise, their communication on the field with their teammates, plus with their coaches on the sideline, was good. Brandon [Harris] threw the two picks, which we can’t afford to do. He’s got to get better in that area. And I thought Chazz made some good decisions with the ball and when he was running.”

On if Harris remains the starter entering this week
“We haven’t decided that yet. We’ll go through this week, again, and decide on what we’re going to do. You would think based on what you saw Saturday, whether or not that was enough to make a change, I don’t know yet. But we’ll see how they handle this week in practice.”

On how much one game means in making a quarterback decision
“You can’t do it all in one game. You can’t. There’s too many things, too many variables. But we’ll see. We’ll to continue to battle it out there, and we’re going to put the guy on the field who we think can help us win a football game.”

On the difficulties of a quarterback finding a rhythm when their sharing snaps
“I understand that. It is kind of hard to do that. And the way we practice, both of those guys are getting the same amount of reps and they’re both working with both groups all of the time. Would you prefer that it was one guy all of the time with the ones and nobody got injured so you could have continuity all of the time? Yeah, you would prefer that. But that’s just not what we have right now.”

On if he’s mostly looking for separation or improvement with Harris and Surratt
“Really, I’m looking for the guy who is going to put us in a position to win. Taking care of the football is still No. 1 with us. You’ve got to take care of the football.”

On if he anticipates an uptick in Michael Carter’s workload
“That could happen. That was his first game, and he did some really nice things. I thought he did an exceptional job of just handling the situation. Now there are plenty of things he needs to do better. But for his first college game, we were pleased with where he’s at now. We said we were going to play multiple running backs, and the plan will probably still be to play multiple running backs. But if one guy starts getting a hotter hand, then we can start adjusting that way.”

On if Surratt was too quick to run the ball or if he went through his progressions
“He really did a nice job with it. There weren’t too many times in his decision-making process that I thought he was, that’s what I was talking about with his poise. He wasn’t sitting back there worried about the rush and getting happy feet. I thought he did a nice job when he got pressured, moving in the pocket and getting out of the pocket. The one throw he had to [Brandon] Fritts down there when he avoided the blitz, if he hits that thing, it’s a whole different deal. But overall, I thought his poise was pretty good and I thought he handled it well.”

On how disappointed he was with the catastrophic plays the defense allowed
“It was disappointing in the fact that, one, it was guys who had played who were relaxed or had a mental breakdown in those situations. We can’t have it, we just can’t have it. Because there were too many good things defensively that they did throughout the game. That’s a great example of there’s never a time when you can relax, there’s never a time that you don’t fall back on your technique and the fundamentals you’re supposed to play with.”

On if there’s a difficulty to fix the catastrophic plays
“Oh, it’s not difficult. That was the promising thing. All of the problems we created for ourselves, they’re all correctable. We’ve just got to get them corrected.”

On if he’s spoke with Dalton about the helmet-to-helmet hit
“Yeah, we handled it. First of all, we handle all of our personal fouls – that’s something we do extra on this team. We talked about how it affected our football team. Now I’m going to go back and say, OK, that’s adversity. We can’t let that be the thing that kills our team. We’ve got to overcome that. We don’t want those things to happen, we don’t want stupid penalties. We’re going to work hard to avoid those things. Jalen knows, he understands the importance of it.”

On how the offensive line performed vs. Cal
“They were okay. Cam Dillard played really well for his first game with us. I was pleased with some of the things William Sweet did in his first real game as a starter. It was good to get Khaliel [Rodgers] out there. I don’t know that any one of them played well enough to win, but they played sound.”

On how the running backs performed with pass protection
“We’ve still got to get better there. There’s no doubt about that.”

On what improvements he would like to see from the offensive line
“Just more consistency. I think we had four false starts. We’ve got to get those ironed out. One of them, the defender jumped into the neutral zone, so we’ll take that one because we tell our guys, ‘When they jump in the neutral zone, we want them to pop,’ and the official just didn’t see it that way.”

On the challenges of defending Lamar Jackson
“I mean the guy is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. He was the best football player in college last year. He can beat you with his arm, and he can beat you with his legs. I mean he’s a phenomenal player. The scheme they run with him takes advantage of all of his skill set, and you’re going to have to be really sound in your rush lanes. You are going to have to be under control because if you give him a lane and people are covered, he’s going to beat you.”

On how to contain Lamar Jackson
“You’ve got to really squeeze the lanes, and yeah you have to try to keep him in there. You’ve got to contain him. You can’t get too far up the field, so yeah you have to be very controlled in those rush lanes.”

On if he was expecting Jordon Brown to lead the team in catches vs. Cal
“I expected our running backs to get some catches because of what we were going to do in the game plan. Plus, I thought the quarterbacks did a nice job of checking the ball down, which was really good to see, that they didn’t force things and they checked the ball down when they needed to.”

On if he has ever faced a guy as involved in an offense as Lamar Jackson
“I mean I’ve faced some good players, but I mean he’s a phenomenal player. He really is. He’s a guy that, again, you can do everything perfect and he can make you look really bad. He can do some things, he’s got some gifts, that other people don’t have. He’s a pretty special player.”

On the continuity of a system helping a young team
“I think just having an established culture in the way we do things, I think that gives them some relief, or it gives them some confidence in that knowing there are some things that they know the way they’re going to be in the program. And even though there’s a lot of unknown for them because you get out on the field and everything’s new to them, there’s still a lot of things that they surround themselves with in the program that they know and it gives them a little bit of confidence I think.”

On defensive linemen that stood out vs. Cal
“Malik Carney really stood out. He was the guy that was the constant pressure. When there was pressure, which there were a lot of times that he was right there. He was very close. He was the guy that was most consistent. Tomon [Fox] needs to shake off some of the rust. There’s no doubt about it. He can play much better than he did.”

On how the receivers performed vs. Cal
“I thought they did okay. Coach [Gunter] Brewer is pretty hard on them and what his expectation is. I thought [Austin] Proehl did a nice job. We had a couple balls that were dropped that shouldn’t have been. Thomas Jackson played hard and is always going to play hard. Those guys blocked on the perimeter. I thought they did a nice job of doing that. We’ve got to make more competitive catches. We had an opportunity down on the one end zone down there, didn’t make one, had one down here with Anthony Ratliff[-Williams]. We didn’t make that play, but we’ve got to make those plays.”

On playing a conference game early in the season
“I think more of that is coming in the future, especially as we launch the ACC Network. I think there will be more conference games earlier in the year, and so I think they started pushing our schedule that way this year along with the entire league, and I think you’re going to see more and more of that in the future. You’ve just got to be ready to play. You don’t have those preseason games or those games that you get to figure a lot of things out. You got to be more like midseason form early in the year.”

Dave Doeren, Head Coach, NC State

ncsu_doeren.jpgOpening Statement:
Just going back to the game from Saturday before we move on to Marshall with you guys. To update you on Freddie Phillips Jr., he did tear his achilles and is out for the year. Tough break for a young man that’s done a great job. The surgery was successful and I know Freddie will do everything - just like he did this last year - to get back. This will be a redshirt year for Freddie since he did not redshirt as a freshman or sophomore.

Coming out of the [South Carolina] game, the things that stood out on the negative side. Obviously, the opening kickoff we had two missed tackles and had a chance to contain the ball and turn it back to three guys, and didn’t. That’s the opposite of how you want to start a football game. Two turnovers that we committed, that they earned on their side of the ball defensively or offensively, led to 14 points for them. They got touchdowns off of both, so our sudden change response needs to be better. Then, obviously, the missed field goal. That adds up to 24 points however you add it up.

When you look at the rest of the game, stats don’t make you a winner at all. Just pointing out positive things that we did. There’s things that we’ve got to do better. Ball security is probably the major concern. We went into the game, our number one key to victory offensively was ‘protect the football.’ That’s the best thing South Carolina had done, was take it away. Those two plays that they made, creating takeaways, really is what led them to their two scoring drives.

Ryan Finley obviously had a very good game throwing the football. Kelvin Harmon had a 100-yard game. Jaylen Samuels tied Torry Holt’s record with 15 catches in a game. I thought Garrett Bradbury, in his first game as a center, really did some good things. Directed traffic and played hard, took over 100 snaps. That’s impressive alone, for an offense to have 103 gradeable snaps, and several of those kids played every snap. Says a lot about their conditioning. I thought Johnathan Alston defensively, in his first start as a defender, did a lot of good things. Gave up a touchdown early and bounced back. In the fourth quarter, had a big sack and a big interception.

Defensively, holding them to 1.5 yards per carry was a positive. Offensively, we need to run the football more efficiently. We were only two-and-a-half yards per carry in that game. They were packing the box, but that’s still not up to our goal or our standard. I thought A.J. Cole, after the first punt, really punted the football well and flipped field position for us. We pinned them deep twice, which helped us. In the fourth quarter and the end of the third, our defense held them scoreless their last five drives. That was a point in the game we were down 14, and the guys kept playing and scored, and had a chance to tie the game at the end.

We played two redshirt freshmen on the O-Line due to [Will Richardson’s] suspension, and that did hurt us at times. I think our run game and our pass protection could’ve been better at times. I thought Joe Sculthorpe, in his first game, really did some good things.

There were really some key missed opportunities. A missed sack by Freddie [Phllips Jr.] on the blitz turned into a great play for them, with the one-handed catch. [That’s] a play where you feel like it’s a layup. You pressure [the quarterback] into a bootleg and it turns into a 50-yard scramble touchdown for them. Those are the biggest things that you look at, just not beating ourselves in moments where we feel like they have a layup. That’s something that, as we move forward, we’ve got to make our layups there.

Not to discredit South Carolina. They did a great job, and as I said before, I think Deebo Samuel is one of the best players we’ll see all year. I think that kid’s terrific, and [Jake] Bentley has gotten better. Defensively, they do a nice job of keeping the ball in front of them.

As far as Marshall goes, just moving forward. First of all, I have a lot of respect for Doc Holliday. Obviously, he has a history here. He was a great recruiter when he was here and was a great recruiter everywhere he’s been. He’s proven himself as a head coach at Marshall. Watching him defeat my former team, Northern Illinois, in a bowl game after I had gotten here, they really did a nice job.

Studying them now, they have good skill. They are a young football team other than their quarterback. They’ve got a third-year starter at quarterback that has thrown a touchdown in 22 straight games, that’s the nation’s longest streak. [He’s got] 47 career touchdowns. They have a tight end that’s on a bunch of the watch lists in Ryan Yurachek. They have a great kickoff returner, which obviously we need to do better on that unit. He returned two for touchdowns last week for them, which is impressive. Keion Davis, one of their tailbacks. They scored three times when they weren’t on the field on offense, which is unique.

Defensively, Chuck Heater’s a great coach, their defensive coordinator. Bill Legg, their offensive coordinator, I have a lot of respect for. So, a veteran staff that has been with good football teams, been at big-time schools. Obviously, Doc’s done the same. They’ve got a lot of talented kids, they’re just young at some spots. I know this will be a big game for them. For us, it’s a game where we need to finish some plays and get back to doing what we do well defensively, which is stopping the run and not giving up big plays, finishing some sacks. I thought we got better in the second half on third down. Defensively, we gave up a few key third downs on scrambles in the first half. Offensively, just continuing to do what we do in the run game, and getting better at what we do. Having the ability to continue to get the ball to our playmakers, as we did, and just protect the football. That’s what the game is all about, it’s about the ball and not giving them the chance to have a short field. Defensively, I know they take pride in sudden change defense, so it’s an area we’ve got to improve on.

I’m excited about the opportunity this week to play at Carter-Finley Stadium and come home. As I said after the press conference, it’s not a one-game season. There’s 11 more opportunities. As an assistant coach at Montana, we lost our first game and somebody put a ‘For Sale’ sign in my yard. After that, we went to the national championship game 15 games later. When I was at NIU, we lost at Iowa at Soldier Field in the opener, 18-17, and didn’t lose another game until the Orange Bowl. I’ve been a part of two seasons where we lost our opening game and had a great year. I’m just focused on what we can do this week to beat Marshall, and know that there’s a ton of football in front of us. I really liked the team’s response yesterday, with our 1-0 philosophy. It’s a 24-hour rule whether you win or you lose. You talk about it, you learn from it. You own your mistakes, you fix them, have a plan to fix them, then you move forward. That’s where we’re at.

On rotating Terronne Prescod and Joe Sculthorpe on the offensive line: 
We wanted to play [Terronne] a lot. He was our left guard and our right tackle, so we were going to have to rotate. We knew with [Justin] Witt and Joe [Sculthorpe] being freshmen, and [Terronne] being a veteran that could play both, we were going to have a three-man rotation. Terronne just missed a lot of fall camp with an illness, and just wasn’t in game condition to play more than he played. That’s why it was the way it was. We’re hoping to get more, a whole game out of him this week if we can at right tackle.

On if he liked the way Joe Sculthorpe played:
We did. We thought if we were going to be in a situation from a run-game standpoint, we just felt like [Terronne] at tackle and Joe at guard gives us the best chance there. Both of them, not that Witt was bad, but those two were just a little better in the game.

On who stepped up in practice from a leadership standpoint after the loss:  
From a leadership standpoint, it started when I woke up Sunday morning. B.J. Hill sent out a text to the whole leadership council that the 24-hour rule was in effect. Come in ready to move past it, and look forward to playing the team we play this week. I thought the whole team bought in to that. I talked to the team yesterday, and one of our team goals is to maintain our 1-0 philosophy. That means win or lose, you move on to the next game. We learned from last year that we let a game beat us more than once, and I think that can happen with success and failure. That’s part of growing up, is you’ve got to learn how to handle both. Now that we’re into the season, that’s five days of prep and then we play. That’s the best part of what’s going on now. These guys have learned how important it is just to move on, one way or another.

On what it’s like to come back and coach in an area where you’ve had strong ties:
It depends on how long you’ve been gone. [Doc Holliday] hasn’t coached here in a while, so it’s not like he’s coached any of the players on our team. One of my first games as a head coach at Northern Illinois, we played Wisconsin and I recruited half the guys that were on that team. That was really hard, to see them and watch all that. It gets emotional. It’s different when you coach against a team that you were at when don’t know anybody on the team, or didn’t coach with any of their coaches. It’s a little different. I know he’s going to have friends in Raleigh, maybe in the administration, maybe in the Wolfpack Club and all that, but it’s not as personal to our roster or our staff, like it could be if he had just been here.

On if Jaylen Samuels will get as many touches as he had against South Carolina:
Part of it is how many snaps you get. Obviously if you get 60 plays, you’re not going to give the ball to him that many times. With 100 plays, there are more opportunities. That’s 15 percent of plays that went to him [against USC]. I don’t know if it’ll be that high [against Marshall], but I’d like to say that he’s going to touch the ball 10 times a game. I can’t guarantee that obviously, based on how people defend us.

On CB Mike Stevens’ status:
Mike looked great yesterday. He was running around, he was back pedaling. He’s ahead of schedule. I don’t think he’ll play this week, but we should have him for Furman.

On the team’s depth at middle linebacker:
Riley [Nicholson] got dinged on the first kickoff of the game, so unless they tell me otherwise, I don’t think he’ll play this week. We should have him back after that. It wasn’t a major injury, but we thought he’d be out at least a week. For us at MLB, you guys know that Airius [Moore] plays Will and Mike, so really, as Louis [Acceus] is listed as the backup, you know Airius can swing over. Brock Miller and [Germaine] Pratt can also play Will and Nickel. The depth chart is listed so you have two people [at each position], but there are guys that play multiple positions for us within our scheme.

On Shawn Boone’s performance against USC:
Shawn played two positions in the game. He had a key sack. There was one coverage where he should’ve been deeper, which would’ve helped us on a play action pass, but I thought he was pretty steady. He tackled well, and played a lot of different positions against an offense that does quite a bit of things. I thought he did his job well. I know he’ll tell you there’s things he wants to work on.

On the process when it comes to disciplining or suspending a player:
Some of them are not my decision. Some of them, there are certain rules within the athletic department where if this happens, this happens. Those one’s, I don’t decide on. There are so many different things that a kid can be involved with. The way I do it is, every kid’s different. Every situation is going to be studied and looked at. There are certain things that are cut and dry. If you steal something on our football team, you’re gone. Zero tolerance, we’re not going to tolerate it. If there are felonies that happen, that’s an athletic department [issue], they’re automatically suspended. Certain things happen like that, automatically. There are things that happen on campus, where Student Conduct may do something before I even find out about it.

Programatically, I’ve always looked at it like my job is to bring young men here, and make them into the football players they can be, help them graduate from the university with the degree they want and help them become great men. Along that process, there are going to be growing pains at times. In Will (Richardson’s) situation, if he makes a mistake and I feel like it’s a mistake he can learn from and become better for it, and that there’s remorse there and he still has the respect of his coaches and his teammates, that’s something I’m willing to sit down and listen to.

Sometimes you’ll sit down with a person that makes a mistake and you can tell he’s going to make excuses, there’s no remorse and he’s going to do it again, that’s where you cut ties. Sometimes it’s just a situation where I’ll ask myself or I’ll ask our staff, ‘Is this somebody we want around our children now? Is this someone we want around our team now? Is this someone that we can trust?’ If everyone says no, it’s pretty cut and dry. But it’s not always cut and dry, you know. Sometimes it takes a while to get all the information you need, and sometimes that information isn’t always given to you and you’ve got to wait. I wish it was an easier answer than that, but it’s not. There’s never an ‘if this, then that’ for everything.”

On if QB Jalan McClendon will be more involved to help the run game:
I don’t think the struggles in the run game will be fixed all of a sudden if you put somebody else at quarterback. It always starts with how you block. We’ve got to do a better job, obviously in some negative run plays. That was what hurt us. We had some TFL’s on us and some sacks that take away from your rushing yardage. Just getting rid of those negative plays. Jalan’s somebody that we respect and think highly of. Is he totally out of the offense? The answer is no. But do we need to put him in to fix our run game? The answer is no. We just need to get better at doing what we do. I’m not trying to be hard-headed, I’m just saying when you watch the film, there are a lot of things that Coach Ledford feels like we can do better. In football, I think everyone can agree that the teams that go from week one, to week two, to week three, generally get better at things if they focus on the details of why they’re not executing. What we’re not going to do is every time something doesn’t work, is come up with something new. Pretty soon, you’re not an offense anymore, you’re not a defense. Just the defense of the week or the offense of the week. That’s not us. We believe in stretch, we believe in inside zone. We’re going to block them, we’re going to run them and we’re going to do it with a lot of formations, tempo and motions. That’s what we do.

On WR JuMichael Ramos’ return:
He practiced last week. He was out for a while prior to that because he was a little sore, so we’re hopeful this week. I don’t know if you’ll see him on offense, obviously our receivers are pretty good. It’s not because he’s not healthy that he’s not out there, it’s because you’re taking Kelvin [Harmon] or you’re taking Jaylen Samuels off the field to put him in. It doesn’t make sense all the time. C.J. Riley played pretty good too, by the way, for his first game. [JuMichael] will hopefully be on some special teams this week. That’s something I visited with him about yesterday, to get him back in the game flow and see if that can help him get on the field there.

On the receivers staying after practice to put in extra work: 
I think George McDonald has really created a really good culture in that room with those kids. They love to work. The love the way he teaches them. Look at Jakobi Meyers. The changes, I don’t how you’ve paid attention to his build, how much better he looks. That’s the kid’s commitment and the weight room’s development, but it’s also Coach McDonald bringing him along and getting him to believe that if he does those things, he can have success. He did, other than the one drop I think he had a pretty good game. If you go out to the [practice] field, everyone leaves and you stick around, you’re going to see that group. You’re going to see other groups as well, that like to stay after and work on the little things.

On the process of selecting players to serve on the leadership council: 
For the leadership council, every position group votes. If there are 15 guys, all 15 will vote for two people in their group. You tally the votes, and those are the two. Each position group, unless it’s the specialists – usually they only have one, but this year there’s two in there because of the size of the group – you’ll have two representatives from each group. We meet with those kids once a week to talk about the team and where they’re at, if there’s things that we can help them with or things that they’d like us to know. We have a message group that we send each other inspirational things to talk about with the team. Those kids read a lot, as do a lot of coaches on our staff, just sharing different motivational things with those kids so they can help cultivate that in their rooms. We’ll ask them from time-to-time to make sure their position group understands this, and it’s their job to deliver those messages.

On Dexter Wright and Tim Kidd-Glass at safety against USC: 
First of all, I thought Tim did a great job when he came in. He graded out higher than Dexter did. He wasn’t in there as long, but I thought he did a good job. He came in the game and communicated well. He fit in the run game where he was supposed to fit, he was in the right places. He didn’t make a lot of plays, but they weren’t there to make on his side of the field at times. You didn’t notice that you had a young kid in the game, he’s a sophomore and played on special teams as a true freshman last year. Dexter just tweaked his groin a little bit, don’t know he’s 50 percent or 100 percent. Haven’t met with the training staff yet today, but he was walking yesterday during the walkthrough and it seemed like he was feeling pretty good. Hopefully he’ll be back this week.

Dave Clawson, Head Coach, Wake Forest

Clawson.Dave.JPGOpening Statement...
“Just to wrap up last week’s game. It was a good win and we are 1-0. It was a game where we had a lot of favorable personnel matchups. What I was most pleased about was we didn’t have a lot of the Game 1 mistakes. There weren’t many procedures and we took care of the football until late in the game. The other good thing was we got to play a lot of players. We had 57 players play 10 snaps or more and only two players play more than 50 snaps. The good news is we won, we played relatively clean and we came out of it healthy.

“Now as we head into week two, we haven’t been tested yet. Boston College was tested. They found a way to win a four-quarter game against Northern Illinois, who is always one of the best teams in the MAC. It is a tough place to play and they went in there with a freshman quarterback and found a way to win.

“As always, with Boston College, it starts with the defense. They are excellent, year-in and year-out. They have two defensive ends that are probably as good as any one-two end combo in the country. Landry could be a top-one pick, a top-five pick, a top-ten pick. He is as talented a pass rusher as there is in college football. Our league has a lot of great defensive ends, we have one of them, and he is certainly one of the elite players in our conference. He was a nightmare for us a year ago. We couldn’t block him. On the other end, Allen, is an exceptional player as well. Their two tackles are stout and we have never been able to knock them off the ball. We haven’t in our three years here. Their linebackers are instinctive and experienced. They have the same collection of players in the secondary that we couldn’t get open against. They are extremely well-coached. Jim Reid and Paul Pasquolani are two of the best defensive minds in the country. Every time we have played BC, it has been a 60-minute, low-scoring game that has come down to the last possesion. It has been like that for three years in a row. We have to be prepared for that type of game.

Offensively, they are very improved. Like any Steve Addazio team, their offensive line is physical. The running back, Hillman, when he gets his shoulders north and south is a very physical back. They have big receivers who can body-up and make plays on deep balls. Their quarterback, Anthony Brown, is a young man out of New Jersey that we recruited. We really liked him in high school and offered him. We thought he was an outstanding player. He got game one under his belt. He is athletic, makes plays with his feet and is now 1-0 as a starter. This has always been a huge game for us. We are in conference and in division. It is a team that we know and it will be a hard fought game where we will need to play well in order to win. I think our players look forward to the challenge.”

On last week’s win over Presbyterian:
“We needed that game because we have four new coaches. Even though I thought our players played clean, there were a lot of things from that game that we need to clean up. There are things that we did not do well that, as coaches, we saw that we did not cover a route well but we got a great pass rush. That play this week is six points. Where we are right now with all the new coaches and some of the new guys we have on defense, I’m glad we had it. There is also a realization that we have 11 more games and we will not have that type of personnel advantage that we had last week.”

On Wake Forest’s O-Line and the challenge of facing BC’s D-Line:
“We’re playing a lot of the same guys that have been playing for us (on the offensive line). They played as freshmen, then they played as sophomores, and now four of them are juniors. Everybody we play on the offensive line is now in their third year in the program or later. We should be improved. However, the ACC is a great defensive line league. People talk about NC State’s, Florida State’s, Clemson’s and Louisville’s, but BC’s is right there with them. This is a legitimate top 10 defensive line in the power five, and unfortunately, we play five of the 10. We are a better team, I believe that. With our schedule, we better be better and test number one is this week.”