Opening statement… I think Wake Forest is a very dangerous football team. You look at them, they lost to Louisville, it was a 20- 10 game. They lost to BC 23-17. Clemson game was a seven-point game with seven minutes to play before they got it to two scores. You know they are capable, and they are dangerous. They’ve got, defensively, two corners. And when you got corners that can play the way these two guys have it’s a heck of an advantage for your defense. Offensively, they’ve got a new system. Freshman quarterback, but they are just a team that you better play solid or you’re not going to be happy with the result. With us, it’s the next game. Concentrate on that one. Not thinking about anything else. We have got to keep it, get to the next ballgame. That’s all we are going to talk about this week, that’s all we are going to think about. I think it’s the first time we’ve ever beat two top-20 teams on the road in the same year, but at the same time we have a couple losses that wasn’t very good for us. I think this week we say, ‘OK. Have we taken another step?’ In other words we’ve had some great wins, we’ve had some tough losses, but the way we’ve played this week can we build on that and play better for the next game. That’s what we are really concentrating on right now. Health update on Marshawn Williams (knee)… I don’t. He’s going to get an MRI today, so but I haven’t heard from it yet.
On general mood of team right now… I think good. I think our attitude has been always been good. Our play has been suspect at times, hasn’t been real good at times, but like I’ve said the attitude of this football team, how they practice, how they play hard, how they don’t give up, how they are fun to be around, we’ve never had an issue there.
On not mentioning bowl eligibility to team and if he told team not to talk about it… I think generally players follow the lead of the coaches and what we emphasize. I think everyone knows how many games you have to win to be eligible for a bowl, but the only thing you can control is how you played last week. And the only thing we can control is how we play this week. And when you get to that, the only way you can play well is play the next play. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t get ‘Well, we need to win this football game.’ You just play the next game as well as you can play it and then get up and play the next one. Take it one play at a time. It sounds simple, but you just have to stay in that thought process I think. You can’t worry too much about what if we don’t stop them or what if they score. The next play.
On offensive line issues protecting Michael Brewer… Our offensive line, I thought they battled. We were a little suspect at our offensive line to start the season and then we had three injuries that took guys out, two of them before the season even started. They brought a lot of pressure, so we’ve got to figure that out, and we did a couple times and burned them a couple times when they were bringing pressure. If I was them, I would bring pressure too. You have an inexperienced offensive line and so forth, so that basically was the same thing. The best thing we can do is keep out of those predictable situations, and that’s what we continue to try to do is get a more balanced, running football team that can keep out of those third-and-eight situations where they are laying their ears back and here comes seven guys, eight guys. It’s hard to block.
On concentrating on the next opponent… I think our SAT scores are high here. I think when you talk about we have to put all our answers on this ballgame…don’t let people get talking about Saturday night start or whatever it is. Don’t even get to that there. Think about this next ballgame and go win this one, and then we will turn our attention to the one after that. To me it just makes perfect sense. If you can keep that vision straight ahead and don’t get sidetracked, like I said before we’ve proven we can be a pretty good football team, we just haven’t done it time after time after time. That’s the thing that we need to do is be better this week and play better this week.
On why Wake Forest struggles at running the football? Defensively, they play very well. I think they are 45th in the country in defense. Tenth in the country in passing defense, and those corners, I talked to you about that. You got a new system, you got new players, a redshirt freshman tailback, a freshman quarterback, and when you put all that together you’re going through some things that I’ve talked about here. You get a good play and then a not-so-good play, and then a good play and a not-so-good play. Like us, they are trying to fight through that too.
On play of Tech’s senior safeties… I think for the most part they’ve been good. They’ve been great team players, been good leaders for our football team. Some of those tackles out in the open field against good backs are hard tackles and a lot of their tackles get to be in open space. But I think for the most part they’ve been pretty good.
On how J.C. Coleman has handled diminished role… I’ll tell you, I was really impressed with J.C. the other day. The way he came in there and when we really, really needed him and he really ran the football. He was probably a good example of a guy getting in there and getting in rhythm, because we were probably down to the end of our running backs. And as a result he stayed in the game quite a bit, but I think it helped him get into a rhythm, too. He really ran hard. His size will get him a little bit on the inside. His size will get him a little bit in pass protection, but as far as heart and effort and toughness and twisting and turning trying to get every yard, there’s not many better.
On whether he has examined different ways to signal in fake punts after Saturday’s miscommunication and how tone of team might be different if it backfired… No. I think the question would have been, what would you guys be writing if, on that fake punt, we pulled up with our left-handed punter, threw back to Ronny Vandyke, who was wide open down there, and maybe a touchdown. And you know I’m going to say up and down, ‘Yeah, that was the plan. We didn’t want to give the ball back.’ And so we were going with that one. What would’ve you all be writing then? We always have fakes, things in. I think it really calms people down. And the situation was right before that one, we almost got one blocked with a guy coming off the edge, we’ve gone over that a lot. And I probably brought something into the discussion that I didn’t need to bring into the discussion about bringing a head hunter in. When you bring a head hunter in you can handle five on a side, you don’t need to worry about that. So I was putting that in Derek’s head, and then everything that was happening fast, got to get our punt team out there and shifting around. It shouldn’t have happened, it won’t happen again, I promise. Derek, he would say he should’ve known better than to say I think we were going to fake a punt in that situation, but for those teams we are playing, we might fake a punt in that situation. Probably not this week though.
On what Brenden Motely brings to this team… I’ll tell you, I was really proud of Brenden. He got in there and handled it like he’s been in there before, and, as you guys know, he hasn’t. He was there in spring practice, but yeah I could see us developing a little more with him. He’s a talented kid, a big guy. He can run, he was kind of running by some people on the sideline. He can throw. He’s got a good arm on him. I think we’ll keep working on that and see where it goes.
On whether Jerome Wright’s hamstring injury was worse than first thought… Well, it’s worse. He had been having trouble with his hamstring. The question right now is, is he going to be able to practice this week with his hamstring. Right now the doctors are talking and they are looking and they are deciding how much work he will actually get. Trey Edmunds is going to get out there again working today, but him coming back from that injury, you’re not sure where that is either. This week is a gigantic week as far as trying to work our tailbacks in there.