Well, obviously we’re getting ready to go into the 10th game of the season. Last week’s game was a great game for
our team. We played really good team football. We watched the tape and there were a lot of great plays that were
made. There were actually some left of the field that could have been made. But we’re playing good team ball right
now. We’re improving in a lot of areas and getting better.
In terms of defense last week, we held them to 39 yards rushing. I know the fake punt got counted against the defense
in rushing stats. But seven three-and-outs, forced seven punts, had a fourth-down stop, a blocked field goal and three
drives started on the opposite side of the 50 in the second quarter. There were a lot of positives. On offense, we scored
33 points, 258 yards rushing, no turnovers for the [second time] and eight explosive plays – five run and three pass.
Right now on our plan to win we talk about being able to run the ball. We’re averaging 274 yards a game which is ninth
in America. We’re 10th in the country with eight total turnovers. Scoring in the red zone, we’re 23rd in the country with
89 percent scoring in the red zone. So there are a lot of real positive things and a lot of really great things that are
going on right now. We have to continue to develop and continue to improve and continue to play good team football
and hopefully stay as healthy as we can.
On upcoming opponent Louisville…
We’re getting ready to play a Louisville team right now. Let’s start on defense. They returned five starters on their
defense. They’re seventh in total defense and eighth in scoring defense in America right now. They’re third in rushing
defense and 32nd in pass defense, and really an elite team. They’re super talented. They had a 21-point lead on FSU
and without the unbelievable effort by the Heisman Trophy winner, I don’t know what would have happened. There are
athletes all over the field on defense. It doesn’t matter where you start – No. 94 Lorenzo Mauldin, he’s got six and a
half sacks. No. 98 Sheldon Rankins, he’s got five and a half sacks. No. 55 Keith Kelsey, their middle linebacker, has 58
tackles and their free safety’s got 62 tackles, [James] Sample. They’re talented at every position. They’re big and big
inside run-stoppers and they’ve got big athletic ends on the edge. They have a really great scheme and Todd Grantham
does an unbelievable job. I remember he was the coordinator at Georgia my last year at Florida and he’s a super coach
and a terrific scheme strategist. Their defense plays great fundamentals and they’re tough and they run to the ball;
they’re run-stoppers. I am very, very impressed with Louisville on defense.
On offense, they’re explosive. You could start wherever. We’ll start with Michael Dyer. He’s a great back. He was
dinged up earlier in the year but he looked terrific against FSU. You’re talking about a guy that at one time was the
MVP of the National Championship game. He’s a talented guy. I remember him coming out of high school. You’ve got
Brandon Radcliff, a sophomore who’s also an outstanding running back. He’s averaging 5.2 yards/carry. Their
quarterback, Will Gardner, a sophomore, is 114-for-202 with almost 1,500 yards, 12 touchdown; he’s just a great
player. Then you go to the receivers. DeVante Parker is healthy and he was a completely dominant force in the game
against Florida State. You’re not talking about a good player, you’re talking about a great player. He’s an elite player;
he’ll be a first-round draft pick. James Quick is a sophomore with 31 receptions for 500 yards and three touchdowns,
averaging almost 15 yards a touch. Eli Rogers is a senior with 31 receptions and 330 yards. So they’ve got great skill
on the perimeter, their quarterback does a great job of getting them the ball. They’ve got two outstanding running
backs, they’ve got a relative veteran offensive line.
On defense they’re full of playmakers. They had a few injuries earlier in the season which I think hurt them, but they’re
at full strength coming in this week with two extra days of preparation. So our challenge in front of us is mighty. Those are the facts. Put the tape on, watch the film and you’ll be nothing but unbelievably impressed by this team. They’re
one of the elite teams in the conference. We’ve had the great fortune of playing some of the best teams and will play
some of the very finest teams in the conference on our side. We’re going to end up playing them all and it’s a great
challenge. We’re looking forward to it.
On playing against another elite defense in the ACC…
You’re not going to get shocked by the elevation of play. But it’s just really tough to move the ball on these defenses.
We put up 31 points last week [at Virginia Tech], but it was really tough. And that’s where we are. The defenses are
mighty. The difference this week is not only the defense is mighty, but the offense is really talented. So our defense is
going to really get challenged by the skill level of their offense. That’s another piece coming into this now, we’re
playing one of the better offenses. They’re talented and well-coached on both sides. Coach Petrino’s got a great
football mind. He’s won everywhere he’s been. Their defensive coordinator is outstanding. It adds to the challenge
here. They’re one of the top three most talented teams in our conference right now. Without a doubt you’re talking
about FSU, Clemson and Louisville in terms of just pure talent.
On the difficulty of running against Louisville…
They’re going to play a lot of multiple defenses out of [the 3-4] and play a nickle, four-down look. They’re going to play
a three-down which is kind of like a bear look. They’re going to play under, cover-one, a lot of man read. They can
match up in the secondary and they’re going to load the box to stop the run. But their front is big, physical, good
looking players. It’s tough sledding in there. It’s one thing to load the box, but they’re going to load the box with a
bunch of good players up front. It’s not something we haven’t faced though .Defenses in the ACC, at least in the
division that we’re in – I can’t speak to the other one; I’m not there – are really good.
On Louisville’s offense…
We’ve got to find a way to move the ball on offense and find a way to stop their offense, which I think is pretty
explosive. It might be to this point the most explosive offense we play. Colorado State had a pretty explosive offense.
The quarterback, running back, receiver tandems there were pretty good. Obviously Pitt was a real running team.
Colorado State was an explosive team, offensively. Clemson certainly is, but their quarterback was out. Louisville is
healthy. This is a full complement Louisville team with a couple extra days because they played on Thursday evening.
They’re in full force.
On Louisville’s loss to Florida State…
That loss right there was a hard emotional loss, but that was the Heisman Trophy quarterback and a perfect storm that
helped [Florida State] come back in that game. That Louisville team took it to [FSU] pretty good. Anything less than
Jameis Winston, that wasn’t going to happen. My eyes are on the talent level of this Louisville team. I knew they were
talented, but I didn’t know they would be this talented.
On Louisville against dual-threat quarterbacks…
They haven’t really faced a guy like Tyler [Murphy] right now. He’s a little different. We’ve got a different element to
us. We’ve got a power element to us. Within that you’ve got Tyler’s ability to run out of that. We pose a different threat.
It’s hard to watch the tape and see too many other teams like us. They’ve got the playmakers to do the job though.”
On the play of defensive back Manuel Asprilla and the defense …
We’re playing the best we’ve played in the back end. Manuel [Asprilla] played arguably one of his best football games
at BC ever. We are tackling better and we are improving in the back end. We lost John Johnson which hurt us and
we’re hoping we get him back. But we’re playing better for sure. I thought last week, [quarterback Michael] Brewer
made some great plays. We had him down several times and we weren’t able to finish him off and it hurt us. I thought
our back end played pretty well. We lost a couple guys in man coverage at the linebacker level.
They’re going to get challenged this week. To this point this will be their most talented opponents. Justin Simmons is a guy who can take on the quarterback. Justin is really playing as good of football as anybody out there right now. I think Manny is playing well; I think Justin is playing well. We’ve got to play well on Saturday night. We’re going to get challenged. A lot will come down to our ability to create pressure on the quarterback, whether it’s in a four-man or a five-man or a six-man rush. It’s a huge piece of this.
On the adjustment to the defensive system in year two…
We’re year two in this system of defense. Obviously the kids fundamentally, technique-wise, schematically, are
growing with this. We’ve got young players that are really adapting well. We’re suffering from depth right now. We’re a
couple of corners down with injuries. But I really like where they’re at. They’re going to go against a bona fide, big time
threat here. Now, we’ve played other big threats, it’s not the first one, but it will be challenging. We’ve got to get the
On freshman running back Jon Hilliman…
He’ll be available. He’ll get better each day. He was ready to roll last week; he just wasn’t quite at full strength.
Hopefully we’ll get him close to that this week. Those kind of deals, you need a bye week to flush them out. I’m
grateful that we have one right around the corner. We need it.
On the red -one pass touchdowns…
[Virginia Tech] was playing zero coverage and loading the box. It’s not a big shocker; everybody is going to load the
box. We continue to improve each week in our throw game and our play action game. I feel like we’re throwing and
catching the ball better. It’s been a good weapon for us.
On the abilities of the wide receivers…
[Shakim Phillips] looks good and feels good. And Marcus[Outlow] has got exceptional hands as well as really good
running ability. Those are two playmakers. Tyler [Murphy] is throwing the ball well and that part of our game is really
picking up. Charlie [Callinan] got behind them a couple times, against Fuller who is considered a top corner. Charlie is
really playing well. A lot of these young guys are really starting to come on. It’s an exciting future. Thadd Smith is an
exciting receiver, as well as Gabe [McClary] and [Sherman Alston]. We’ll continue to grow.
On earning the sixth win to become bowl eligible…
Last year we had to go to New Mexico State to get our fifth and we were a game or two behind from where we are
right now. As I said to the team, certainly a marker is to win your opener and the next marker is to get bowl eligible. I
felt like a year ago that defined us. It was such a goal to get back there. I think the foot came off of the accelerator,
which is just human nature. Getting bowl eligible this year is a great accomplishment for the second year in a row, but
it’s not going to define us. It’s a great marker to get there. Now we want more. That’s part of the development of our
program, getting that done with the losses that we took last year from a personnel standpoint. It’s a great mark of this
team. Now here we are: We’ve got three games left to play, four really. We’ve got to go out and win on Saturday, and I
think our kids are really in that mindset. We’ve got some serious challenges, but we know we will be playing in the
postseason. It’s great for our football program. That’s how in college football: You continue to develop. You have more
practice time and more time to develop.
On being in the national spotlight by playing in a bowl…
When you get bowl eligible, it helps you in all avenues. That’s why it’s great when that happens, especially when you’re
in the stage that we are. We’re in year two of a four-five year turnaround deal. We’ve got one recruiting class in place
here. Sixteen of them are playing. We need to keep recruiting. One of the thrilling things is to watch the older guys
develop a personality. The juniors and seniors are developing a personality. It’s exciting to watch. It’s been a lot of fun
to be a part of the development of this team over the last couple of years. We’ll continue to be in that development
stage. You like to think that you need to get four classes in place before you get the program back up.
Right now, what’s in front of us is being who we were, which is a fighting, scratching team. We have to come in here
at our home field team and play a really fine team. Talent wise, Louisville will be in that conversation.
On making BC a tough team…
That’s BC. That’s what BC was and what BC will continue to be. So that was important to get that done. I say done; it’s
a work in progress. We haven’t had that game this year where we’ve laid an egg. The Pitt game was our worst
performance wise, but we came storming back in. Every year, you have one of those games and it has a tendency to
show up at this time of year where you are banged up and nicked up and you don’t have a lot of depth. You have to
fight like heck to not let that this raise its head on us.
We’ve got three big games coming up. The kids have a good attitude. We have to do a good job of practicing. That’s
my job. I think we did a good job last week in the structure of our practices. We have to make sure our tank is full on
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