Is it fair to say the first game went according to plan?
“We won it, so it went according to plan in that sense. We got plenty to work on so we got a checklist of things we got to get better at, but all in all it went well in the sense that we kind of identified a few guys that stepped up, which was good, and we identified problems that are fixable and we’re working on now. It is kind of what you expect out of a first game.”
What is on that checklist of things to improve on?
“Tempo has got to improve. We got to play faster. Ball security, obviously. You can’t turn the ball over two times and then there’s just little things, odds and ends. Just lining up quicker and some technique stuff that comes with day to day football, but all in all it wasn’t a great first day, but a really good start for guys that have not run this offense before.”
What have you seen from Wake Forest’s defense?
“They play extremely hard. You got guys flying around all the time. Very active up front. Their nose guard seems like he’s playing three different positions. You can just tell they’re well coached. They don’t hurt themselves. They make you make plays and make you be patient. The main thing is just watching how fast and how hard they play. It’s a group of guys you can tell are playing together.”
What is it about nose guard Nikita Whitlock that makes him so tough?
“If he didn’t play as hard as he plays maybe it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but I’m telling you it looks like he’s playing three or four different spots. He’s just so active. He’s obviously good at what he does in their system. They let him have a lot of range to spin and change gaps and move and he’s quick. He’s extremely quick. He’s obviously very powerful so for a big tall guy he can get underneath your pads and he can also beat you with quickness. Every time you look up he’s in the backfield which creates negative plays unless you really got a handle on him so it’s going to be a huge challenge for our guys up front.”
How many adjustments do you have to make going against a 3-4 defense?
“Well we see it a good bit. There seem to be a lot more guys that have gone to it. There are subtle differences in terms of [the 3-4] as opposed to the four down [linemen]. Obviously some things have to change, but we’re seeing more of it and we don’t have to make drastic changes which allows us to tweak things a little bit and mainly, again, we’re our own worst enemy on offense sometimes, so it’s more about us just doing what we have to do and what we’re supposed to do to not create issues for ourselves.”
How difficult was it Saturday to call off the dogs in the third quarter?
“Not so much call off the dogs for me, but a chance to just continue to do what we do offensively with young guys that might not get that chance later with your number two quarterback with some [offensive] linemen that might end up having to win a game for you down the road.
“Obviously running up the score is never our intention, but more about just staying balanced and throwing the ball on early downs and letting some guys make some mistakes. That part of it was extremely hard. It’s frustrating because you don’t get that opportunity very often. You’re normally fighting for your life every week and then you can’t use that opportunity it’s a little frustrating, but the head man says call them off, we call them off.”
What do you see out of Quinshad Davis?
“I see what is going to be a very good player. Really raw right now, eager to learn, knows football pretty good, has really good energy and is a competitive guy. I think you’ll look up midseason or late season and you’ll see him really contributing. Maybe even earlier than that would be great, but right now it’s just happening really fast so we got to be careful about how much we ask him to do and when we ask him to do it, but he’s going to be solid for us.”
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