“We're looking forward
to getting back out on the field in front of our home
crowd. It's nice to have this two weeks in a row, so
our players are focused on going out and playing
as well as we possibly can. Again, the focus this
week will be on ourselves and how we can get
better as a football team. So looking forward to
getting back out there.”
Coach, through the first three
games, your quarterback nearly has 1200
passing yards and 11 touchdowns, that's pretty
impressive. How do you see the pace of the
offense at this point going into week five?
Where do you think it's going to go from here?
“As far as the tempo of
the offense or just overall?”
Yeah, overall, the tempo of the
“Tempo-wise I'd say
we're around 60% of where we'd like to be.
Whether that's on track or not, I don't know. I don't
know if there is a measuring stick that if you know
from week to week. But we're constantly harping
on it, emphasizing, trying to get better with our
tempo. Each rep he feels a little more comfortable.
It's important that he gets as many reps as
“We continue to improve as an entire team,
I think Bryn's probably starting to understand that
he doesn't have to make everything happen. He
just has to distribute the ball."
What are you looking to see from
your team particularly this weekend before you
get into the heart of the ACC schedule?
“I'd like to see great
energy level throughout the entire game for 60
minutes. I'd like to see us play a complete game.
Improvement made from last week in each of the
three phases of the game. I think we're slowly
getting better each week, and overcoming some of
the problems that we've had I'd like to see
improvement. If we can keep building and put one
brick on top of another, we'll eventually have that
Where do you think you've made the
most progress in the first few weeks?
“Probably I would say
special teams-wise. I would say special teams has
gotten better each week. We've made some
things happen. Probably in the last couple of
games, we've had probably three, well, in the last
three games, we've had four game-changing plays.
If we can do that week-in and week-out, we give
ourselves a chance to win.”
We're doing a
getting-to-know-you-and-see-you type of deal.
You being your first year coming into a
situation where there is some stuff going on.
Talk about the focus of your football team
coming into this year, and how you've gone
through the season and that type of stuff?
“Well, I'd say for us this
year as a staff we're trying to figure out what the
identity of this football team is. It's an ever-evolving process. We're still in the process of
trying to figure out who we are. What is the identity
of our offense? What is the identity of our
defense? And what is the identity of our team? So
our focus each week has been on us and how we
prepare. What it takes to prepare to be successful.
What each guy needs to do to be the best football
player he can be on Saturdays.”
For you personally, how long did it
take you to get assimilated to the school and
the players and that kind of stuff to sort of
leave your thumbprint?
“Again, that evolves
constantly. I don't know. I assure you, I don't
know everything about all of our players. I don't
know everything about this university. I don't know
everything about this program. But it's something
that only time -- that time can help that. It takes
time to get to know them. Takes time for them to
get to know you. Because you can practice all you
“Your 15 days of spring ball, you don't get
to see them in the summer. You get 29 practices
in fall camp. But until you get out there in the
games and when things are really happening and
there is some pressure going on, you really don't
know a whole lot about your team.”
The Vandals come in at 0-4 and lost
to Wyoming in overtime last week. In your
experience, are teams like this 0-4, 0-3 teams,
are they typically dangerous teams to have to
“No doubt about it,
especially when you have an 0-4 team that is
probably the best in the country in my opinion.
There is talent out there. That quarterback can
throw the football, big guy. They've got skill guys
that can make plays. They're sound in their
special teams and defensively. They have
unfortunate things happen to them. Yeah, I think
you're always worried about a team like that."
What has Tommy Heffernan done to
work himself into the starting lineup? Have
you considered adopting his hairstyle?”
“I have. I've thought
about growing my hair out like Tommy. But I don't
know if that will work for me. Maybe I need to wear
a wig. Maybe on the sideline, who knows. But
what Tommy has done, first of all, he plays with
great effort and intensity all the time, and that's
whether he's on special teams or on defense.
Then he's gone out there and known what to do
and made plays. When we put him in a position,
and he's gotten the opportunity to get out there and
play, he's performed. He's made plays. He's
proven that that unit, the defense or the special
teams that he's on is better when he's on the field
than when somebody else is out there. So
therefore he plays."
I wanted to ask you about the
turnaround at Louisville. At halftime, it looked
like you guys were just totally outclassed and
humiliated. How important was that in terms of
momentum of the team, the morale of the team,
that kind of thing?
“I think that is very
important. Because, up until that point, I had no
idea whether the team -- you want to say your
team's never going to quit and always fight.
They're going to give you all the things you talk
about. But until you get put in that situation, you
never know. And we were in that situation. We
put ourselves in that situation, but we did climb out
of it. That was a great thing to know about this
team. I think the team gained some confidence in
themselves knowing, hey, we don't have to wait
until something happens like that before we start
playing with that energy level.
“So if we start out that way, hopefully we
won't be in that hole. I think hopefully we've
learned. We won't put ourselves in that situation
again. But if we, do I expect the same fight, and
will and scratch, and all that it takes to get out of it."
What was the locker room like in
that game? Was it technical, did the players
stand up? Did the coaches challenge them?
What was the mood there?
“I think we do like we
do every day. The coaches come in and talk about
what needed to be done, what was wrong, and
went out and made the adjustments with the
players. Then it was basically the only person
doing any talking after that was me. Weren't a lot
of nice things said, but the challenge was set
before them and we went out and the guys got
“I don't attribute it to any halftime speech or
motivational speech. It was more of a challenge.
A challenge to who each guy was as an individual,
and each guy responded very well.”
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