Coaches’ Speak From The Week in the ACC

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Sure, it’s another week of the 2016 college football season that’s in the books, but there’s always plenty to look forward to the following week when ACC coaches get set to take the podium. Here’s the best quotes of the week from around the conference, as teams recap Week Eight and turn their eyes towards Week Nine.
SYRACUSE HEAD COACH DINO BABERS: (Addressing length of games) Well, I think, first of all, we’ve got to remember that 15 to 20 years ago we didn’t have instant replay, we didn’t have all the ESPN, ABC, CBS, all these different TV timeouts that really slow down the game. Also, I think football teams are throwing the ball more than they threw the ball 20 years ago, and when you have an incomplete pass the clock stops. I think those are probably the three main reasons why games have gone a little bit longer. I imagine if you like seeing the ball in the air and you like seeing that kind of football, I think that’s what we’re going to have to grow accustomed to.

MIAMI HEAD COACH MARK RICHT: (Addressing giving up 8 sacks to VT) Well, yeah. Here’s the deal on that. Like I said before, if you look at how many sacks we had prior to that game, we had one game with eight sacks, which is a lot, but we got behind, we started chunking it every down, and probably — we’ve got to run the ball better and stay even with the lead or very close ballgame, so we just don’t need to get behind in the score, behind the sticks and feel like we just have to throw the ball every down to win. It’s just not a healthy way to play football.

DUKE HEAD COACH DAVID CUTCLIFFE: (Addressing facing the option twice) Well, I think one of the things it does that helps us is actually our scout team is not having to run the offense for the first time this season. So there’s a little carryover. There are some similarities in the offense. The fact that we’ve played against it gives our defensive players some familiarity, because this wasn’t practice, we had a game against Army. But Army, in all due respect, is not even close to what Georgia Tech is from a weapons standpoint offensively. I think our players do realize that. They watch the tape, and they see that. So it’s really hard to simulate the speed that Georgia Tech has on offense.
BOSTON COLLEGE HEAD COACH STEVE ADDAZIO: (On morale) I think the guys are great. We just got off the field this morning. We had a great practice. We’ve got a young team that loves football, loves competing, and really kind of just takes it and goes. Like I said, the players watch the tape, they see the opportunities that were missed, and their object is how do we take advantage of those opportunities. We’re growing and developing each week, and they can see that. They have a passion for the game. Do they get disappointed, sure, there are disappointments, but they also understand big picture what we’re capable of doing, and we’re in a footrace to get to our potential and develop our young guys and develop our football team.
PITTSBURGH HEAD COACH PAT NARDUZZI: (On VT’s defense) Well, I mean, I think the thing that makes it so concerning is they’re the best defense we’ve faced this year, and with Nigel Williams and Woody Baron and Ken, Vinny at the defensive end spots and Motu at the middle linebacker spot, they’ve got a great front seven. They’ve got a well-tackling secondary. We’re going to have to make some people miss. We’ll have some one-on-one opportunities on the edgy think with some of our stuff, but they’re very athletic and they know what to do structurally in their defense, so it’ll be a major challenge for sure, and that’s what makes us tick is our run game, and if we don’t get our run game going against this great defense, then we’ll have problems.
NC STATE HEAD COACH DAVE DOEREN: (Addressing comments he made about taking out Gallman) Well, first of all, we have a lot of respect for Wayne Gallman. He’s a really good football player. My comments came in response to a question about what we did well in the game and how physical we were, the fact that we had four takeaways and that we stopped the run. It had nothing to do with being excited about injuring another player. I feel like a lot of that was taken the wrong way. That’s not something that we prioritize ever is injuring somebody, but we are a physical football team that take pride in playing the game in a physical way, and the play was not ruled a penalty. I’d like to remind people of that. They did review the play. They had an opportunity upstairs to buzz it, and they didn’t do that. It was a physical football game, and I’m glad Wayne is back and healthy, and we wish him nothing but the best.
FLORIDA STATE HEAD COACH JIMBO FISHER: (On Brent Venables) Brent does a tremendous job. He’s multiple looks, multiple personnels, uses his people very well, pressure at times, doesn’t pressure. He’s very smart with how he does things and they have very good players. They have very recruited very good players, they have evaluated and they have developed their players. Everybody says, you’ve got good players. Well, you’ve got to go develop those players. You’ve got to coach those player and you have to put them in the right position to make plays. And they have done that and he’s done a very good job of that.
‚Ä®GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH PAUL JOHNSON: (On losing last two to Duke) I think last year they just beat us. The year before we turned the ball over a bunch down here. Probably had more yards and more stuff than they did but we turned the ball over. And last year up there, we got behind. They ran a kickoff back on us and then moved the ball really well and shut us down offensively. We didn’t play very well.
WAKE FOREST HEAD COACH DAVE CLAWSON: (On defending the option) You spend all spring football, all August camp, all season defending, you know, whether it’s read option or vertical routes or different combination routes and protections. You know, what Army does and what options teams do that are so unique, that you’ve really got to back off and change your defensive teaching going from being a pursuit- based defense to an assignment-based defense. And that’s a tough switch to turn on and off on a weekly basis.

LOUISVILLE HEAD COACH BOBBY PETRINO: (Q. Bronco said on his segment earlier that he thought that Duke had done a smart strategy against you guys. Do you think that they may play a similar kind of slow-down style this week?) He’s mentioned it a couple times now, so there’s a possibility I would say.
VIRGINIA TECH HEAD COACH JUSTIN FUENTE: (On Pitt’s quarterback) Yeah, well, some people label quarterbacks as game managers, and I don’t believe in that. I think the young man we’re about to play is a playmaker for them. Obviously it centers around running the football, but they’ve made big plays in the passing game. Coming off play action they’ve got some really good schemes in obvious passing situations that can give you problems. He’s been judicious with the ball and kept the chains moving, which has allowed them to continue to run the football.
CLEMSON HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: (On parallels between him and Purdue Interim Coach) Oh, yeah. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. That’s a difficult situation. Especially when you’re a young coach. I mean, I was 38. He’s 35, I think he said. You know, you go from — you’re a young coach, and you go from one of them to now you’re the leader of them. None of those guys came there for you as the head coach. So there’s just a lot of moving parts and a lot of dynamics and a lot of things that you can’t control and things haven’t been good and that’s why you get put in that situation. Definitely some parallels. And again, I hopefully gave him some good insight and hopefully they can find a way to win a game or two and that those kids can finish on a positive note.
NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH LARRY FEDORA: (On defense’s improvement) I think, you know, first of all, there have been some just small incremental improvements as we’ve gone, from the very first game and each and every week, and it might be just by a position group or it might be the way a guy is seeing things, but I think our guys have seen multiple types of offensive football in the eight weeks that we’ve played, and so our guys do a pretty good job of once they’ve seen something, being able to as something comes up new in a game, a coach is able to relate it to something they’ve seen, and they go, okay, I’ve got it. I think what they’re starting to do is see the ball better, see what’s happening better, and also just play within the scheme and do their job within the scheme, and when they do that, good things happen.
VIRGINIA HEAD COACH BRONCO MENDENHALL: (On effects of benching QB against UNC) I think just the best way to frame it is a reset. The optimism, the confidence and the swagger that Kurt had when he started the season, the first time he started, and with basically his whole kind of football life in front of him, and that sense of just eagerness; I hope that just stepping back was able to reset that button and have him relaunch the second part of his season with a similar mind-set and optimism.
NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH BRIAN KELLY: Yeah, you’re right. I mean, I think a lot of these kids weren’t even born. They don’t remember much about it. We’ll bring it up in passing, but it’s not a huge point of emphasis. Both these teams are young teams that are looking to gain a foothold in consistency and performance and winning football games. And so we stay more in the present. It’s nice for the fan base and to remember the classic games, but the reality of it is these are kids that don’t remember much about that game and those games that were played. I certainly do; you do; the fan bases do. But these kids are really more focused about winning a football game.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffgberg and follow @InsideTheACC for more Atlantic Coast Conference coverage.

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