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September 11, 2011
Wake Forest postgame Q-&-A
Opening statement: "Well you're welcome guys. I'm happy we could make it exciting for you. I didn't want you to waste a trip. We wanted you to really enjoy this one, so we thought we would make it interesting."
How big was that Josh Bush interception? "No question that was huge. When we got up 21 the only thing we need to do is not give up big plays. We need to make them earn everything they get. Our corners are young, and they play really, really aggressively, and we want them to play aggressively, but we've got to be a lot smarter than that. Giving up two homeruns in that situation, throwing the pick that was almost really as good as a punt right there, but still the time didn't come off the clock. We gave it right back to them. We did a lot of things poorly down the stretch, but the best thing we did was win."
On Michael Campanaro: "I thought he was probably playing as good as he could play. First half was fantastic, and he pulled a hamstring. I thought he was just tight. I thought we would get him back, but they didn't let him come. When he's out there he's pretty special."
On Nikita Whitlock's pass defense at the end: "When we recruited Nikita he was a nose tackle in high school, and Defensive Player of the Year in Texas, but we wanted to make him a linebacker. When he first got here we had him at linebacker, and when we decided to go to the 3-4 we thought moving him around off the center would be perfect for him, so basically we let him go back and play what he did in high school. He got a year trying to play linebacker for us, so he's a guy that's worked on pass drops and all those type things. I wouldn't say it's natural, but it's not uncomfortable for him to do that."
Is that something you keep on telling each other, refuse to lose? "Yes, Joe Looney put it in our head is refuse to lose. We can't have a season like last year with going 3-9. We want to win. We have to fight. It's not going to be easy. It's not going to be "Chuck E. Cheese" like coach said, 'Where everybody gets a gift. It's one team is going to win, and one team is going to lose, so which one do you want to be?'"
On refusing to lose: "I'm really happy for these guys. They had some adversity that we had to overcome. N.C. State was playing a great game. These guys stepped up, and made a great play for us."
Did you feel like you guys could move the ball all day long, because they were so lean up front? Did that give you a lot of confidence? "We came into the game wanting to run the ball, and we just wanted to show what we could do. Those N.C. State guys they had a great defensive line, some tough guys, some tough characters. Credit to them for just going hard every play, but we he had some good runs today. It really feels good."
State's secondary is one of the best in the ACC, and you went up against arguably one of the best linebacking corps, but you moved the ball on them so well. What did you see out there? "Our offensive line did a great job of giving me time to find open receivers, and our receivers did a great job of getting open. I think offensively we really clicked, and that was exciting to see."
You looked pretty frustrated after that interception. How did you put that behind you? "At quarterback you've got to have a short memory. You're going to make mistakes, and I wish I could get that play back, but you've just got to move on and know that the game is not over and you've got to respond."
How's your leg feeling? "It's feeling good. It's feeling really good, nothing serious at all. It was just tight on me. Coming out in the second half it was kind of tight, so the training staff and myself decided to shut it down, because I could have gone out there and really injured it more, and could have been out for a long time, but now I expect to play next weekend. It's feeling good."
How were you guys able to get so open today, because you were going against a great secondary? "Definitely a great secondary. All of those guys are back from last year, and they'll all be back next year. Like I was telling them earlier the game-plan put in this week I thought was one of the best game-plans I've seen since being here. Coach Elrod, Coach Lobo and Coach Galloway just did a great job of kind of seeing their flaws, and designing pass plays and run plays to penetrate them, and exploit some of their weaknesses."
I think I walked up just as you were talking about that play (his interception). What did you see? "I saw number two go in over the ball, saw the running back flare out, so I knew that one was going to run a curl. All week in practice whenever that happened we always robbed the curl, because we knew that that route was going to show up sometime during the game. It actually happened one time, and we made it happen on defense."
That was a big play, but then that collar started getting tight, so how did you guys fight through that pressure? "I think a lot of us looked back on what happened last week. We didn't want to go home with that same feeling, so we had to do something to change the outcome of the game this week."
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