Very proud of our guys. Loved the way we came out of the gates. Played very well early, offensively, defensively, special teams. Established a tempo in the game, really through the first drives through to the second half. Came out and bang bang. Had a little lapse, put a punt on the ground. Took our eyes off it, tried to make too much of a play, which was a shame because Tyler had a great day. Did a great job except for that one. We need to eliminate that though, because that's a killer. EJ had a fumble on a loose ball. It was a shame that Rodney had one on that big play down the field. We do ball security and the beginning of practice every day. So we're going to fix that. I can't tolerate that. And then Devonta put one on the ground, I couldn't see what happened on his as much, but it was disappointing. Offense we were able to run the ball, throw the ball, protect very well. EJ did a good job getting the ball down the field deep. Devonta had a good day, Widler ran good, had some great short yardage runs, some redzone runs. Debrale came in and did a nice job. EJ managed the game very well, only threw 16 balls but we knew the way they played defense…we knew we'd put some overtop early.That was our plan going in. We were able to hit those deep balls. Defense did a nice job, pressured the quarterbacks. Dustin, congratulations to him, had a very nice day.
On starting hot early:
We knew going in that we'd have to hit the deep plays. We knew that. We liked the matchups there and EJ did a real nice job of hitting guys.
Stopping the run was the key. Stopping the run and getting pressure. Making it 3rd and 9 or 3rd and 8 and nickel and dime things and getting to them. I hope their QB is ok.
On Tyler Hunter:
I think he had a great day. Fielded all the punts good and if you watch the one, he's looking up at it and all the sudden he looks down and we're up 45-7, he was trying to do too much. Just go ahead and fair catch it. Get the ball. First job as a punt returner is not to return, it's to catch it and that's what we have to remember. Got a little greedy. I still think he had a good day, but that's still inexcusable and we have to get it fixed.
On Christian Jones:
He did. He had 11 total plays in that game. He gets out in space-that guy, he can play in space and cover and run, that guy is athletic. He can cover the pass and make plays and open field tackle.
On McCloud and Wilder:
They're good. Wilder's got a little bump on his shoulder but they're checking him out and he felt very good, just a little bruise, few days and he'll be fine, happened at the right time. McCloud, he should be good, too.
On Wilder and Freeman:
They were very good. The only bad thing was Devonta putting that ball on the ground. He was running and had a nice trap down there, great balance. James was running for powerful third down runs. They had an outstanding day.
On NC State losing:
I didn't even realize it at the time, and that's all good, but we got to beat Virginia Tech. We got to play it one at a time. I'm not worrying about the end results of everything, we need to play better, play a great Virginia Tech team, learn to play on the road well and go into a hostile environment, that's one of the toughest environments there is. We'll have to have our A-game to go up there in play because they'll be waiting for us.
On switching punt returners before going into Virginia Tech:
That didn't even come into my thoughts. Something needed fixing and I fixed it. I thought we fixed it anyway.
On defensive line:
I thought they did a nice job, Tank and Bjoern. Got to (the quarterback) and got some hits on him-legal hits.
On keeping EJ out there in the 4th:
I wanted to get a rhythm, wanted to get our rhythm back. If they wanted out, they should have played better. It wasn't him, but I wanted him out there to manage him. I wanted those guys to understand the intensity of it, I wasn't going to jeopardize him. I wish he had throw that one ball (away) instead of scrambling. I wanted them to understand that when he's in there, they know. When the second team QB is in there, they may lapse. I wanted them to refocus and get it back. It's important that when bad things happen in the game-you've got a lot of young guys…you're talking about a lot of sophomores and I wanted them to come back out of that and understand and learn to put that behind them and learn to move on.
On that being his message at the end:
Yes, I wanted them to finish and I'm tired of-that was total lack of focus and putting those balls on the ground was completely-that's us and that's my fault as a coach and we're going to get that fixed.
On heading into bye week:
I think we need a break, we've had nine straight. Nine straight weeks is a long time, plus your camp is 3 or 4 weeks and 12 or 13 weeks we've been grinding. You need a couple days away to recharge your batteries. I'll give them Sunday and Monday, I don't want to see them. Come get your treatment and get out of there, I don't want to see any of them (those days). They need to get away and we'll get back on Tuesday and have some good Wednesday and Thursday. Go in Saturday really hard. They have to (have time off), just the grind, the mentality, the hours, just to be able to get your mind off something for awhile, it refreshes you and brings you back.
On what he wants to work on during the bye:
The team. Ball security. Learn to finish. We'll continue on the third down and redzone stuff…mix in different things on defense.
On if he felt that nine straight games contributed to the fumbles:
I don't think it had anything to do with that. Rodney just waved the ball. He caught a ball and Rodney was trying to go score, he was trying to get to the endzone and knocked it out. Devonta's looked high and tight, I don't know how it happened.
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