How much of the focus right now is on working hard, rather than just West Virginia?
Allen: Right now, we're just working on our basic stuff, getting back to fundamentals and our basic plays that made us successful. We're installing a little bit as we go, but it's only the first week of practice.
Is there still sort of that buzz from the ACC title game?
Allen: So much excitement going into the Orange Bowl. This is what we've worked for all year. For it to be here finally, we don't have to motivate the guys to practice. You can feel it when they're out there. They're practicing hard. They feel good about themselves. West Virginia is a very good team. We've watched a lot of film on them. They have some dangerous guys on offense. They've got great skill and got some great pass rushers on defense. It's going to be a task.
You guys have accomplished a lot this year, but how much can this be a springboard for next year?
Allen: We have five goals. We didn't win the state championship like we wanted to. We did win the ACC Championship. We did win the Atlantic Division. We did win the opener. Our last goal is to win the bowl game. To accomplish four out of the five goals, that means progress. We're getting somewhere. The program is moving. That's what we want.
Have you come close to thinking about what you're going to do next year?
Allen: No. I have until January 15th. That's when I'm going to make my decision.
What do you think about the Christmas music that's been playing before practice the last couple of days?
Allen: I'm usually not a guy that really gets into the holidays. It got me into the holiday cheer, definitely.
How does it feel to be an All-American?
Allen: It felt great. To be recognized for something I work hard at, it's great to be recognized as the best at my position.
What's the last week been like for you, going to the awards show, winning the Mackey?
Allen: I wrote down my goals the night before the first game. On those goals it was, my team goals, which started with winning a National Championship, an ACC Championship, win the Atlantic Division. Then, my personal goals, which was win the John Mackey, be a first-team All-American and an All-ACC selection. To go through it and go, check, check, check -- unbelievable.
What's been Dabo's message to the team?
Allen: Don't get complacent. We've been at the high. We've gone 8-0, experience a lot of success. We allowed that to get to our heads. We got complacent and didn't come out and play well. Now, coach's message is just to go out and practice hard, get back to the fundamentals and play like we played in the ACC Championship game. That's when we put all three phases of the game -- offense, defense, special teams. We do that, we feel like no one can beat us.
The Mackey Award winner speaks
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