Swinney: Proud of our team from this past weekend. One of those special wins. One that you remember for a long time. something you can grow from. Really really tough challenge this week. This is a very impressive football team on tape. They are 4-2 and incredibly well-coached. Really like Coach Addazio and you can tell the team has really taken on his personality. It's a really really good football team that is capable of beating anybody on any given day especially with how physical they are.
Offensively, the are big. There are about five 6-7 guys on their two deep. Big physical guys up front. They had a great running back last year that's now with the Giants and looking pretty good. No. 32 has taken Andre Williams' place. He's very good. They play a lot of two- and three- tight end sets. They do a great job of creating their perimeter plays by setting the edge. Their receivers, No. 6 is as quick as a cat and is a great returner. That creates some problems.
But the heart of their offensive team is their quarterback. Very impressive. He's second in the league in rushing. And 12th in the nation.. He has 700-something yards in six games. He's been impressive every week. They are very committed to what they do. They have a great plan in how they involve all their players. But the quarterback is four yards, three yards, eight yards and next thing you know he's got over 100 yards.
We are going to have to tackle well. They create a lot of 1-on-1 tackles. You get him there and he's going to win those matchups. You can't get lulled to sleep and you have to be disciplined on the back end.
Defensively, we must have four of the top 10 defenses in the country in the ACC so I guess its the year of the defense in this league. That bunch we played last week was just tremendous and then you turn on the tape of this group and goodness gracious. They are really good. Bunch of big strong guys up front. They aren't quite as big as we've played in the past, but they are fast in physical. I also think this is the best secondary they've had in a while at B.C. They go man coverage. They get pressure on the quarterback.
Biggest thing for us is we've got to finish some drives. We've got to continue to impact the game in a positive way in special teams. We knwo for us to take the next step in our season, we've got to win on the road. We've been there twice - didn't get the job done in the fourth quarter in one of them, lost in overtime in the other. So we've got to take that next step. It's a huge challenge because this is a football team that is going to have a good season. They can run the ball and stop the run and that usually equates to a pretty good season.
After the play to James Quick in the Louisville game, the team came over to the sideline. What did you say to them?
Swinney: Catch your breath. They still have to score. The game is not over. That's why I called time out. We talk about all the time, the tougher it gets, the better we play. That's kind of our mentality. I reminded them, 'guys they still have to cross that line.' I was really proud of them for simply to refocus them. You look at the second down play with Vic Beasley - he stunts inside. Then Coach V did a great job preparing our guys. That attention to detail and that's preparation caring over to the field. He had just watched that and had just shown the last play on the goal line when Petrino was at Western Kentucky. So we were ready.
Are you playing at the kind of pace you want to play at right now?
Swinney: No. We'd love to go faster. That's when we are at our best. We haven't converted as much on third down. It's on all of us. We are six games in and we are at halftime and make a few adjustments. Let's learn after the first half. We are still first or second in the league even with that performance from last week. We've done a lot of good things with a completely different group. We've been a work in progress but we've made progress. I would like to be 6-0 right now and running the ball better right now. But we do what we do to win games. We've got a lot of room for improvement for the second half of the season.
How much of that is on the entire offense?
Swinney: We are in the world of offense. I love it when people are mad when we win. There's no problem with that. We can win 13-2, it don't mater. It doesn't always have to be a 52-35 type game. It's OK to be great on defense, score on defense, score on special teams. When you put that type of consistent effort together you are going to win games. We are going to continue to be one of the best offenses in the country. I can tell you that. We've got good young talent. We've got good young talent coming in here. At the end of the day it's about winning the game. Sometimes you play great and win and somethings you don't play as well and you and win
Can you discuss the play of Ben Boulware and what he did against Louisville?
Swinney: Ben was great. He's played pretty good so he was confident. He didn't quite the experience at 'backer last year. So he's more confident. Better prepared. He's playing faster. Last year he was slower because he had a lot to learn. That's why we recruited him because we thought he could be a great player. He was player of the game ... him and Jayron [Kearse].
In short yardage, are the mistakes fixable or are they personnel related?
Swinney: They are fixable. We've got to improve with some of our personnel that's for sure. But it's all things we can fix.
There were struggles last year against this team. What do you remember about your offense doing
Swinney: Well we had like 500 yards of offense on them. But couldn't convert on third down. Hot Rod had about 100 yards rushing. Zac Brooks had about 7 yards per carry. We had a lot of mistakes. Sammy wasn't lined up on the line of scrimmage on a touchdown. Martavis had another one. We did a lot of good things offensively but we couldn't finish. Points is the name of the game. You need points. Getting them and not giving them up. It was a difficult game. It was a tough challenge. Defensively we played well - we contained No. 44 who was an incredible player.
Is Cole Stoudt full go and how did he look last night in practice?
Swinney: Cole took every rep last night and looked good. He's excited about the week. Obviously it helps when you can practice. I was so proud of him because it was gutsy. He had a lot of mistakes that would have been eliminated with practice. He's excited about getting back out there. Nick is excited to get the No. 2 reps. He's a very good player. Cole won't be limited.
What about Tony Steward?
Swinney: Tony practiced last night and looked good. He could have been ready Saturday but we were concerned if he had a setback he would be out for three or more weeks. He should be ready to go.
Have you talked to Deshaun and how was the surgery?
Swinney: He's good. Yes. Everything went great. It's a pretty simple procedure. He will go with us to Boston. It's very important for us to keep him engaged.
How does the offense change with Cole starting instead of Deshaun?
Swinney: Not a whole lot. Obviously Deshaun brings a little something different to the table as a zone-read guy. He's confident. Cole didn't lose the job by playing bad. He lost the job because the other guy is elite. That's really the best way to say it. We have all the confidence in the world in Cole. This is a big opportunity for him. I'm just proud of him. It's a great message to his teammates in how you handle disappointment and failure. He's never been negative. Not once. He's a great young man from a great family. He's been raised the right way. I wasn't surprised in how he handled himself. The biggest thing is he stayed ready.
Addazio - his bread and butter has been his offensive line. How do you get pressure on that kind of offensive line?
Swinney: We have to win our matchup first of all. You have to win matchups and then you have to pick your spots to bring pressure. Who do you bring it with? What kind of stunts do you have? There's a lot of ways to do it. You can always blitz people, but you can't line up and blitz all day. You have to win matchups. Either they have to win those matchups.
Whats going on with D.J. Howard?
Swinney: He's good. He's ready to go. Didn't play. He's another one of those guys we are going to need.
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