Quick Hits with Charlie Whitehurst

CUTigers.com caught up with Charlie Whitehurst this week to get his thoughts on how the Tigers can turn the tables on Wake Forest this year. "I think it was a lot of self destruction if anything else," said Whitehurst in reference to last year's loss.

Charlie, how important is it for you to have a strong running game in order for this offense to be successful?
Whitehurst: It's pretty big. There's some guys that can just go out and get it done with their arm. I don't know if I'm one of those guys or not. You'd like to think that if we let the running game or the running game lets us down that you can compensate. You figure if you can do both well, well then you've got an excellent chance to win the game.

How confident are you with the backs you'll have on Saturday and no Duane Coleman?
Whitehurst: I think that with the three guys we are going to play...he's replaceable. He wouldn't want to hear that (laughing), and he's not in a sense because he's the starter. He's in there all the time. But if we can rotate those three guys in there and get them in there in the right situation, we are going to be successful.

You've mentioned in the past that Wake Forest likes to play that umbrella zone at times. Can you elaborate on what they were able to do defensively last year to limit your overall production?
Whitehurst: They definitely held the first unit to what? Three points, if that. But I think it was a lot of self-destruction if anything else. We moved the ball well, we just couldn't score any points. The game got out of hand in the second quarter so we had to drop back and throw it every down. That's hard to move the ball like that. They got us out of our game plan so quickly that they made it look a lot more lopsided than it actually was.

You had two long drives last year of 14 and 13 plays with no points. What do you have to do as an offense to make sure that doesn't happen again Saturday?
Whitehurst: You've got to make first downs. I don't know if that's an effort thing or a play-calling thing. I don't know. We are going in there with a plan and we are going in intense and ready to play. You hope that things go our way this year.

This isn't Georgia you're opening with, it's Wake Forest, but it's still a conference game. Does that make this game even more important than maybe playing a nationally ranked team?
Whitehurst: Yeah. Last year was a huge game because they were so highly ranked, but this year, it probably means even more because it's a conference game. You can't mess around and lose a game like we did last year. Conference games are definitely more important.

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