Quick Hits with Tommy Sharpe

OL Tommy Sharpe shares his thoughts on how the Tigers can improve the running game this week, and also on how insignificant the college football polls are this time of year in this interview.

Is it somewhat of a relief to have the Wake Forest game behind you at this point?
Sharpe: It's always a relief to beat a team that beat you as bad as Wake beat us last year...so I'm happy about that. We got a win out of it. They are a great team, they execute, and they show you good looks and they keep you on your toes physically and mentally. It's nice knowing that I'm never going to have to play them again.

You beat Wake Forest last week, yet you fall five spots in one of the polls. Is that something you think about at?
Sharpe: I really don't even care about the polls. The only thing that matters is the one at the end of the season. As long as we keep winning, we'll eventually have to go up somehow.

What was it like on that last drive Saturday? Were guys getting pumped up and trying to motivate the team in anyway?
Sharpe: Not really, I'd just say we were more focused than anything else. Nobody was really talking. Everybody knew that they had a job to do, and nobody wanted to be the guy that let the team down. It's kind of like an unspoken truth. Everybody knew that we were going to do it and that we had to execute. Really, there wasn't anything left to say, we were just all trying to concentrate.

A lot has been made this week of the team trying to establish more leaders this week, especially with what's going on with Coach Bowden. Do you feel that way?
Sharpe: Oh yeah. Coach Bowden is under a real stressful situation and you always want to have good senior leadership but this week it's like you've got to take it up one more notch. I really respect Coach Bowden because he's going through a tough time right now and doing the best he can. It's always horrible to lose a family member. He's doing a good job of keeping the team together when it's hard to keep yourself together. You have to take your hat off to someone when they do that. You know he's under a lot of stress right now, but he's not letting any of us see it.

After watching the film from last week, do you have any thoughts about how to get the running game going?
Sharpe: I think last week we had some good plays and we had some bad plays. You can't just blame the offensive line. Some plays the offensive line didn't do the job, and other plays another position didn't do the job. So we have to come together as a team if we want to improve that part of the game. Mostly, we've got to make our blocks and read our holes, and execute.

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