Q: How much more confidence do the coaches have in you going into this season?
A: "I feel like (the coaches) are confident in what I can do. It kind of shows on some of the things we are doing on offense – they are putting more things on my plate to execute at the line of scrimmage. I feel like that is going to give us a great opportunity to be successful. I feel like when they really did gain confidence in me it was during the rough times when we lost three games in a row and I was able to bounce back. (to) play well in the ACC Championship and then play well in the Orange Bowl, I feel like that gave them the confidence that they like to see in a quarterback."
Q: The running game is going to be important but Miami is breaking in new cornerbacks this year, are you a little tempted to try and test them?
A: "We are going to try to do both. We've got to run the ball. We've got to establish the run early. We can't allow them to put seven, eight people in the box. We just can't do that. A lot of times their safeties will come play on the edge of being in the box and outside of the box and we are going to have to make them early respect the run and bring guys down so we can throw on the edges. We are going to have to do the same thing in the passing game. We are just going to have to try keep them off balance and throw the ball down the field so their safeties don't want to walk up into the box. If we can accomplish that I feel like we can be very successful on offense."
Q: It seems like they really crowded the box last year to put the pressure on you as a freshman quarterback.
A: "Yeah, and I think (the coaches) realized last year when they did crowd the box they didn't give me too much freedom at the line of scrimmage to make calls and to get out of certain situations and take advantage of them having no safeties. Throwing the ball down the field to Greg (Carr) and being able to check out of things like that. I am sure they are going to bring pressure like that again this year but I will be much more well prepared and our system allows me to get out of some bad situations."
Q: Did you check off a lot last year?
A: "Yeah, but it was very minute compared to what we are doing now."
Q: How much consideration do you take into your preparation knowing that they have a good safety in Brandon Merriweather roaming around in their backfield?
A: "I am aware of him. I am aware of what a good player he is. I respect what he can do on the field but I play against guys like that everyday in practice. As long as I execute what I am asked to execute he shouldn't be a factor."
Q: Because of the fact that he's back there, does that make it less likely that you would test their young cornerbacks because they are experienced at safety?
A: "They are very similar to what we were last year on defense. We had great safeties that were older and very inexperienced corners. They definitely can make up a lot. Whether they are going to put their corners out on an island one-on-one with Greg Carr, Chris Davis or De'Cody (Fagg), I am not sure. We will find out. Their corners are young but they are very talented. They are some of the best players in the country and even though they are young they are talented. I don't see Miami changing their defense just because they have young guys on the field. They have played young guys in the past and they have been successful. We have done the same thing."
Q: How much do you pay attention to what is going on with them during the off-season?
A: "I don't pay attention to any of it, to be honest. The only thing that is brought to my attention through those situations and I know from playing sports for a long time (off-season issues or problems) gives people a chip on their shoulder. A lot of times that makes kids inspired and makes them play harder, they feel like they have something to prove, people to play for. If anything, I feel like it will give them a little chip on their shoulder and I feel like it will get them to play with a little more enthusiasm. Because when you have guys get suspended, those guys that get suspended they make you realize how quick you could be done with (playing football). Whether it's losing somebody to an injury or losing somebody to a suspension or anything like that you realize how fast you can be done playing the game and it makes you appreciate it a lot more."
Q: What can a win in Miami do for this team?
A: "I think it's huge. I think it's going to be a really big step. One way or another, it will be a positive step in a direction a kind of be a speed bump so to speak. To come out and to win this game would keep things rolling. The confidence of our team and our coaching and our just our fans would be tremendous."
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