Good morning. We are very anxious to get back to practice and excited about the opportunity to play a Saturday night game in the Orange Bowl to try and get back on track and play the way we know how to play. We are getting ready to play a Clemson team much like they were a year ago where they really struggled a year ago, but caught fire late and won several games going to the Peach Bowl. I think they have won three in a row and feel pretty good about themselves. They have some skill players. Their quarterback is an excellent quarterback and it is very key for us to put some pressure on him because he is a very good passer. He is a big leader for them. Their strength of their team is their defense. I think the games they have won they have played terrific defense. I think they have terrific return people and their guy set a record against Florida State. Certainly we have a challenge for us. The main thing we have to do is we have to work on us and play the way we are capable of playing. Certainly I don't think we have done that defensively the past few weeks. We have to improve on offense and on our running game. We have got to get back to defense we are capable of playing and that is key to our success on Saturday.
On avoiding a two-game slide like last season:
We played extremely well on defense in the second game. We played well enough on defense to win the game against Tennessee. What we did is we turned the ball over. We had a chance to win the game. We had the ball on the nine-yardline after a long run, but did not score because we had a turnover. The surprising thing about this last game is that we didn't turn the ball over. If you score 28 points and don't turn the ball over, you think you would have a pretty good chance to win. I think we bounced back and really prepared for the Tennessee game—we just didn't win the game.
On the key to getting the team not being too down from last game:
The main thing is put it behind you. The thing that is hard here is a loss is tough because you haven't lost much. I think the main thing is to put in behind us and regroup, regather and be as good as we can be. That puts everything in perspective because now it really about us and that is what we are all about.
On the struggles of the running game:
I think it is something we have to improve upon. Part of it is because of scheme because they put the extra player down and there are guys there that you can't block. We have to be much more physical up front with our offensive linemen. The running game also adds to some big plays in the passing game. Sometimes it is a catch 22 for the defense, but we have got to run the ball better on offense.
On if there is enough speed at running back:
We don't have the speed we have had. They are not a Portis, McGahee, or Edgerrin. I think they have good speed and very powerful guys. Frank is a good runner and Tyrone is very deceptive. He looks like he is down, but now he has five yards like on the touchdown on Saturday. They are our best running backs. We probably have more speed with the younger guys in Charlie Jones and Andrew Johnson. I think we are fast enough. I say that, but you would always like more speed. We haven't been able to get those guys in the secondary to break big runs like we need to do.
On running a number of reverses as opposed to sticking to runs with the running backs:
I think we have to with the running game. I think the designs we had with spreading the field and using reverses with those people. Obviously the touch Devin had was successful for us. Some of the reverses and things weren't successful. We definitely have to re-commit the running game and be more physical in that area. That also helps your defense by controlling the clock.
On CB Devin Hester's offensive package:
We will always have a package for him. The thing you don't know when you play us is what his package will be. You just see the speed he has on the touchdown he scored to allow us to tie the game. We have some things we will work him in each week. He will also get more time in the secondary also.
On WR Roscoe Parrish stepping up to make big plays:
Not only the catches, but also the run after catch. He has really stepped up his game. He practices hard every week like you see during the games. That is the thing we have to make sure we do as a coaching staff is to keep the intensity going from practice to the games. Obviously we have setbacks, but we can't let that determine our season. It will be interesting to see how practice goes this week with the intensity. Roscoe will be one of those guys to watch.
On if OL Derrick Morse still has the starting job or will they look at other players:
No, I like what I see from Derrick Morse. I think Andrew Bain can be ready to play if need be, but I really like what I see with Derrick. He gives great effort and that is what we are looking for. If we give great effort I will be very happy.
Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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