Quotables: Jim Grobe

Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe met with the media to discuss the upcoming game against NC State.

Opening Statement:
We had a really disappointing loss this past week against Boston College. I thought Boston College's kids played really, really well. You know, we threw four interceptions and fumbled a punt, so five turnovers with us, it's very hard to beat anybody. I think it's hard for anybody to beat somebody with five turnovers.

I thought our kids played hard. I thought we made some improvements individually in different positions. As a team we played really, really hard, but just weren't able to overcome five turnovers.

You've talked a lot about fundamentals and that is something that you're really focusing on right now with these kids, not as much about wins and losses but fundamentals. How much have you done from a mental standpoint though to try to rebuild their confidence?
Well, I think the thing that we've tried to do, Taylor, is just work hard enough that we're not sitting around worrying about our confidence.

I thought in the game Saturday against Boston College we probably missed a couple of opportunities by being a little bit too tentative. And I think that's what happens when you don't have a lot of confidence. You don't step up and make some plays. You're a little bit more on your heels.

I thought that happened to us Saturday a little bit. But I thought our kids played really, really hard. So instead of trying to sit around and dwell on not having enough confidence, which I think only comes through winning, I think we're just trying to continue to work real, real hard. And not give our guys enough time to sit around and think about what could have been or about lack of confidence.

I know in a perfect, ideal situation, you're probably preparing for the opponent a lot, talking to your team a lot about N.C. State. But right now are you focusing so much more on your team than you are on any opponent you have?
Little bit of both. Little bit of both. I think if you take -- if you've got a more veteran team, I think sometimes you go more toward game planning and next opponent. But I think for us we're having each day to coach our own football team as far as fundamentals and where you're supposed to be in our scheme, and then try to look forward to N.C. State, so a little bit of both.

What is your major area of concern for preparing for N.C. State this weekend?
Well, I think you have to say Russell Wilson. I think their defense is much improved, and we've got a really tough job offensively to try to find first downs against their defense.

But I think the guy that stands out to you is certainly Russell Wilson. I think from a defensive perspective you have to worry about the schemes that they run on offense, and how you're going to stop the run. How you're going to stop the pass. But ultimately you know the guy that has the ability to improvise when things don't go well is Russell Wilson. So I think we're trying to stop what they do offensively. But you know the wildcard is Russell Wilson's ability to ad lib and improvise when things break down.

With just a handful of games remaining in the regular season, are you focusing more on getting your younger players game experience and building for the future then?
Not really. I think our philosophy is we only get 12 regular season games, and we're going to try as hard as we can to win every one of them. So our focus is to try to win a game, and not trying to develop kids for next year. We've got to play these next three games as hard as we possibly can.

As you know we're already playing a ton of young guys, so it would be hard to plug in more young guys. But I think our focus is always in the season trying to win.

I was just looking at the numbers. You guys made a quantity leap up on defense this past week after some real tough struggles. Was there any reason for that? Is it just finding the accumulation of the fundamentals you're talking about or was there another reason you guys did so much better this week?
I think we've thinned our package down a little bit. I think we were both sides of the ball, actually asking some pretty young players to do some things that have really been good to us in the past. But that involves being multiple on offense and defense. I think we were too multiple to be honest with you on both sides of the ball.

I think a couple of weeks ago we started making a move toward simplifying our package defensively and offensively. But I think one of the things that helped us on Saturday against Boston College is our offense helped the defense a little bit.

Now it doesn't sound like it when you throw four interceptions, but I do think we balanced the game out a little bit possession time-wise. And I thought our defense made a couple of great stands with their backs against the wall. I think probably a couple of things, we've cut the package down a little bit, but I think also our kids are getting late in the year.

I want to ask you about Marshall Williams. Is he your best passer. What did you say to him?
Don't tell him that too much, he'll want to play quarterback the last three games.

I guess Marshall was telling me he played quarterback some when he was younger in high school and as he got older they moved him to wide receiver. But he's got a great arm. He's especially got great arm strength to throw the ball down the field.

I tell you what, we probably should have thrown it more with him, more gadget plays with him throwing the ball because he really does have a nice arm.

When you look at the film every Sunday or Monday, do you see anything that you say we do this better, we do that better we can turn it into a W? Is there anything that you're saying we're almost there in this area or that area?
I think so. From our perspective, we had a good chance to win last Saturday and didn't get it done because of turnovers. So I think from an offensive standpoint we have to keep stressing taking care of the football. That was something that was really disappointing last Saturday.

I've got to give Boston College's defense some credit. They're pretty good on that side of the ball. But, again, in special teams we fumbled the punt and that is something that you shouldn't do. Devon Brown fumbled the punt and he's been doing it for a couple of years now, so that is something that you really hate to see. And I think defensively, we're getting a little bit better. I think we just need to continue to improve. I hope we don't take a step back.

We're going against a great offensive team and a great quarterback in Russell Wilson this week. So I'd like to see our young guys continue to improve. But I think that is the emphasis for us right now, is not taking a step backward and trying to continue to improve on the defensive side of the ball.

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