Coming off a tough loss to Clemson. Didn't play well and Clemson did. My hat is off to their players and coaches, and one of those games where you just never got going and they did, and didn't respond well in a hostile environment. We are a team that's very young and been proud of our guys and a lot of games where we played older than we are and in this game, we didn't.
So chalk it up to that, and come back and go back to work and get ready for Boston College. Very physical team, great football running team and team that comes after you defensively with a lot of different pressures and you've got to be able to not allow them to create take aways and stay on track offensively because your possessions are limited.
They are very good with ball, time of possession and just got to make every offensive series count and do the best we can to create some take aways on defense to keep it away from them. Coach Addazio does a nice job and so does his staff. We'll look forward to the contest.
Trying to get our guys healthy. Have not had a bye here and play Florida State and Clemson back-to-back. Trying to be smart how we practice and get ready for a very physical game.
You stated in your opening address that your team at times had played older than they are and in this game, they didn't. What can you say about their resolve, and having to be older than they actually are? Obviously they have been able to bounce back and do a lot of good things this season. So what can you say about the resolve coming off a game like this?
Well, you know, very disappointed. And obviously as coaches-- I told them, this is going to be the biggest test of the year because they are playing a really good Clemson team, a team that has tremendous talent, and at home; and 84,000 people are not going to be yelling for you, they are going to be yelling at you. You have to be able to block out the nice.
I think it's a great learning experience more than anything, and that's about all we can take out of it, because very disappointed, and, you know, obviously my preparation didn't have them ready. We had crowd noise every day, and we just didn't show up. First series on both sides of the ball were poor. And normally, in every game we played, even when we were down 20-3 in a game, our guys just kept playing and trusted the player and came back.
So I think it was a great learning experience for the team and one we'll definitely grow from and now we need to get back on track.
As far as your quarterback has said so many positive things about Jacoby, what do you see from him coming out of a game like that?
He learned a lot. You can't hold the ball against a pass rush like that. Clemson's tough because their pass rush is the best in the league, and their DBs right now are playing at a high level. They are pressing everybody up and you can't get off of them.
It's just one of those games where coverage and pressure at the same time, when he had people open, he had to get rid of it. I think Jacoby is having a good season. I think it was a tough game for him, and he learned a lot from it, and he'll be better because of it. He's a great competitor. He's a tremendous young man, and I know he'll get better from that experience.
Coach Addazio also mentioned earlier in the week that your slot receiver, Bo Hines, is really good. How important is having a guy that is as reliable in the slot as he is?
It's important for the quarterback to have guys he can trust when he throws it. I think we have multiple guys and Bo has been a factor in several coverages where he's been open. And David Greenwich is another guy like that that does a really good job catching the ball, a tight end.
I think Jacoby has comfort in the slots because of those two players. Johnathan Alston has made some plays, as well, for us, and Bra'Lon Cherry made a bunch of them. Our slot receivers and tight ends and inside players have been good for him this year so far, and we need to make more plays on the outside.
Those slot receivers, Bo is a freshman and some of those guy are young; can you point to that guys are playing older than they are and making progress?
Sure, and it's not just the true freshmen. There's guys like Josh Jones, a redshirt freshman safety that he got his hands on two balls in the game Saturday and he had three pass breakups against Clemson and nearly had two interceptions. He's getting better every game. Defensive line, Kentavius Street is getting better. B.J. Hill is a true freshman that played his first game at Clemson and played pretty good. So there's a lot of young faces in there on defense.
On offense, a guy that doesn't get a lot of talk but that's playing well on special teams is Stephen Louis. He's really made some catches early in the year and is playing on every special team and Michael Stevens, those guys are playing on special teams. A lot of young guys getting experience which will lead to confidence as the year goes.
Yourself and Boston College will be on the field Saturday, two of the youngest teams in the country, so I know patience has to be one of your best friends, but as a coach, how much of an emotional transition has it been for you, to watch your team compete against the No.1 team in the country, Florida State, and then have a game like they had against Clemson?
Yeah, well, it's difficult. I'm a coach just like every other coach. You hate to go out and get your butt kicked, and we did. And it's not just the players. It's the coaches, we are all in this together, wins and losses, and all of us need to do a better job; myself, it always starts with me.
I told the guys right after Florida State, we didn't win, so even though people will pat you on the back and tell you how great you played, and we did. We played well. But we still want to play better because we want to win.
So this week against Clemson, don't let people tell you you did enough because you didn't. We're going to the hardest place in our conference to play, and we just didn't handle it well. It's a great learning experience and it's a game we need to bounce back from.
Wanted to ask you a little bit about last year's game and how instructive was the game film in terms of your preparation, or do you feel like you just needed to wind that thing up and toss it out because Boston College has evolved now without Williams?
A lot of the runs are the same, though. I mean, QB run game is different but the tailback run game is the same and the play-action pass is. So we look at every film we can get our hands on. We went back to every game they played last year, looked at the Bowl game. We are going to find everything we can to look at and the stuff that doesn't look the same, we won't pay much attention to but there's plenty that does.
In terms of what they do with a quarterback like Tyler Murphy, how much more evolved are they as an offense?
I don't know if they are evolved as much as they are using their players. No. 6 is a great jet guy for them. Maybe the most athletic quarterback from a running standpoint in the conference. That guy can fly.
They are just using their personnel. I mean, he's a smart coach. He uses his players. It's the same blocking schemes. You're still seeing power and you're still seeing counter, and they run a little bit of lead and some zone read. They use their players, which is similar to us. Last year we didn't have Jacoby so we had to do different things. I think it's just a use of personnel.
I know we have talked about this scheduled stretch, and you alluded to it in your comments about trying to do things to help prepare the players when you know you have to play so many challenging games. Specifically, how can you prepare your team, which is so young?
You know, we're trying to build in more breaks in practice where you're not going 20 straight minutes. You go for then and walk through for five and then you go for ten. You just try and build in some rest periods so that we can be sharp, because when you fatigue, you're not practicing or focused. Doesn't really get you a lot.
Our practices need to be crisp. We need to play fast. We need to have great communication and so earlier in the year when we were freshmen, we were able to have more continuous work. It's just being smart that way and building recovery and not only when you're not in practice, but during practice.
Because us and Louisville are the only two teams that didn't get a bye at week nine, and we drew Florida State, Clemson and then Boston College after a bye week and then Louisville. So we have a very challenging schedule.
I don't know how much you went back and looked at some of his film on Florida, but specifically how much has your...
You know, what they did at Florida, it's our scheme, he's been with Coach Canada for a year and a half and I'm not going to critique what the other coaches did with him or didn't do with him.
We recruited him here because we knew he would be great in our system and giving him a year and a half to learn it has definitely helped him.
Has your staff had a chance to make a determination on Joe Thuney's injury?
He'll be back for Louisville.
And so you can't offer any more than that, what the nature of the illness was?
Yeah, he had a virus. He'll be back for Louisville.
When you have a game like that, what's the message to your team this week in terms of reminding them of the good play they showed and the promise they showed in the first five games?
That's a great question, we just talked about, hey, look guys, a week ago, we were 4-1 and everyone in the world saw us compete against a great Florida State team. And now we're 4-2 and now everyone in the world saw us against Clemson.
Just going to go back to where we were. Got to be a better team every week and we didn't do that. It's a place in history we won't forget and also remember how it happened from a preparation standpoint.
Our guys are great kids here and the coaches have been very positive with them but we have to get back on the track we were on and obviously being at home helps. Just got to get healthy.
Like a lot of teams this time of the year, you're always one or two-- away from not being the same-- it's tough. The guys you have in there have to battle and fight and strain, and after 12 more days, we'll finally get a bye.