Well, we are certainly looking forward to coming off the bye week and getting back into play again. You look forward to the bye weeks to recharge and get a little rest and realize how much you miss being in those Saturday competitions.
North Carolina State is an outstanding team. Offensively, they are averaging over a couple hundred yards rushing and 235 passing, over 450 yards offense. I thought Jacoby Brissett is having a great year. He's a playmaker and hard to tackle. He keeps plays alive and has great feet and makes people miss.
They have got good running backs in Thornton and Dayes and good wide receivers, the freshman, Bo Hines, is a good player. Those guys are good players. On defense, I think they are really powerful, thick, strong powerful guys, they are good tacklers.
Really very impressed with North Carolina State on defense and their whole team as a whole. I think Dave has done a great job in developing their program. It should be a really unbelievable challenge for us to go on our first road game, to go on the road to play them down there, and it will be an outstanding contest.
Have you ever been in a situation where the two quarterbacks in the game are transferred to the same school-- inaudible -- Jacoby down in North Carolina, they still keep in touch. How awkward of a situation is that?
I don't know. It sounds kind of unique to me. Really don't care much about it to be honest with you but it is kind of unique. Both seem like-- I don't know Jacoby. I was kind of out of there when he came in but I hear he's just a great kid. I watched him on tape.
He and Tyler are both doing very, very well for their respective teams. It's nice to see two kids having success and given the fact that they weren't able to get on the field as much as they probably would have liked to at their previous place.
What's the key to making Tyler's transition so smooth?
You know, I just think that he's a mature guy. He didn't have the year in residence that Jacoby had, but he's older, he's been around, he's digested a few different coordinators. I just think mature guys like that have their focus right.
So he has some familiarity with some of the plays we are running because we ran them a little bit at Florida when he was young. And probably the fact that he's in surroundings that he's near home and he's an hour from his house, so I think all the way around, he's probably pretty comfortable.
From the bye week, you had talked about a lot of fundamental things you wanted to get better at moving into this game. How do you look at the team coming out of the bye week? How do you feel the team has responded to some of those areas you needed to work on?
Well, you know, without a doubt, on offense we have to handle crowd noise because it's the first time we're on the road. We've had a good run at that and hopefully the results will show. We seem pretty comfortable with it.
I think in a small game week, a short game week, that's hard to do. But given the fact the extra time helped us; I think tackling, tackling has been something we really wanted to pay attention to and we've had extra days here to be able to tackle more. I just think wrinkles that we can put in help us. I think getting used to their tempo, their offensive tempo, we can really sink into that.
So this was a great bye week for us. You know, of course, the proof will be in the pudding in how you play, but leading up to it, you feel like you use the extra time to your advantage.
And then as far as they are coming off a tough game and the losses they had this past week, what can you say about the respect that you have for that offense and for their ability that they did have that hiccup, what can you say about how you view their offense?
Well, I watched the tape. I watched them against all the teams they have played this year. I mean, they are explosive and I think Jacoby has brought an element to them. He is a play maker, and I said this before, he reminds me of Jameis Winston. He's going to keep himself alive, throw the ball down the field. He breaks tackles. He's hard to get on the ground. He's athletic and has really good feet.
I'm really impressed with him, and then he ties the whole thing together; they have got -- they stretch the field on you, they tempo you. So they do some different things on offense and they have been successful with it.
You know, they played against, I would say, the best defense by far in the conference. Clemson's real. So anybody is going to struggle against Clemson now, and you're on the road, which makes it very, very difficult. But they are a real fine team, a real fine offensive team. When you have a quarterback that's playing at a high level, you've always got a great opportunity.
You just mentioned with Tyler, you are doing a couple of things you did with him when you were at Florida and he was a younger player. How much does your scheme allow him to have maybe more success than he was able to have at Florida after you left?
Well, our goal has always been to try to accentuate what your players do best, and this year, Tyler, as he proved earlier in the season, he's very explosive as a runner. He's a true duel-threat guy so we try to give him some things that allow him to use his legs. That becomes-- he's a real weapon. I think he's a leading rushing quarterback in the country.
We are not trying to wear him out or anything. He's had some real big, big strikes and so we're utilizing those spread principles of different sorts of read zone options/QB runs where you are not just a QB run, but you're stretching the field and making him defend option football, as well, with him.
That's something we worked on hard. It's something we could not do a year ago. The hardest thing we have to do is find that balance ourselves between the option game and the traditional power game and the playaction game. Just all of a sudden, you want to be careful you don't have too much.
Do you think you can find more balance as your backs continue to gain experience? Seems like every week they seem to be getting better, your young guys.
Yeah, they are, they are really talented and getting better. I think we have a lot of diversity in our run game just by the style of runs. We have a big power back. We can run the power offense. We can run the spread read zone offense. We have the quarterback who is a legitimate bonafide runner and is a duel-threat guy that can throw.
I think the thing for us, honestly, it's almost like you're carrying two offenses and that's good in some respects but finding the balance so that you execute at a high level and not have too much and that's what we constantly have got our eyes on right now as we try to identify the identity personality. You try to tweak that, and that's the challenge.
Josh Bordner, how pleased have you been with his transition from quarterback to receiver this year and have him contribute so much early in the season?
He's been great, Josh is a really bright guy, he's a veteran guy and he has a lot of roles on this football team. His position, he's out wide, he's in tight. He does a lot of stuff and it's exciting.
He's having a great year. I always get a really great feel when you see a guy who has really paid his dues. In this world we're in where everybody wants everything instantly and this is a guy in his fifth year, he's finally enjoying success. That's a great role model for younger players to look to that doesn't always come immediately.
But if you hang in there and if you're loyal and you're faithful and you stick to it, great things can happen, and so we're really proud of him.
You've been an up-and-down team this year. What's the biggest thing you need to have more consistency going forward?
Well, we need to tackle better on defense and on offense, we need to be more consistent in our execution, which sometimes comes from assignments and responsibilities. But we are also a very young team and people say that and throw that out there a lot, but we are, we travel with 30-something freshman and-- I should tally it up sometime, but we are playing a lot of young guys.
I said from the beginning that we are going to be-- we are kind of on that roller coaster ride. We've looked really good and we've looked not as good. Every game's been a really close, tough, down to the wire game. And you know, we've got a ways to go.
And I'm saying that we are trying to smooth out those peaks and valleys, but my guess is when you're a young team as we are, sometimes that's all part of it and we've just got to keep working and keep getting our young guys up to speed and even our older guys in creating consistency. That's what we need is consistency.