PACK PRIDE Q&A: Dave Huxtable

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable talks with Pack Pride.

They like to take shots down the field.
You're right on. You just hit a home run with that. 

They love to go deep.  They are a vertical passing game, they'll get four-deep and they have a tight end that can run and stretch the field.  They are going to chunk the ball and try to get the big play.

Their tight end runs like a receiver.
He's a tall, long athletic player and he can really run and stretch the field.

Do you do more one-on-ones with your cornerbacks?
Yes, everyday we work one-on-one versus the offense, coach Barlow and coach White, when they are in individuals they work on the deep-ball drills.

Our guys are aware of it. They understand what they have to do.  Now we have to continue to work the plan during the week and on Saturday go execute.

They seem to be the best offense you've faced this year.
They are. They are a very good offense and they do a lot of good things. Their running back is very good and fast. Their receivers have excellent speed. Their offensive line is the best we've faced this year.

It's going to be a tremendous challenge for us.

6-for-33 on 3rd down.  How big is that for the defense?
It's been huge.  Third down, that's our money down.  If you work your butt off on first down and second down, then we get on third down, we talk about it all the time... three-and-outs.  Our guys have done a great job this year, and we want to continue to do that.

The defensive line looked active at ODU.
They were very active.  Our whole front seven... we were playing the No. 1 rusher in the nation.  We challenged the whole front seven and they did a tremendous job.

Josh Jones... good game or bad game?
He didn't have a good game.   I think he was embarrassed by it, and he knows it.  He came out today and practiced well. I think he knows that he didn't play well.

When those safeties can create turnovers... it didn't happen yet, how big is it when they can create things.
It's huge. Those safeties have to be playmakers.  Everyday we're talking about takeaways.

Kentavius Street... his best game?
Without a doubt. Very productive.  He played like you expect Kentavius to play, and he had a a hell of a football game.  I was so impressed with the way he played.  He did some unbelievable things.

What was different about him?
His pad level. He was fast, he was quick... he was violent in his steps. He played with hands.  He was strong.

Coach Doeren said the tackle for South Alabama has never given up a sack.  How much can you use that to fire them up?
There's no doubt that should be some motivation for our ends.  I'm sure coach Nielsen has that on his tip sheets and is talking with those guys about it.

You mentioned the three-and-outs... how thrilled are you with that and the defense in general?
I'm very pleased with the three-and-outs.

Now we've given up in the first game a couple of big plays and in the last game we gave up a big play.  But, we've done a great job with three-and-outs, and we have to continue to do that.

At the press conference Mike Rose talked about the importance of first down.
No doubt. To me, first down is the most important down.  Third down is the money down, but first down, the first play of a series or within a series you want to get the offense behind.

We talk about the importance of first down everyday.  We've been getting ahead on first down and that makes second and third down easier.

The fact that they mentioned that at the press conference, it seems like they are a receptive group.
No doubt. I think our guys have grown a lot and understand football situations a little more.  During fall camp we talk about each situation and try to build football IQ.  I think our guys understand it, and it all starts with first-down defense.

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