NC State defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable discusses the upcoming matchup against Louisville.
When you look at the teams you had on schedule, how much game planning goes back then?
Oh, we didn't really do any game planning back then. All summer long, I'm looking at the opponents that we're getting ready to play during the season. I'm making some notes and stuff, but Clemson is a really good football team. All right? It's like I tell the guys all the time... There is no magical defense, or everybody would be doing the same thing.
The magic is in you, as players. Our job is to give you a plan that will give you an opportunity to win. The call is yours now. When it leaves our hands, the call is yours. They took accountability for it. They went out, and for the most part, executed it very very well.
How impressive were those four turnovers?
Really impressive. I'll tell you what though, the play that Dravious Wright made down in the goal line ... The hit, the strip, and then the recover... might have been one of the defense football players I've seen in my career.
Those turnovers, were created with physical violent play. My hat's off to our guys. Not satisfied, no moral victories in football. No moral victories in football. I could move on to the next opponent ... We didn't finish the job, so now we've got to come back and find a "W" this week.
There's one version of Lamar that you saw last year. I'm guessing this year's version is a little more well-rounded, a little better passer, a little more mature?
Oh yeah. He's a much more a mature quarterback. We're doing a lot more things with him. Multiple in the formations, a lot of quarterback designed runs, and a lot of really good pass concepts. Every time he drops back to pass, he's a trip, that becomes a runner again. They're a really good offensive football team, with a lot of talent. He's a really special player.
Does he put so much pressure on defense, in the sense of, you can do everything right? He'll break open, roll around, run around, spin around ... The next thing you know the games like seven-seven. Seven, eight, nine yards ... No matter what, he's got that unique ability.
He's got that great ability to make people miss. That's why the swarm of guys coming for the ball is so important. It can't be one guy in a box with him, because he can make that one guy miss. The effort, and the swarm to the ball, and the overlap, and your defensive players coming to the ball from the backside is really important against this guy.
I don't think people understand. It's the most important plays of overtime and your two peak guys weren't able to go.
Well, that's part of the game. We talk all the time, may next be enough. Niles Clark performed very very, very well the past Saturday. Both nickels... and I thought he had the best game of the year.
You know Jack's helmet came off... the next guy got to come up, ready to play. You're always just an ankle away, a helmet off away, of having to be in the games. You've got to be prepared.
They like to stretch the field.
Oh, they love to get vertical down-field. They love to try and get the explosive plays. They're vertical passing game is very, very explosive. Like we talked about last week, because Clemson is the same way. We've just got to defend by staying on top. By staying on top ...
Is Jackson the guy that really ... It's almost like Watson. You've got to watch those lanes and not make a selfish play, contained and such?
How much of an emphasis discipline this week and at par?
Oh, it's been a huge emphasis. You talking about in our pass rush-lanes?
In our pass rush-lanes we've got to be, not just rushing the guy in front of you, you're rushing the quarterback. So I'm rushing the man in front of me, but my eye has got to be rushing this guy. We've got to be very disciplined in our rushing plays.
How happy are you with the physicality of the defense? They really laid the wood down there in Clemson, I thought.
They did. I'm very very happy with how physical, and I called it violent, they played. It was as hard of hitting group of guys that I've seen in a long time.
That's the way these guys are. They're hard workers. They love to play the game. We talk all the time about ... You have to love to hit. You've got to love to run. You've got to love to run. You've got to love to hit, as a defensive player.
You can't play defense if you don't love to run. You can't play defense if you don't love to hit. All right so Run - hit, hit - run, and that's what the guys did.