Monday PC: Amato Meets With the Media

<B>Raleigh, NC -- </b>NC State head coach Chuck Amato met with the media today, and here is a sampler of what they had to say.

Thoughts on past games against Maryland?
It's not just a fourth quarter. Let's call it like it is, the last two minutes of the game. No matter what, the game is 60 minutes long, no matter what happens early in the game, in the middle of the game. We've gotta to learn to finish.

Our motto that first year was 'Finish,' and we ended up [losing] in double-overtime that game.

These are two new teams, and a new environment. It's going to be to their advantage of playing at home. I just hope we can get to the fourth quarter and be in that position. Maybe it will be dark, and a windstorm will come and knock out the lights, and they'll give it to us by forfeit.

Did you talk to [ACC officiating commissioner] Tommy Hunt today?
Who's he? Does he play for Maryland? I only want to talk about Maryland. We've got to get ready for Maryland. Period.

That's gone, it's yesterday's story. You guys can get your hands on tape. Talk to WRAL. They are right outside.

It's over. I'm out of it. Who cares what happens? Are they going to say we're going to play overtime? I should be the one crying more than anybody, but it's over.

Have you seen anything conclusive? John Bunting said yesterday that he did. He said McLendon was down at the two-yard line.
Which one did he see? What did he say? Did he say something? Then he ought to be complaining. #1, I didn't think we were allowed to do that. I didn't know we were allowed to criticize officials. Theoretically that's a criticism of the guy with his hands in the air. Is it not? How can he get away with that?

If he says that his knee's down on the two-yard line than he ought to complain because the ball wasn't spotted there. Go see him. He's seen more than I have.

Chuck, you're usually real good at getting players to adjust to the task at hand. Do you have a tough job this week?
No tougher than we did last year after the Ohio State game. No tougher than we did after the Florida State game and we had to play Maryland. One of those we won and one of those we lost, but both of those games we played really well. It's an attitude. It's an attiude. Life goes on. No matter happened to any of us yesterday, good or bad, we can't change it. So why worry about it? It's like worrying about if it's going if it's going to rain, snow, or will the wind be blowing. It's an element, and we have no control over it.

You have a job to do. You write stories, and I told you when I took this job I'd do everything in my power to help you write stories. You ought to have enough respect to let me do everything I can do in my power because I've got a job to do.

Again, we can't look back. If the good Lord wanted us to see where we came from, there would be eyes in the back of our head. Our eyes are in the front of our head so we can see where we are going.

Would you like to have instant replay in college?
Probably, but if I said yes, then the next 50 games there would be no plays that would need them. Let's go on. We're playing Maryland.

Can you talk about the quarterback situation at Maryland?
I don't know, I was going to ask you guys that question. Someone asked me that yesterday from that neck of the woods. Going into last week's game, [Statham] was the leading total offensive player in the league, if I'm not mistaken. You ought to be asking coach Friedgen that question. I have no idea. I know one thing for sure, it will be one or the other.

Talk about T.A. McLendon's AC separation (listed as probable).
The shoulder... all these funny names they give injuries these days. Grade threes, grade twos... I don't know because I haven't seen him since I saw that on the injury report yesterday.

What is it like losing Andre Maddox during a game?
It's like losing Philip. Your quarterback just left the game. A guy with that direction, poise, and puts them in the right checks. He makes very, very few mistakes because he's played so many snaps.

It's amazing. That kid there was on the sideline crying because he couldn't get back in the game. It just shows you what a competitor he is. When we lose a game, you can be rest assured there's going to be ten or so of those kids just crying their eyes out.

It's hard to replace, with the type of plays he can make.

What about losing Jed Paulsen?
That's just as bad. That's half of the captains that we had on our football team. Jed has been truly an outstanding leader since back in spring, and he's tough.

Jed Paulsen blew an ACL out in the second quarter of the Navy game a couple of years ago up there, and they said he'd be out for the season and they wanted to operate immediately. But he said, 'No, I want to try and come back.' Four games later, he came back and played the rest of the season and had his knee operated on in January.

He makes all the calls up inside there. He's identifying the linebackers and that sort. That's a big hit for us.

He's out. They did all that mid-morning. I've been in meetings all day, and I don't know exactly [how long]. It doesn't sound good. I said that yesterday.

How hard is it for Leroy Harris to move to center?
Number one, he's a very smart kid. He's got a year and five games under his belt as a starter, plus he red-shirted. It's not like he's a second-year sophomore like a lot of our players are. He was fortunate to have been red-shirted. We have used him as a backup center for quite awhile. Not just this year, but last year we did it. He's taken snaps there and he knows the calls there. He has to know them just as well. He could probably call them from the guard position just as easy as Jed does.

You have Newby and Fowler. Is Ricky Fowler healthy?
Yea. Ricky played 19 snaps. He's tough, and that's something we forget, that football is a tough game.

I know when we start talking about recruits. We get all the measurables. We have one coach who comes out and says, 'here are his combine measurables.' I say, 'how tough is he? I don't care what position it is. How tough is he?' 'Well, we haven't seen enough film yet.' If it takes you more than one film to find out how tough he is, then you can take those measurables and let him go out for track.

Talk about how John Deraney has done.
(He's) outstanding. Going into the season, we were concerned about the kicking situation.

William Lee has done a great job as the long snapper, just an outstanding job. [Chris] Young, our holder, has done a real good job, the whole operation there. And John, they work together so well because that whole unit can work together during practice. It's not like they just go play volleyball while we're practicing. They keep tabs and chart each other and everything else.

How does your defensive preparation change given Maryland's uncertainty at quarterback?
It can't because the people calling the signals are going to be doing basically the same thing. It's the same offense. We haven't seen enough of the other quarterback, but he played quite a bit the other day.

We have to prepare for everything. We have to go back and pull out the reports on coach Friedgen anytime any of us have coached against him. Pull every option play out. Pull every trick play out. Pull every pass pattern out and every formation, and just prepare for everything.


Talk about the development of QB Jay Davis, especially the past few weeks.
In the last six quarters, Jay has really played well. He's not been perfect, but he's really, really played well. He's been poised. He's been sharp on his checks. Fourth down and six the other day, he stood in there and just got whacked. Two people in his face, but he made the throw to T.J. Williams. It just shows you that confidence. Just knowing the job description of a quarterback, you're going to get hit. He didn't flinch on it.


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