We're still evolving as an offense, in terms of getting people the football. I think we've had limited opportunities because we've been inconsistent.
We've had some real, quick strike capabilities. We've been scoring fast in the last few games but not often enough and we're not converting on third downs.
If you throw the Eastern Kentucky game out of there, and I kind of have because the first group was out of there after about a quarter and a half, our third-down conversions in the first game were good and in the third and fourth games they were not good enough. We've got to make the first downs when we are third and under five, and we can't put ourselves into position where we are third and long.
We've got a ways to go. We're involved in a process here, and we're hoping we can continue to improve.
Is this a true West Coast Offense?
I think that term, you can make it anything you want it to be. The terminology and the structure of the offense, the foundation, was built on what I learned in San Francisco. Everybody has their own spin on it.
Do you get the feel of an NFL-type atmosphere in these conference games?
Yea... I haven't seen a lot of Miami and Florida State, but with the other teams that I've watched on tape, these teams are very even in terms of how they match up and that's the feel I have in the three of four games we've played.
In games you know are going to be close, what does that put a premium on the offense doing?
I think that we've got to take advantage of our possessions with the football. It appears to me in college football you are getting two or three more opportunities than you do in the NFL, and we just have to take advantage of it.
Last week we were 4-of-13 in third-down conversions. We could have easily been 6-of-13, and we would have felt a lot better about ourselves. We had a couple of third-and-medium/short plays that we did not convert, and that took our third-down conversions down.
What is exciting is that we are scoring in the redzone, and we're scoring fast. We haven't put a lot of long drives together, but when we have we've done a good job of overcoming some negative plays along the way.
The last two games you've went with three guards at that position.
We're just trying to find the right combinations. Mike [Barry] is resting guys when they need to be rested, and we're trying to develop players as we try to get better and develop more consistency up front.
What are your initial thoughts on Clemson's defense?
They are very athletic. The structure of their defense is a little different than the [others] we have faced the last two or three weeks with a lot of blitzing. They don't blitz as much, but they are probably more athletic than any team we have faced up until this point.
That's including Virginia Tech. I didn't say they were better than Virginia Tech or any other teams. I think they are a quality defense in terms of the talent that they have.
They have been in some close games too, and their record could be entirely different as well.
Can you talk about the job Jay Davis did managing the Georgia Tech game?
I thought he did a pretty good job. The first interception he had, to my knowledge, wasn't even an interception, of course he had a guy in his face. The second turnover he had the ball slip out of his hand and come out a little high. Who would have known there would be a Tech defender standing on the boundary.
Not withstanding those two plays, Jay could have easily been 21 or 23-of-25 in last Thursday night's game. I think he's handling things pretty darn well. He's seeing the field.
The great part of the Georgia Tech game is the guys stepped up and made a play to put us ahead in the fourth quarter. That's something that can hopefully carry over for many weeks to come.
What do you need to do to improve the running game?
I don't even know how to answer that. We've got good running backs, and we want to run the football. We want to get the ball in their hands in as many ways as we can, it doesn't have to be running it, but we're just not there yet. We're going to continue to try and probe and develop our line so we can get some continuity going and we can. We're not going to give up on it, but we're going to do whatever we can to move the football.
I don't have a direct answer for you there. I just think it's about us working together, improving our techniques, and trying to develop players as we go along. We haven't run the ball poorly, we just haven't run it as we would have liked to.