Head Coach Jim Grobe
We're playing better. I like the way we've played the last three weeks. The problem is we're playing pretty good football teams. When you play pretty good football teams, no lead is ever big enough and you try to keep stressing that to the guys. Sometimes they have to learn it the hard way. I like the way our team's playing right now, and hopefully over the next four weeks, we'll be a better team each week. On last two drives against Boston College: We were set to have our best defensive day in a long, long time. We had only given up, until about three minutes to go, about 250 yards, forced five turnovers and scored twice on defense for all intents and purposes – (Gattis') interception and Abbate's to the one, and had blocked a punt. That's a pretty good defensive day. Then we gave up a ton of yards and a couple scores late in the game, which kind of ruined a good defensive day. Offensively in first half, we had about 220 yards of total offense, which is a great half against a good defense. We didn't play very well in the entire second half, not just at the end of the game. I think both of the sides of the ball, we probably had a little bit of the feeling that we had won with 3:36 to go, and at the end not taking care of responsibilities like we should have.
On the team following the loss to Boston College: This is a football team that I've really grown to like and I don't get too upset with these guys. In our locker room after the game, if you could be in there and see our guys, everybody's upset, not just the coaches. The players were so upset; you don't need to say anything for them. I didn't hear a peep out of our football team from the time we got back to the locker room to the time we got back to campus. Everybody takes the loss hard on this football team.
On practice Monday night: There are always guys that bring us back up. Our practice last night was sharp and crisp. They made the coaches feel better. Usually the coaches have to pick the kids up, but this is a different group of guys. These guys came out last night with a lot of intensity and had a great first practice. This is a good football team. This is a team that is playing a really tough schedule right now, and we have a group of guys that like to play the game. It's fun for the coaches to have a group of players that you don't have to say much to to get going.
On Cory Randolph being injured: The first night, Benjamin (Mauk) took a majority of the reps. (Allan) Holland took some reps. They put you in that boot now, if you have any kind of foot or ankle injury you get the boot. It's pretty cool, looks like a ski boot and all the guys think it's pretty cool when you're walking around in a boot. We'll just see. Young guys heal in different paces. You never know how things are going to go. Cory played the entire second half with a sprained ankle and we'll see how it turns out.
On close losses: It piles up after a while. Every game that you lose close, there's a bounce here or a bounce there, and sometimes it's more luck than just playing good or playing bad. The thing that I think our guys need to understand is that we're a good football team. We're playing really, really good teams right now. If we're in a lot of other leagues, we would have a good record right now.
On late game situations: I think primarily we're not good enough. You hate to say that, but good teams play good down the stretch. Teams that win generally win close games late. You never know whether you played really tough for three and a half quarters and the good team just decided, hey it's time to win, we're the better team. I think we're a pretty good football team but we're playing really good teams. Anytime you get late in the fourth quarter, that's what we've always wanted, a chance to win. That's not enough, because we're there all the time; we're just not winning our share. I think it's a matter of maturing and, honestly, becoming a better football team.
On N.C. State: It doesn't take two seconds to realize they're a very talented football team. This is just one of those leagues that everybody is pretty good. There isn't anybody with no talent in this league. There are no gimmies. You have to play every Saturday; it's a really talented, well-coached football team that's coming to town this weekend. Like us, they've played a really tough schedule.
On playing close games with N.C. State and the rivalry: We seem to be doing that with a lot of people. State is one of them. A lot of the kids that play for them, our guys either competed against them in high school or played with them on the same team. Our kids know their kids and that always makes for a good rivalry.
On this week's game: For us, we just need to win. Bottom line. No talk about any pie in the sky or any great things down the road. Our football team is a team that works pretty hard and plays pretty hard on Saturday, and we're close to being a real good football team. I think we're a pretty good football team that's playing a really tough schedule. Hopefully before the end of the season, we're going to get our share of wins and feel like we've improved every week since we've been playing this season.