Horton: 'The Guys are Doing Well'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State offensive line coach Don Horton fielded questions from the media after Wednesday's practice. Horton discussed Boston College's talented defensive line, the progress made by his young linemen, and much, much more.

Don Horton

Is it nice knowing what B.J. Raji and Ron Brace bring to the table?
They are big and they are fast. They are really good football players. That's what we know... we've known for the last couple of years. They will be two big challenges to block.

What advice have you been giving the guards and centers facing two 320-pounders?
Just do our fundamentals and techniques... work the scheme and play hard.

How do you feel the rotation is coming along?
The guys are doing well. They are practicing better, working harder, and they understand our system better. We've just got to keep on improving. I think we've improved every game, we just have a long ways to go.

Is this the best defensive tackle tandem you've gone against this year?
The whole league is full of good defensive linemen, but these two are very good players. Probably the two best? Yes... that's probably a good assumption.

What are your thoughts on the young linemen, R.J. Mattes, Andrew Wallace, Zach Allen... the young guys working on the scout team?
They are doing a whale of a job. They are excellent football players, they have a great work ethic, and they are tough. I'm anxious to get them up here.

You know with coach Spaziani that he's going to blitz from different angles. Is that hard to teach from the line?
I've seen a lot of blitzing, but Frank Spaziani is probably one of the best coaches there is out there. We've got our hands full.

Is it any different facing BC? Is it fun going against old friends... people you know?
Good to see, but I don't know if it's fun to play against them. They are good friends... you hate to see someone lose. It's good to see them, we'll go from there.

Julian Williams is off the depth chart at left tackle and Jake Vermiglio has played a lot of left guard early on. Do you think he will be fine at left tackle?
Jake played a lot of left tackle last year and he's played guard and tackle this year. It's not a new position to him. He's got more work at practice... it should make him a better player.

The idea in the preseason was to have guys work on sides of the ball, playing left guard or left tackle, right guard, right tackle. With how the season has turned out, does it seem like that was a smart idea?
That was our goal at the beginning of the year so we could make changes not too drastically... you can play guard and tackle on left side, guard and tackle on the right side. That was the idea.

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