On whether he's ready for another team to give them their best shot:
"Well I hope the players are. The coaches have known for awhile now that every out is going to be a tough one and I think the players are starting to realize that you better be ready to roll every Saturday."
On having an opportunity to win the division these last two weeks:
"We're kind of just pecking away at it. We had a couple of bad weeks and we have kind of rebounded from that. We're playing a little bit better. We're more consistent right now. Hopefully we can play our best football down the stretch and I think that's the key."
On seeing progression every week with NC State:
"Absolutely. I think Tom's (O'Brien) biggest problem is that they have a pretty injured football team. We've been banged up a lot but I think they have maybe had more than us. It's just hard when you don't have the same guys in the lineup every week. But I think with the open date, they got pretty healthy for Duke and I think we're going to see all of their good guys out on the field Saturday."
On whether Russell Wilson reminds him of any other quarterback he's seen:
"No. He's special because he's got the real live arm. He's a really mobile quarterback. He maybe a little like the Freeman kid from Baylor in that he has the ability to hurt you throwing the ball but can be equally as dangerous when he gets flushed from the pocket. It gives the defense a lot of problems. He's a good player.
On Monday night's practice:
"A lot of energy. We had a lot of energy last Monday night at practice and again last night our guys had a good practice. We don't have a lot in for Monday. A lot of special teams stuff but we still had a lot of energy. Some of the guys that were injured got going a little bit last night."
On his team scoreboard watching:
"Well, we typically tell them to keep their eyes off the scoreboard. But as long as we can focus on playing a really good NC State team, I really don't talk to the guys about much else. We don't do a lot of talking about what might be or what other teams are doing. That might be if interest but it's not something we can focus on."
On what's worked better offensively the last two weeks:
"We've been a little more balanced. We're spending better practice time. The first half of the season, we were spending three-fourths of our practice time on throwing the football, blitz pickup, reads for the quarterbacks and route concepts for the receivers. Now we're probably 50/50 or 60/40 run-pass, which I think has helped us on Saturday, because we have the ability to do more than one thing. We were so one dimensional at the beginning of the year and now we've balanced it out a bit and hopefully we can do that the rest of the season.
On the environment in Raleigh and Carter-Finely Stadium:
"It's fun. It's a great environment. Their fans get cranked up and make it a little tougher for your offense when their out on the field. It's a great environment, and I'm sure they love to play at home. But our guys get excited when the crowds are big."
On playing that "blue team" (North Carolina) down in Tampa:
"Certainly being in Tampa would be really good and I wouldn't care what color jersey is on the other sideline as long as the Deacs are one of those teams. But I think it would be pretty cool if you had a couple of the North Carolina teams playing in Tampa. I think that would be neat. But I think we better focus on our black and gold team and not worry about the other division."