Everyday in practice we're focusing in on scoring touchdowns. We're not trying to kick field goals. We want to score touchdowns when we get down there and it's important for us to continue that and be successful in that area.
Good teams do that. Good offensive teams do that... score touchdowns in the redzone. That's where you get a lot of your points.
Are you looking to make more plays offensively this year? Your interceptions are up a little... is that because you're trying to make more plays through the air or have to make more plays?
I think I'm definitely trying to throw the ball a lot more, and I think the coaches have all the confidence in me right now throwing the ball. That's a good thing. I have the ability to throw the ball really well, the deep ball, mid-range, and short-range. I'm pretty smart with it too at the same time, and I try to get it in the endzone when I can.
With the interceptions, a few of those are end-of-half, end-of-game situations where I have to put it up and give a guy a chance... I'm sure some of those are situational interceptions.
Some of them are my mistakes and I take full credit for those and fix those. I'm going to keep throwing the ball.
Every time they call a passing play I'm ready to go and every time they call a running play I'm ready to go. I think my focus is executing the offense and getting everyone going.
You're closing in on a ACC record Philip Rivers set his senior season, total touchdowns scored. How special is it to be mentioned in the same sentence as him while pursuing a record like that?
It's definitely a privilege. At the same time, I expect to do well and every time I step on the field I want to do my best and score as many times as I get the opportunity to do.
Philip Rivers is obviously one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and definitely the best quarterback to ever play here so it's definitely an accomplishment for me.
But I'm never satisfied. I always want to get better and score more touchdowns. I always look at the film after the game and see where I could have got two or three more. That's my mentality. I just want to get better and help my team win.
You mentioned situational interceptions, were you referring to the fourth-and-six against Maryland and the one at halftime?
No, those are my fault. I take the blame for those. I was talking more like at the end against Florida State, Hail Mary-type situations.
I take the blame for those though. I've got to get better in that standpoint and I will. That's my mentality. I know I can fix things and I know there are things I can get better at. That's the only way you can get better as a quarterback and as a player in general.
You have to find things you're not doing that great, focus on it, and get better, but at the same time notice the things you're doing well, focus on those, and expand on them.
Have you had a chance to look at Clemson's secondary?
I have taken a look. They are great players. They are very athletic, and they make plays. It's going to be a very exciting game for us, and I know they will be excited to come up here and play us. I think they have a lot of talent on that side of the ball.
How much progress have you made since the last time you played Clemson? That was early in your redshirt freshman season.
I've made tremendous progress from then until now. I'm a lot more comfortable in terms of knowing my offense and executing our offense.
I'm excited to play Clemson. I know they have a great defense with a lot of experience on that side of the ball. I know it's going to be a great challenge, but a challenge we're looking forward to and I know they are looking forward to it as well.
I think it's obvious that the season probably hasn't gone the way you guys wanted so far... the month of October... what do you do over these next three weeks?
You don't really worry about the next three weeks. You worry about the game coming up and focus on that. You remain positive in those situations during adverse times and believe in one another. You go to work.
Do you see where things are improving and maybe if you had certain guys or rotations earlier things might have been different?
I think we've played pretty well for the most part. You just have to stay positive. I don't think the rotation of certain players being in or out has really affected us that much
That's the good thing about our team and our coaching staff. We have great players who can step in and fill roles for guys who are injured or whatever the case. That's a positive thing and we don't ever look back and regret. We look back at what we can do better and improve on for the next week.
Coach O'Brien doesn't seem to be a big "What If" guy. Does that filter down to you guys or is that your nature?
I think both. I've always kind of been that way, but at the same time he's the same way. That's why I like him so much and think he's a great coach. That's why I was so excited to come here.
I think it definitely helps the players stay positive and motivated and it generates confidence in each and every one of us.