“It was great to get the win. We went into the game wanting to be 1-0, we come out of the game 1-0. We’re able to still learn from our mistakes and get better as a football team because of it. There’s plenty to improve on, no doubt about it. It was really good. We had a bunch of young guys that got to play some meaningful reps in that game. That experience will carry on to the next game and on through the season for us. We’ve got a lot to work on, and our next opponent will be a much better opponent, and we have to get much better in a week.”
What did Marquise Williams do to earn the starting nod at quarterback?
“Well, I think Marquise got better as a player and better as a leader, and he had that experience. And that really was the last factor that Mitch didn’t have and didn’t overcome. We decided to go with Marquise at the beginning of the game. I thought he did a nice job. He had a couple throws he’d like to have back. He threw a couple of picks he doesn’t want to throw and we don’t want to throw, and he’ll get better from it. We were able to get Mitch in early in the game, and I think he had about 35 snaps - I think Marquise had about 50 - and so it was good for him to get a lot of meaningful reps, and we’ll see how these guys do as we go.”
Are you going to try and get Mitch a designated amount of reps or a designated series or anything like that?
“I wouldn’t tell you.”
When you found yourself down by a point in the middle of the third quarter , what was not going the way you wanted leading up to that point? “We were very inconsistent on offense at that time. We’d be three plays and score or three plays and out. We were very inconsistent and we didn’t find any consistency until we got those turnovers. Defensively, we weren’t hitting on all cylinders. It was still some guys feeling their way around out there, and we had some guys at new positions with the circumstances that we had, but I was very proud of the way those guys played. Those three corners that got stuck in the game ended up with three takeaways. One caused a fumble, and we had an interception and a fumble recovery because of it, so I was really proud of the way those guys played. “
On the creating six turnovers:
“Well, when Ms. Momentum comes to your side, good things usually happen. I was really happy because our defense spent a lot of time and effort all fall camp on creating turnovers. I think we caused four fumbles in the game, and we had seven on the year last year, so that’s a very promising stat right there alone. If our guys can continue to do those kind of things, and that was getting our hands on the ball, hitting the ball, doing the things you need to do to get the ball out, and I was very proud of them for that fact, and then the picks came with them. It’s contagious; when good things start happening and everybody has a positive attitude and they keep the enthusiasm going and play with high energy, good things usually happen.”
Was the running back carry distribution about what you had expected?
“That wasn’t by design. That was just because of what was happening in the game. We won’t play seven tailbacks in the future. One thing I’ll say is that they all got some reps, so it was good for all of them. Everybody came out of it healthy and fresh, and that’s even more important for us as we go down the stretch, because really the idea is just win the football game, keep the guys healthy and let’s get better for next week.”
What were your thoughts on how Austin Proehl played?
There's a true freshman that came into camp prepared. He had really worked hard and picked up the offense very quickly. There's no doubt that he's been coached well. Obviously, everybody knows who his dad is. He's really just a kid that's going to help us throughout the year. He played in the first game. Because he's second on the depth chart, he was going to play, no matter what."
Can a coach critique an officiating crew of non-ACC officials and achieve anything by doing that?
“Oh, I’m going to critique them no matter what. It doesn’t matter to me where they come from. But, there’s not a whole lot we can do when it’s outside the conference. We can critique it, and we can still send the cutups into our conference commissioner and visit with him about it, but there’s not a whole lot that can be done.”
Would you be in favor of a closed scrimmage against another team or anything like that in your preseason?
“I think you would get a lot out of it. But I worry as we continue to add games to these guys, we have to remember that they’re student-athletes. They already have a season of 14 games, with the playoff it could go to 15 or 16, and then if you added some type of scrimmage, that’s a lot of games. Now you’re talking like the NFL; that’s extremely hard on their bodies. If you ask any one of those guys on Sunday when we’re practicing and we’re stretching - I go around and talk to each one of them - and to a man they are extremely sore. That’s the reason we practice on Sundays is to try and get all of that lactic acid out of their bodies so they won’t be sore on Tuesday.”
On San Diego State:
“They’ve got a lot of their guys back. I start with the offensive side of the ball; it’s a West Coast offense. Bob Toledo was the head coach at Tulane when I was at Southern Miss. I’ve known Bob for a long time. He does a great job with the offense. They’re going be in a two-back set the majority of the time. They’re going to run some one-back sets, they’re going run the power at you, they’re going run the football, they’re going to get after you, but then they’re going to play action and throw it down the field. Defensively, Rocky Long is the head coach [and] it’s his defense. If you don’t know anything about Rocky, he’s very innovative on defense. You’re going to see times when nobody’s hand will be on the ground, they’ll all be moving around, walking around, and then at the snap of the ball they’ll all hit you. He’s trying to create as much chaos confusion as possible, which when you have a young offensive line, it makes it very scary. We hope that these guys are going to be able to decipher it as we go.”