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"Virginia Tech - the class of the ACC. I think I read a headline like that earlier this year, and they certainly are a very fine football team. (The coaching staff) has been together for a long time. they have great players on both sides of the ball, well coached, good to great special teams. You call it as you see it - they are really good. We know what is at stake for them, and I think it's also important to know what's at stake for us."
On finishing the season on a positive note:
"Winning your last game always has an impact on how you feel going into the next season, the post season. There's always that to deal with. A lot of teams can't do that. Half of the bowl teams will end on a losing note. We did last year, and that was really disappointing. As far as the recruiting situation, I think it can (have an impact). People looking at our program see where we're going, where we've been, being competitive in every single game we've played this year. I think that is taken into consideration by recruits."
On spending the Thanksgiving holiday together as a team:
"I think that this football team, with the amount of seniors we have, the leadership that they've demonstrated, the resiliency that they've demonstrated week in and week out, I think it is even more special."
On the importance of last year's game against Virginia Tech:
"It gives me a great deal of confidence, and it gives the players that were on that field a lot of confidence. This is a different team than last year's. I think we are playing better in the second half of the season than we did in the first. I think there's a certain amount of confidence you can get when you know the opponent a little bit because you played them last year. Obviously, there are a few players missing from their team last year, some really good players. But there's still a ton of good players on that team. We know about their defense, how good their players are. We know about their offense and how good everybody up front is. The quarterback is different from last year. The quarterback last year was a good runner, this year's just happens to be a better runner and probably a better thrower. He certainly has a live arm. I think the receivers are better because they are a year older."
On cutting down on missed opportunities on the road:
"You have to have some real mental and physical stamina. You have to be really mentally tough. I think we have a lot of players like that, and I think we have a lot of players who are still learning about that. I talk a lot to the players about how to thrive in that environment, because it was so much fun for me and some of the teams that I played on. But those were pro teams and not college teams. I have to sometimes take a second and think about that, because they are 18-, 19- and 20-year old kids and not 24-30 year old guys. There's a lot of mental toughness that goes into winning a game on the road."