"The off week came at a good time for us. If it would have come at week three, your team is excited about playing, you're probably trying to get better, [and] you're getting into a routine. I think that for this football team coming at the time that it did it accomplished quite a bit for us…We did as much statistical analysis on our football team to try and find out all the things that we were doing well and all the things that we were doing poorly.
"And to look at the things that we were doing poorly and say, ‘Okay, is it something that we can fix with just a little bit more coaching, with a little bit better understanding and more repetitions or is it something that we should can totally and revisit sometime in the spring or maybe never again?' So we've eliminated some things and looked at some stuff and we think that we can get better on some of that.
"From a physical standpoint, I think our football team dramatically got better. I think that if we would have had to play on Saturday, there were maybe two or three players that probably definitely would not have played in [the] game and another four or five that would have played at less than 100 percent.
"As we speak today, I think that almost every single guy that practiced yesterday for about an hour and 20 minutes. Everybody was able to go 100 percent with the exception of Hakeem Nicks. With today off and tomorrow off, we expect him to be back to practice and be 100 percent. With the exception of Chase Rice, this is probably the healthiest we've been the entire season. It's good to get everybody healthy and back.
"I think that the other thing that we've tried to accomplish is that it gives you a jump-start on the next week's opponent, which is now currently this week against Wake Forest. It gives you a look into them, find out a little bit more about them and sprinkle in some opportunities to practice against some of their schemes offensively, defensively and special teams last week.
"Primarily yesterday was the first time we significantly got in to try and work on them. I think that the open date came at a good time; it recharged everybody's batteries. I think that it gave the players a chance to get away from football and go home and I think from that standpoint it was very good for our football team.
"It's a big challenge and we've said that for several weeks. Wake Forest is amidst a five game winning streak right now they are the defending ACC Conference Champions and playing very well. I think the thing that impresses me the most when you watch their football team they are very well coached in all three phases.
"They really truly accomplish they understand their personnel, they know what their kids can do, what they can't do. They don't try and ask them to do things that they can't do and the things that they do ask them to do they do very, very well."
On the suspensions of Andre Barbour and Jermaine Strong:
"The incident that resulted in the suspension for both of the two players was just a violation of university and team policies. They're indefinitely suspended, and at some particular time in the future, we'll re-visit each of those individuals."
On Durell Mapp:
"You cannot play that position and play it very well if you do not have great speed and great athletic ability. He can run sideline to sideline – there's not a play he can't get to. He's got about the same speed as most of the running backs. He's for sure 4.5 [40 speed], if not maybe slightly better than 4.5… As we've settled in and said, ‘Okay, these three guys are the starters, come [Hades] or high water,' he's gotten dramatically better…
"Last week was an open date and we probably had – of the 32 NFL teams, I think at least 25 of them came in and watched practice last week. They sat in and watched film. We had 10 or 12 of them every day, and I don't think that there's any question that Durell will get a chance to play at the next level."
On Cam Thomas:
"We missed him, to be honest with you, early with the high ankle sprain. He missed almost three-and-a-half to four weeks of the season where he just literally was – his ankle was so bad that when you're 325 pounds, it's hard to put a lot of weight on it and change direction. But [his return] gives us depth, it gives us at the point of attack a huge anchor point. He is a big, massive, powerful man."
On the importance of winning on Saturday:
"It would give us some confidence. We haven't had a road win yet, so it would definitely give us some confidence."
On his potential to play in the NFL:
"It's always been a dream of mine, and hopefully it will come true. I'm just doing everything possible to make sure that does happen."
On the effects of the suspensions:
"I mean we always pride ourselves on having great depth. We have great depth, so we are not too worried about that. We have a bunch of great wide receivers and the backups go against those guys everyday, it shouldn't be that hard to adapt."
On Wake Forest:
"Not really a complicated team, they do what they do well. We had a good week so it did help us prepare, but we just have to do what we do. A road win will give us some confidence, we don't have a road win yet...so it would definitely give us some confidence."
On his ankle:
"It was a deep, low ankle sprain. It was painful, but nothing I couldn't play through. It's getting better now. I'm planning to play on Saturday and hopefully I can get out there and practice tomorrow. It'll be okay – I'll go ahead and say I'm 100 percent."
On retuning to the South Carolina game after his injury:
"My mentality was that I wasn't going to let the team down. I wasn't going to give up on the team. I told them in the huddle, I said, ‘I'm coming back into this game for us. We've got to fight together as a team.' I feel like we could have [beaten] that team. They were a great team, but we were still in the ball game."
On Wake Forest:
"They are a great team and very athletic. I feel like we can compete with them, you know we just have to not have as many mental errors and turnovers, just go out there and play our game."
What he expects over the next five games:
"I know if we play hard and eliminate the mistakes that we can pull it out – we can pull out all five of these, but we've got to take them one game at a time. [No one] can't underestimate or overestimate anyone's ability. And we've got to play hard."
On Charles Brown moving into the starting cornerback spot:
"I know Charlie's been playing a lot, and his confidence level has been raised, so it's a perfect opportunity to show what he can do against a prolific offense. I know they have some guys that can get open and can take it to the house and can score, and Charles is well-prepared for this and I think with the right work, he can be a factor."
On Wake Forest:
"Well you know they definitely have turned the corner and won five in a row. I feel like we these last five games we can do the same thing, if they can do it I know we can. I win on the road against a great team like Wake Forest would be just tremendous for our program."