A question has been raised concerning the confidence and attitude of the team after the pounding handed out by the Trojans. With this in mind we asked Greg to fill us in and he said, "The attitude is good. We had a big loss this past weekend. So we came out this week and we are really practicing hard - working hard. This is definitely a big game coming up for us and we need a win, so we are practicing hard."
Viewing game tapes can be painful or enjoyable depending upon the team's performance, but there are always benefits to be gained by watching, so we asked Greg about the Southern Cal tapes and he replied, "Yeah there were some good things, but there are some bad things we need to work on. I think the negatives definitely outweighed the positives. There are a lot of things to work on to be the defense we want to be."
At times the defense seemed to be confused or not ready during this past week's game, and we asked Greg for his opinion. "I didn't feel that we were really confused. I think it was more that we were frustrated because they kept coming on and driving the ball on us to score. I think we worked hard and prepared well for the game, but they just came out and played really good football. There were things we didn't execute that we needed to. We didn't play that good of a game and they did. You have to give them credit."
Greg is a tireless worker and is never satisfied with his efforts and this is paying off with increased playing time, but he said his performance during the last game was "not good. There are lots of improvements I see on the film. And the coaches point out the errors I have to improve on."With Southern Cal behind them, naturally the focus is on this week's game at Boston College. Every game is important, but there are added incentives now. The Irish need a win to gain momentum for the rest of the season and the possibility of gaining a bowl invitation.
The rivalry with the Eagles has grown in recent years, and there are paybacks due for losses and the reported actions of BC players and fans. Irish Eyes asked Greg about the defensive team's focus for this game, and he responded that they intend to "definitely come out and stop the run. That's what we do with all teams, try to make them one dimensional. That's definitely the focus of the week, stopping the run then trying to get them back on their heels so they have to throw the ball on every down."
There was very little pressure applied to the quarterback last week and Greg said, "We have been working on it this week and maybe running a little more games this week. I think we will come out with more intensity this game and focus on sacking the quarterback more like the Pittsburgh game.
"I don't think it is a revenge game," said Pauly of the Boston College game. "There have been times when Boston College has upset us, you know. I think it's a 14-game series we have with them and there is a certain intensity because of last year's game. We need to come out and win for last year and this year, too. It is a rivalry, but I don't think it is up to some of our other rivalries. But it is developing. It is a big game and a need win game for us."
Greg told us the biggest adjustment for him this year has been the leadership role, and he explained his style by saying, "I guess being a senior. I am expected to step up and make a better performance out there and make more plays. I am more of an action leader, but there are times when something has to be said, I'll step up and say it."
During this week's press conference there was a reference to Greg's play, and Coach Willingham stated, "Greg has done a wonderful job." When asked about this, Greg smiled and said, "I didn't hear that. Coach Willingham is the head guy, and if he says that, it makes you feel good. It motivates you to work twice as hard."
As mentioned earlier, Greg is a hard worker and a harsh critic of his play. This demeanor will serve him well this week and in the future. Greg was all business during the interview which leads us to suspect he is really focusing in on this week's game against the Eagles.