WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson talked about the Deacs goal to go 1-0 this week, as they travel to face undefeated Indiana Saturday in Bloomington.
Here’s part one of his question and answer session from Tuesday’s media availability.
On how to temper enthusiasm and stay focused
Clawson: “You focus on what’s next. We talk about wanting to be 1-0 every week. What happened has happened, and we’re proud at what they’ve done. But the reward of winning a game is that the next one has significance. It’s been a long time here since we’ve played games of meaning in October and November. We want to play games that mean something in October and November. For that to happen, we have to continue to play well. I think our players are at a point where they’re enjoying it, but they also know why they’re achieving it. It is work ethic and preparation. They know if they stop doing that, we won’t be successful. You have to acknowledge what they’re doing well, because they’re doing a lot of really good things. We’re playing well, and doing a lot of the things we wanted to do. But teams gets better or they get worse. We’re having success because of the commitment level, the work ethic, the practice habits and the preparation. If we stop doing those things, there will be a reason it stops.”
On not taking the time to enjoy being 3-0
Clawson: “That’s just the nature of what we do. There’s a game the next week. The time to enjoy it is when the season is over. Then I’ll enjoy it for 24 hours, then start recruiting. If you’re looking in the rear view mirror, you’re not looking forward. The feeling in the locker room after a game — whether Duke, Delaware or Tulane. That’s a great feeling. The feeling around the office Sunday is a great feeling. When that’s done, you start watching the next opponent. We are who we are, and we do what we do. We have a process, and we have to continue with that process.”
On where the Duke win and celebration ranks for him in terms of wins
Clawson: “It was a good one. Not as good as winning a championship, and that’s our ultimate goal. But to finally win an in-state rivalry game against our yearly crossover opponent. I mean, we made a big deal about the game before the game. When you do what you set out to do, you have to enjoy it. In that moment, it was pure elation. That’s the nature of what we do. There’s no middle ground. At the end of the game, you’re either here (motions high) or here (motions low). There’s no middle ground at all. When they’ve worked hard, executed, and did what they had to do, you have to let them enjoy it. We enjoyed that Duke locker room just like we did the Delaware locker room. It’s cliche, but it’s true — it’s the 24-hour rule. Whether you win or lose, you put it behind you and move forward, and try to build on it. There are good things to build on, and we have to make sure we keep doing those things. We need to create winning habits in our program.”
On what he takes away from last year’s game with Indiana
Clawson: “What I take away from that game is that they came down here and beat us. The tempo of their offense is difficult to prepare for and defend. They have a very physical offensive line. They knock people off the ball, and they moved the football against everybody in the Big Ten. It’s a well-thought out offensive scheme. Coach Wilson’s background is as an offensive line coach. You can tell how well coached that unit is. They develop players there. Their running back is legit. He can play. He could play anywhere, and will be playing on Sundays. They have a quarterback who can sling in and receivers we had trouble covering a year ago. They’re a good football team. Last year the score looked closer than the game really was. Last year, the final score was 31-24, but it was 31-10 and we scored two touchdowns late. It was a little bit misleading. They took it to us pretty well last year.”