STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, we feel very fortunate to have been able to get a win here at home against an outstanding Virginia Tech team, one of the finest defenses and special teams outfits in the country. We were able to follow the plan. Our team followed the plan on offense, defense and special teams, which I thought was a good validation for our kids to be able to hang in there, fight, scratch and claw and win the game in the fourth quarter, and that was an important step for us in the building of our program.
We now head out to New Mexico State, a team that to me is improving each and every week, really had a very fine offensive game last week, and I see good players on both sides of the ball, guys that‑‑ their wildcat quarterback, Austin Franklin, a receiver, was a dynamic player, and on both sides of the ball they have guys that can make plays, they're physical, and we've got to make a long trip out there, so it's going to take a lot of focus, a lot of great mental strain, a lot of great game prep by our team and maturity and leadership, go on the road, travel out there, and compete like crazy to get our fifth win, which we're looking forward to that competition.
Q. This is kind of a, for lack of a better word, an oddball match‑up, two teams that have never played each other. I wonder if you knew anything about how this game came about and will they return a game to you and that sort of thing? Sort of how this happened?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Obviously this happened before I got here, but I think it was simply having to come up with an extra game, and there wasn't a lot of availability. You know, I think this was an availability on both teams, so I think it's a one‑shot deal out here, and obviously we're traveling out there. I think that's what happened. I don't think it was done for any specific reason other than a game needed to happen and both teams needed to fill a game.
Q. They are coming off their first win of the season, so how do you think that‑‑ from your review of that game, what are the things they seem to be able to do well and what can you expect?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I mean, honestly I thought that watching the tape, I've watched about every game now and every snap, and I just think they're really improving. I thought they got a lot of productivity. They want to a wildcat quarterback situation. They used two wide receivers in there. I thought they were very, very productive. I thought on defense they're pretty physical. So I think that they're just a team‑‑ first year Doug Martin is there, and like a lot of teams sometimes they're starting to play their best ball towards the end of the year. I really think they are, so I mean, they'll be a real challenge. I mean, we're the kind of team that we've got to really be clicking on all cylinders for ourselves. I mean, it's going to be one of those tough, hard‑fought games. We're on the road. It's a four‑and‑a‑half‑hour plane flight out there, and we'll have to battle against everything. New Mexico State, they travel to everything, and it won't be easy, but we have to go out there and compete to get our fifth win.
Q. I know you said going into the year the goal was to make a bowl game, and now that you're two wins away from reaching that, is that something that you discussed with the team or that is talked about amongst the players or is it something that everybody just kind of knows based on where you all stand right now?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think obviously one of our goals is to make a bowl game, as you said, so the players know that. I think what happens is every week for us we have to really just really be on top of our game, so the focus has to be incredible on getting a fifth win, which is something that hasn't happened here in more than a few years. We were able to do it last year, the year before and even the year before that. We're battling at the very, very end to try to get five in a row and at the end to become bowl eligible. There's a tremendous amount of focus right now with our seniors and everybody in this program about just centering in on trying to get win number five, and I think our kids understand, I certainly hope they understand that it's all hands on deck with us. When we win, it's because we are just scratching and clawing, and we're not turning it over, and we don't have a lot of penalties, and we have that kind of team concept. And that's hard to do week in and week out.
So here we are, we're going on the road, we haven't won a road game, and we need to get a fifth win, and we're playing a team that's playing their best ball. So I think it has everyone's attention for what it is; go get win number five. That's all that matters right now.
Q. What did you most like about your performance against Virginia Tech that you're preaching to the team to keep that up this week?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, on offense we didn't have any turnovers. We had no penalties. I know there was a five‑yard thing but that was a freeze penalty we took on purpose. We were able to run the football against arguably the best or one of the top two run defenses in the country. On defense we created turnovers and gave us great field position, and on special teams we made our special teams plays.
We followed the plan to win is the long‑winded way of saying that, and we had to overcome adversity and win in the end. So I was really proud of the way our team fought and scratched, and I hope that that was validation to them on how we have to play so that we can have that kind of success.
Every week we've got to do that. I mean, that's just who we have to be. It's not like‑‑ sometimes with teams they want to feel good because they haven't had great success, and there's no time to feel good right now. It's time to put the pedal further down to the metal and run this gun lap and finish and continue to grow and get better. Feel good is for at the end of the season when you reflect back on positive things that you did.
So that's the message, and you have to fight human nature, and that's what we're in the middle of right now, and getting this team ready to continue to grow and play at a high, high level on the road this week.
Q. I wanted to ask about Andre Williams in the sense that he's rushed for a lot of yards this year, he's leading the conference, but 166 yards against the best rushing defense in the ACC, one of the best in the country, can you put that in context? How good a performance was that?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I thought it was outstanding. I thought Andre ran really hard, and I thought our offensive line played really well. So I just think that he had a couple of runs where he was breaking tackles, and he's a power runner, and that's the best thing that we can do right now on offense, so we need to do that well. I mean, that's what it is, and I thought we hit some key play action passes off of that, which helped us keep some drives alive, because our style is one that you need to stay on the field to have the defense feel the effects of it. It's not a‑‑ that style doesn't lend itself to a bunch of three‑and‑outs, even though against a defense like that you're going to have your share.
Q. The other thing I wanted to ask a little different, it's always tough to travel most of the way across the country, but you've already done it once this year. Does that help at all acclimate you to making this trip?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I hope so, but that experience didn't go so well. You know, I felt like that was early in the year, and we've really grown since then. But it all speaks to your‑‑ when you go on the road, especially long trips, it's your leadership, it's your demeanor. Those are things that we're working on, and hopefully we've matured and grown to a point where we're going to handle that better.
You know, so for me to tell you I'm not concerned about it, of course I am. So this is a challenge and a good challenge for our program. We need to take that next step, go out there, handle the trip, play well, and get win five.
I mean, that's a challenge that I've put to this football team.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports