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Steve Addazio Press Conference Transcript: November 23

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Addazio discusses Wake Forest and the end of the regular season

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Addazio spoke yesterday about the upcoming Wake Forest game and the end of the 2016 regular season.


COACH ADDAZIO: We're excited, obviously last game of the season here, going down to Wake Forest. Going down to play a very good football team. I've got all the respect in the world for Dave Clawson and his staff.

Every time I watch the film each year we play, and I watch the job that he's done on offense; they are a very sound offense with really good running backs, good receiver, good tight end and a really gutsy, tough quarterback in John Wolford.

Very, very impressed with them on defense. Every year they are outstanding. Mike Elko does a great job with their defense. They are so well coordinated. They play their defense, their style, extremely well. I notice this year, they are just really good ball hawks this year. They are in the Top-10 in the country in turnovers, creating them, getting them, and you know, that's not by accident. That's coaching. Great players under defense.

And Marquel Lee to me is a phenomenal player, the middle linebacker. Ejiofor is a really good pass rusher. They have really got good players who play really hard, really tough, physical within their scheme and are well, well coached. And that's evident with Dave already Bowl eligible and the job he's done rebuilding that football program.

So we are in for a really tough game down there against a really good football team. It's a real important game for us, as well, both of us, but we are going down there to try to get our sixth win, so it's going to be a real physical contest. We are looking forward to it.

And with that, I'll take any questions.

Q. To take a look at this last game, you have an opportunity to become Bowl eligible. Just what can you say about the importance of that and what it says as far as where this program is at in your opinion right now.
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, for us, it's an opportunity, as you said, to become Bowl eligible. Once that happens as everybody knows, it gives you the opportunity for more practices and gives you the opportunity to continue to develop your football program. It's a critical deal and it's a chance to win another big time football game, an ACC football game.

We are just real focused on trying to get win No. 6. That's what we're focused with right now, and you know, that's a goal we set out at the beginning of the year, and it's still attainable in the last game of the year. So there's a lot on the line here and that's a good thing.

Q. Playing up against Wake Forest, they have had three different quarterbacks that have seen time this year. You have had multiple quarterbacks do the same, as well. Just what can you say about -- Dave Clawson had spoken about the fact that it's very hard to have just one quarterback for an entire season the way that things are in college football these days. Just how you've evaluated your guys and how you've kind of gone through the ebb and flow of having to switch who your signal caller is.
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, we went through that last year and it's very, very difficult. You have a starter for a reason; he's a starter. And when you start going to your next guy and next guy, it just creates a little bit of disruption, and each guy is it a little different and it's hard to get continuity.

I think Dave has done a phenomenal job of keeping continuity within his offense. And I just think -- I watched them on film, and I just think that they are a confident team that sticks with what they do, and plays really, really hard. And doesn't -- whoever is in at quarterback, they keep that same thing going.

Obviously it's very challenging to play with two and three quarterbacks and having to deal with these injuries, and that's a by-product of a lot of things; the schedule, the side of the division, the teams you're playing. It's not easy, and it creates havoc with you on offense.

I think it's remarkable what he's done. He's really kept very, very consistent, and that's a tribute to Dave and his staff, and the quality of kids that they have in their program.

Q. One of the things Wake has done well, is lead the ACC in turnover margin. Reason for that or is it just happenstance?
COACH ADDAZIO: That's what I said earlier; I think it's coaching, I think -- they are ball hawks. They work at getting the ball out.

I mean, you look at them on defense, they are very well-coached. And you say, well, everybody says that. Well, because it's true. Because you watch them schematically: They have a great scheme, they play to their scheme, they are very good fundamentally and they go after balls.

I mean, you know, interceptions come from great coverage, and pulling balls out come from going after those balls. I mean, this is all coached. I just think they are really sound, really hard playing, really good defense. I've said that each year I've been in the league playing against Dave's teams, and I'm watching it again this year. Yes, those turnovers are a byproduct of a lot of hard work on the part of their players and their coaches.

Q. On the other side of the ball, the last two years they have been the worst rushing team in the ACC and this year they are up in the middle of the pack. Can you talk about the improvement there and the problems that presents?
COACH ADDAZIO: I think any time you're playing really -- we're kind of built like this. You want to play really good defense; you want to be able to run the football. Well, they are playing really good defense and they can run the football.

I think the two running backs they have are tough guys. They are good runners. I mean, Colburn is averaging 4.1 per carry and Carney is averaging 3.8 per carry. They have obviously improved up front, on both side of the ball -- but we are talking about offense: They do what they do and they do it well, and they are consistent, and they play hard.

The quarterback, John Wolford, is a tough guy. He is a competitive dude. You know, their receivers are good. Tabari Hines and Cortez Lewis are good players.

I just think they are well-coached fundamentally and they know what they are doing and they do what they do well. Their consistency, to me, gives them a great opportunity to run the football and the way they play defense helps them run the football and the way they play football helps them run the defense, so they are married together.

Q. What were you most encouraged about offensively against UCONN that you need to keep up against Wake Forest?
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, I think we had some pretty good quarterback play. I thought Pat Towles played his best and most complete game of the year. I thought our receivers caught the ball.

I didn't think that we ran the ball as well as we would still like to run the ball. I think we are capable of running it a lot better than that, but I thought we passed it well and I thought the quarterback played really confidently.

Of course, on the other side of the ball, we held them to minus seven yards rushing and played really, really great defense, which, you know, like what I was talking a minute ago with Wake; we played great defense. We had 40 minutes time of possession on offense to their 19, and that's kind of our plan to win, and the quarterback played very well.

Q. I think the possibility exists that there might be some 5-7 teams that make Bowl games just based on APR because of the number of Bowl slots that there are. I know you guys are going to win but in the chance that you don't, would you guys be willing to accept a Bowl bid at 5-7? Some teams did not last year and I'm wondering what your philosophy is on that?
COACH ADDAZIO: Absolutely. My philosophy is to keep developing our football team, any way, any possible way we can keep going. As you said, we're going down to win a football game, and I know you know that.

But to answer your question, I'm not going to give you all that coach talk. Yeah, we want to go play football. We want to keep playing as long as we can. We think we have a really good, young developing football program, and the greatest thing for us is the continuation after Saturday to keep practicing and building and growing. Because our kids love it, our coaches love it and that's what we're striving for.

Q. How big would those extra practices be for a program like yours where you do have a bunch of younger guys that you still want to work with and keep developing here as you set the foundation for the future?
COACH ADDAZIO: It's so important. I mean, you know, those practices give you such a jump start on the next year, working with the young kids, some of the kids that still aren't even playing and you get a chance to do a lot of scrimmaging with them.

It just, it means everything. Like the rich get richer; and when you're trying to build your program and stuff, the opportunity to get these is like having two springs. You know, you're like having two spring practices, and it just compounds itself.

So it's critical, and our players know it, and that's why I like -- we had a really intense day today, and our players were just battling today, which was awesome to. See, because they are fighting for that win, fighting for that opportunity to move on.

(Transcript provided by ASAP sports)