STEVE ADDAZIO: Okay, guys, back at it. Another conference game. Louisville coming in. Good to be back home. Another talented team, athletic team. Obviously, Coach Petrino has done a really good job there at Louisville. Really good football coach. Got a good staff. Got good players on their team. This is a motivated team coming in here. We have got to play our best game. Go get ready to try to get our fifth win here.
So a big week ahead of us. Looking forward to it, and looking forward to continuing to improve.
Happy to answer any questions.
Q. Any update on the status of AJ Dillon?
STEVE ADDAZIO: You know, I just don’t know yet. This won’t change, just so you know. It will continue to be a day-to-day, week-to-week deal. It’s just hard to know.
I have not seen him yet today. Certainly he made good improvement over the weekend. He’s working real hard on rehab, just to get his strength back and feel good. I just don’t know when that will be. I don’t anticipate me having a whole lot of information in the next couple of days, but he is improving. Looks better each and every day. So we will see where we head.
Q. Ben Glines had a lot of carries (inaudible) starting running back position?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, he gradually increased his carries, and continued to get more as the year went on. I think we are also -- Benny has done a great job. We are trying Travis and we are trying to develop David Bailey. We are got pretty accustomed to a style of play with AJ there.
I think what we will do now, and trying to make sure we find the right rhythm for the new normal, and that’s find what we are working on. We started to hit a little stride with it in the second half against NC State. Obviously, it was a little too late. I would have liked to have seen that happen earlier. Although earlier there were some really good opportunities.
But I think in the run games there are some adjustments. Trying to make sure you are trying to take advantage of each guy’s individual -- just, he went from having a supplemental role to a full-time role. Exactly how that tweaks us and shapes us, we will have speed fashion trying to get that right.
Q. Talking about Anthony running the ball more against NC State.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Could be. Just want to be careful with him. All of a sudden turn that thing into a two-run game. We carried a couple of things, as I said. We will continue to slowly add to that.
Hey, we can’t prevent injuries but we want to do the best we can to put ourselves in the best situation. We don’t want to continue to lose some of our or biggest fire-power players here. We went on the road to play a good NC State without our best player. That’s hard to do. We would like to keep that to a minimum, if that’s at all possible, or control that but we want to be careful not to add to it.
Q. Georgia Tech ran a lot of yards last week against Louisville. Anything you can take from that game?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Georgia Tech runs a lot of yards on everybody. That’s a really unique scheme. Really hard to defend. When it gets going, it just has a way of getting going on you, and they got going. It’s so completely different that it’s hard to weigh in on that.
I’ve just seen it over the years, these wishbone teams carve up defenses and I know what can happen. When they get it going on you, they get it going, and they got it going. I’ve been on both ends of that thing in my career at different stops. I totally understand that.
So I don’t know that we really take a ton away from that. I know watching the tape that Louisville has got some very, very talent players on their team. That has not changed. They didn’t just evaporate. They are there and they are talented. They’ve got some young guys and they are working to get that right. I’m sure they will because they are talented and they have good coaches.
Q. When you have to slot in a guy like Ben as the running back, does that change to what you’re looking at or how you are preparing formationally, scheme-wise? Try to slot him and (inaudible)?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think that we are not changing who we are like that, right now. We are running a lot of the same things. We might be tweaking some of them. We got a little bit more shotgun run in the game on Saturday. So I think these are things we are looking at right now. In a bye week, if we had to adjust something, we might try to make some adjustments. Right now I would use the word “accentuate”, “feature” more than “different”.
We’ve got a lot of other players that have got to step up and play and a lot of them did. We saw a phenomenal catch by Tommy Sweeney. We some really fabulous plays out there. The shame was we left more than a handful in the first half, we left them on the field. They were pretty obvious to see. I think that’s the shame of that part right there.
Q. Was there a concerted effort to fix the special teams? It looked like there were no liabilities at all with those units on Saturday?
STEVE ADDAZIO: As I said before, I’m not picking up on words, but “fix the special teams” to look you in the eye and tell you I fixed the fact that the punter didn’t drop the ball, I didn’t fix that. I didn’t fix the fact that Michael Walker secured the kickoff. He’s a good player. He dropped the ball. It happens. He had a couple of drops. He had one on a punt, one on a kickoff. It is uncharacteristic of him but it happened.
So I can’t tell I fixed anything there. Are we, like always, going to continue to heavy emphasize special teams? Yes. Do we work real hard on our return yards, our coverage, our punt block that we got? That field goal block that we had, we’ve worked real on that stuff. That really hasn’t changed and we really emphasize it. It was tremendous to see a lot of that work; when you needed it most, it came through for us.
But for me to say there won’t be another fumble exchange, I can’t really predict. We are doing everything we can on all those fronts with young guys, distraction catches, everything that you can do to continue to build on focus and concentration with some of those little things. We are doing those.
But I am proud of where we were big picture special teams-wise. We separated the punt returner from the ball and recovered a fumble. We blocked a field goal after a 16-play drive and ten minutes off the clock, and there was zero points, and blocked a punt at the end of the game for a touchdown, having overcome losing the ball going in on the 2, and put ourselves in a position to have a shot to win the football game. So I mean, I’m not sure you can do a whole lot more than special teams did. Michael Walker had a couple of big kickoff returns after that.
I thought special teams made an impact on the game and made some huge plays. That’s something that we emphasize and work on all the time.
Q. Tell us about Jawon Pass. He’s filling some big shoes.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, I think I’ve been there, too. We have got some young guys that are inexperienced guys that are playing and being compared to a guy that could arguably go down as one of the great players of college football history. There is an adjustment to all that.
These are talented guys that are playing hard. They have good ability. There is a new normal there. The guy there before made up for a lot of ails. I mean, he made a lot of people right. I’ve been around guys that can do that. I understand that. They are out there in the country right now in college football. People put the tags of geniuses on people, but when you got an eraser like, it makes people real smart because that guy was an eraser. You could have the perfect defense called, he can go 90 on you.
New normal, and a good talented team is finding its way. That’s college football.
Q. How do you prepare for Jawon knowing that when you look back at old tape, there is a guy like (inaudible)?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I think you’re talking about a big, talented guy. He’s athletic. I’m not there to tell you exactly what his he special talents are but he certainly has real good talent. I think trying to take your system and adapt to what you want to do with your guys, I’m sure there is a lot of that going on. It’s all part of it, you know. This time of year all of a sudden a lot of teams come out of their malaise a little bit. It happens. All of a sudden the light goes on, start to get a little experience, and it’s amazing how everything comes together all of a sudden.
I can’t speak to anybody but our team. We have our own deals right now. We are trying to get our offense reacquainted with just a little different style. There is a lot with that. We are also addressing on defense some things that we are trying to do better on - getting off the field on third down and stopping the run. So we got some issues that we are all working on, doing that all at the while trying to stay healthy. A week ago we had five guys that were out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. It has an impact.
So hopefully we can get more guys back in practice back on the field. It’s all part of it. It’s all part of the whole deal.
Q. Out on the secondary, I know Mike Palmer stepped in and played pretty well at safety and linebacker. John Lamot played a lot on Saturday. Can you talk about being able to slot different guys into the scheme.
STEVE ADDAZIO: We are trying to continue to play different guys, for a lot of reasons, one of which is guys are gassed. They are on the field too long and they are gassed. So trying to play Lucas at a corner a little bit, get Mike going at safety a little bit, playing John a little bit at linebacker to give guys some blow. So hopefully we can continue to do those things. You need to do that, especially if you come off a 16-play drive. You are going to be fatigued.
Thank God. We have a little depth there that we make a couple of those moves. So we are going to continue. Exactly what the combinations will be, I don’t really know that yet. We experimented a little bit last week. Some things look goods to us. Some things didn’t look as good. So we are just going to march forward.