After last night’s thumping at the hands of NC State, Jeff Hafley spoke to the media postgame. Below the video is the transcript as provided by BCEagles.com.
JEFF HAFLEY: One, give credit to North Carolina State and their staff. They did a good job. They executed at a very high level. That’s a really good football team. 33-7 good? We’ll find that out tomorrow when we watch the tape.
And I don’t want this to get lost: I appreciate and I’m very grateful, when we ran out of the tunnel - that was one of the best atmospheres I’ve seen. Students were there. It was loud, and I appreciate that, and I thank them. Our team thanks them. And I don’t want that to get lost and most of them stayed till the end, which is remarkable, and I just want them to know, keep coming, and we will get better, and I appreciate that.
Tonight, we didn’t execute. Even going to the half at 10-7, we dropped some balls. We missed some plays. We missed a field goal. We didn’t execute and that’s me being honest. In the second half, we came out and we drop a punt. You know, we turn the ball over which, like I said, these are two turnovers that lead to points and we couldn’t recover from that. That was a 14-point swing, very quickly. Could never get in a rhythm really on offense, and you know, I’ll be curious to watch the film tomorrow. But we need to get better.
It kind of reminds me of the Virginia Tech game from last year. Just got away, real quick in the second half, and we couldn’t recover from that; that’s what it reminds me of, and I remember how we bounced back from that, too. And this team will bounce back and we’ll get better. I’m very confident in that. Any questions you guys have?
Q. So that fumble, sort of the turning point from the outside perspective. What did you see from your bench and how did they react to that?
JEFF HAFLEY: I don’t know. I think they kept fighting. You know, we came out and we moved the ball a little bit. But you know, I don’t feel like our players ever quit. I’d be honest with you if I thought that they did. The 14 points, just like that, we just couldn’t recover from. We were down at that point 24-7, and just felt like a little bit too much at that time.
Q. The fumble just before halftime that was overturned, that’s a game-changer right there. Did you get an explanation for that?
JEFF HAFLEY: Yeah, I mean, they said that he bobbled the ball. So, they’ve got the replay. They have great angles. I only saw the one angle, you know, but I trust the officials that were looking at it and they saw him bobble it and they made the call.
Q. You just kind of hit an ACC roadblock with Clemson and NC State. What’s your feeling on that? Can you get over this?
JEFF HAFLEY: Yeah, we’re 4-2. Just so happens that those two teams in a row are ACC teams. You know, I don’t think like that. It’s just for me, it’s one game. It always has been since we started. And we just didn’t play well. We didn’t and that’s just the truth. And I don’t want to make anything bigger than that. We need to play better. We need to get better.
Q. You guys had a hundred rushing yards in the first half, negative three in the second half. Was that a byproduct of being behind and you just needed to throw, or what things did NC State throw at you in that second half?
JEFF HAFLEY: Probably a combination, right, because like I said, I think both backs were averaging over six yards a carry in the first half. We felt great about running the ball. But then that 14-point swing, all of a sudden you’re in a hole and you have to score pretty quick. We’ll have to watch the film to see if they did anything different or what happened. Probably a combination of both.
Q. You guys have been one of the most efficient teams on third down in the country so far this season, but today, 5-of-16. What did you see from NC State that was limiting you guys on third down chances?
JEFF HAFLEY: I felt like we were right there. You know, I thought guys were open. I’ll have to watch the film a little bit closer, and then defensively, they were 5-of-13. So it’s interesting. We played that well in third down. It looks like we need to play better on first and second down. I’ll have to look at the film. I’ll be able to answer that one for you tomorrow.