Here’s the transcript of Steve Addazio’s weekly ACC Conference Call, courtesy of the ACC.
Well, it was good to get a win last week and to get that feeling in the locker room again and get back on track. As we move forward, we're playing a good Buffalo team that just beat an undefeated Army team. Big, strong football team, both sides of the ball, both offensive and defensive lines. Really very good young quarterback, 6'7", 245-pound guy, Tyree Jackson, throws the ball really well.
On defense they're big and stout and physical inside. Linebacker Khalil Hodge is leading the team in tackles. So they've got a really good team coming in here, and we're looking forward to being back home again and taking another step forward again in terms of our fundamentals and how we play the game.
With that, any questions?
Q. I saw you rushed for 300 yards Saturday. That's something you don't see a lot in college football. I know competition had something to do with that, but can you still talk about getting the running game going and what that means going forward?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, that was our emphasis in the game. We wanted to go into the game and really establish our run. I thought we've made some good progress in our throw game and our play action game, but I really felt like we needed to just kind of hammer away at the run game, so we rushed for 300, we threw for 200. I was pleased eventually with how they got that going. We've got that young offensive line, and they just need to play together and get comfortable in their schemes, and so I thought we were able to do that. In fact I felt like we probably left a fair amount of yards on the field still, but we were certainly better.
Q. I'm just wondering what you need to do a little better in that regard going forward.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think up front we've just got to play more consistently. We have a lot of inconsistent play up front because we're a young offensive line, and that goes hand in hand with that. And while I believe we've improved from a year ago up front, we're still kind of young, and young linemen don't play consistently, they make mental mistakes. Their fundamentals break down, and they see different fronts and stunts and blitzes. But I think we're really improving, and I know we'll continue to because I like the ability level of the guys we're playing with.
It just takes a little bit of time, so I would say to you that just we're really hammering away at it, and we're going to get better each week, and I think that'll bear out in the film.
Q. How much does having Hilliman back this year healthy -- I assume he's healthy. How much does that help the running game?
STEVE ADDAZIO: It helps it a lot, plus we have Davon Jones and Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse and Rich Wilson. We've got a good stable of backs. They've all played a fair amount of football here. Davon, Rich and John are big backs, and that goes part and parcel with the style of runs that we like to run.
So I think it's about gelling, it's about gaining some positive momentum. I kind of feel like a week ago was kind of the start of our season. You know, if I could have scripted it, I would have started it that way and let this thing develop and gain momentum early that way. But this is where we're at, and I think we're growing and getting better.
Q. Patrick Towles ran for two scores, passed for two. Sort of evaluate where he is at the moment in his development as a quarterback.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think he's getting comfortable in the offense that we run here, which requires a lot more quarterback involvement. He's responsible for redirecting protections, he's responsible for checking plays at the line of scrimmage, he's responsible for reading coverages and reading route concepts. It's not just go fast and throw bubbles and things like that. I think he's going to continue to improve as we go. His quarterback plays, he's really got a very good arm and he's mobile and he's big and he's strong and he's got all those things going for him, and the more comfortable he is playing in that structure and that system, and the faster he develops that, the more productivity we're going to have, and I see that's coming along nicely right now.
Q. How important is it for the continuity of your offense to have a guy -- last year you went through a bushel full of quarterbacks and then some, to be able to have one guy stay in there and run things.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, it's great. Just don't jinx us, all right? We don't need any more injuries. Last year was unbelievable.
No, it really is. It's nice to have a guy that's got some veteran experience that's in there. We feel real comfortable with Darius Wade, who is backing him up right now, who is also very capable. He was our starter until he got hurt last year, so we have some depth, we have some very good players, and I think it's just, like I said, I think there's a little bit of a learning curve here, you know, and when you open up the way we did, it's not as forgiving.
You know, I think we're having a chance now to watch our -- we're young, we're inexperienced in our offense at the quarterback, right, because Pat has never run that kind of offense, and then we're inexperienced up front. Those are two tough combinations, but both combinations are talented. So our hope is, and I see this during practice each week, we're getting more comfortable, we're getting better, they're working better together, and I really think that -- which would be the natural course of events, that we're going to improve as the season goes along.
Q. Harold Landry had a pretty big game for you last week. How has Harold played for you this year, and what stage is he at in his development with you guys?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, it's kind of like what I just got done talking about for a different reason. Harold missed all of training camp, and it's -- I felt like in the beginning of the year, obviously he was trying to -- he was delayed getting back, feeling stronger, getting his legs back, getting his competitive technique back, and I think last week was the first time he really started looking like his old self. That was another one of those quiet things that hurt us. I mean, while he obviously played week one, he really had not been cleared to play until that very weak.
I think he's starting to get himself into the right playing shape that we had hoped he'd be at.