BACK TO FOOTBALL!!!!! Coach Daz's pearls of wisdom about the academies, football, Florida State leftovers, prepping for the option and more.
COACH ADDAZIO: We were in quite a physical game last week. We played a great Florida State team. I thought our team played quite hard. Gave up some big plays that cost us. But I thought there was growth in our team both sides of the ball.
I'm excited about that. We need to find a way to win those contests. So on our path of growing here as a football program, we have a great challenge in front of us here to play Army. Army is averaging 325 yards a game rushing, which is second in the country. Our defense has undertaken a big challenge right now given that style of offense. Our offense is getting ready for their unique defense.
There is a lot of preparation going on. We need to come back and play with the same level of intensity and passion we played with a week ago. We need to grow from there, so we're looking forward to the challenge.
Q. When teams play Army or Navy, the coaches frequently express their respect for these kids that have made a commitment to their country. Part of the problem with this game not being played is not financial, it's the Department of Defense thinks it's a bad perception to be playing football during the shutdown. The other side of that coin is denying these kids a chance to play football when they made a commitment to their country.
COACH ADDAZIO: I don't know that I know enough or am involved enough to make any comment other than the fact I do have great respect for the military, for the military academies, for what they represent, for what these kids go through, for what these sacrifices are.
I almost feel like for me to have any commentary would be disrespectful. I really don't know the ins‑and‑outs of what's going on at all. I don't want to claim that I do because I don't.
Whatever happens happens. I'm preparing for a game on Saturday, as I'm sure they are. I just hope you respect the fact that I wouldn't know where to begin to have a commentary other than the fact that I'm sure those kids want to compete and play on that field because they're competitors, just like our guys do. But there's more to it than that. Out of respect for that, I think I leave it right there.
Q. What was Tyler Murphy's recruitment like when you were at Florida? Talk about how well he's doing now with the Gators.
COACH ADDAZIO: I recruited Tyler. He's from Connecticut, like I am. I'm always excited for Connecticut guys. He's truly a tremendous young man. He's done everything the right way. He's waited for his opportunity. You never know what creates opportunity. Unfortunately it was created by injury to one of his teammates.
When a guy goes down, another guy's got to take over, and he's done that. So I'm very happy for him, excited for him. He's one of the good guys, certainly one of the guys you want to cheer for. Certainly thrilled to see he's having success.
Q. What is it like preparing for a game that you don't know if it's going to be played or not?
COACH ADDAZIO: Our guys practiced this morning. Our guys asked me the same question. I didn't know anything was going on until yesterday afternoon. I really haven't even paid any attention to it. In my mind, we're playing on Saturday. That's not trying to talk myself into something; that's really how I feel.
I've been on the practice field, so I listened to the statement that was read. In my mind, we're getting ready to play a game that I'm totally prepared and anticipate playing. I haven't spent one second thinking of anything different.
Q. What did you learn about yourselves from the Florida State game?
COACH ADDAZIO: I want our team to understand that that level of intensity and passion is not extraordinary, it's what is supposed to be. It is what it is in major college football. We have to find a way to generate that every week.
I'm excited about the fact that our offense grew. We scored 34 points. Most that has ever been scored by us against Florida State by Boston College. Second, our running back rushed for almost 150 yards, the most they've allowed any single ball carrier since 2010. This is an outstanding Florida State team.
We had four sacks. We had 11 TFLs. There's a lot of positives. We were really physical and all that.
We've got to find a way to limit some of the mistakes that created some of the big plays. I think we can certainly take things from the game.
The thing I've learned in coaching is that you want to take all the positives, you want to work on all your negatives, but the most important thing is you progress from week‑to‑week. What happens sometimes is when you're trying to move a program forward, you move it forward two, you come back one, you move it up three, you come back one, you move it up four... It's not a one‑game deal. Sometimes you have disappointments along the way.
I like the direction we're headed. I like the energy and work ethic of the team. There's no question we'll get this where we want it to be, it's just a matter of how long it will take us.
Q. Assuming the game is played Saturday, you're going to see the option. Can you talk about preparing for that in one week, how difficult it is in this day and age when you don't see it very often.
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, it's very difficult. It's a unique offense, a unique style. I'm very familiar with it because I ran it. I guess that's a little bit of a benefit. I understand it, know it. I can help the scout team. I'm involved with the scout team in the preparation.
I think it's critical that you can run it at a pretty high level so when you get on the field on Saturday it's not such a different speed.
You need a quarterback that can run a little option, have to be able to teach the plays, call them. We have a little understanding of that. But it happens so fast. The cut blocking, all the things that are unique to it, it's difficult.
Q. Is there anybody from the Army side who especially concerns you?
COACH ADDAZIO: I mean, I think it's the combination offensively of the quarterback, the backs and the fullback. It's the fact that at any moment's notice, one of them can pop through if someone does do their job. Or a receiver, if you overplay the run, can get behind the defense really quickly. It's the collectiveness of it that worries me.
On defense it's the total commitment of the whole front, the whole defense stopping the run that's amazing to me. I give these guys a lot of credit. I think the coaches are really sharp guys and have done a great job. They've maximized everything. I'm impressed with them.
Fastscripts Transcript by ASAP Sports.