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Boston College 23, Wake Forest 17: Quotables

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Postgame reactions from players and coaches following Boston College's 23-17 victory over Wake Forest.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Addazio's opening statement...

As I told the team in the locker room, it's hard to win on the road in the ACC. It's hard every week. It doesn't matter, and you've got to battle. You've got to battle till the end of the game. We've been in a bunch of these now, it seems like every game. It doesn't matter who, what, where, when, why, it comes down to the final plays and I think our team can really grow from this. Give Wake Forest a lot of credit, they came back in the second half and battled and made some plays and did some great things, and [Wake Forest Head Coach] Dave's [Clawson] done an unbelievable job there. We had too many penalties. We opened the second half with a 15 yard explosive run, penalty. We are not a penalty team and we've got to do a better job and that really hurt us today. And then we had an uncharacteristic turnover at the end on the kickoff return, which is my fault. I had us in a return that I shouldn't have had us in, and so those things have a tendency to lead sometimes to these finishes and these closes, but I think you can build off some of these, and I'm not trying to be positive to be positive, I really do. I think you learn how to hang in there and be resilient. So I'm proud of our team, proud to get a win, and I'm proud that we have win number five and it gives us a chance to get win number six.

Addazio on having QB John Wolford hemmed in, but letting him grow up in second half...

I think he did a great job and I think he's going to be a heck of a player. I think we've got to do a better job of getting more pressure out of a four-man rush and a five man rush. I think what you saw in the second half was we really didn't get that close to him, and that's not our thing. We've got to get there. We've just got to develop better four-man, five-man pressures. We have to go six sometimes and then you hold yourself open into coverage. We missed [Sophomore Cornerback] John Johnson today. John Johnson wasn't able to play and hopefully we can get him back. He was really playing great football and we're just getting younger and younger by the minute. So that's a problem.

Addazio on junior DB Justin Simmons getting the final interception...

I mean it was huge, and again, part of the growth is, like you just said, he and [Senior Defensive Back Manuel Asprilla] Manny, they've all had a bunch of opportunities, and we finally got one and a critical. Sometimes you can really take something from that, which is great. Doesn't do much for me and your heart's beating like that, but I mean at the end of the day you win the game, you win the game. They all count the same. I've been doing this too long and they all count the same, and they all count the same when you lose them too. You don't get soulless when you say we lost but we should have won, that's happened to us twice already. That doesn't help you. So we won, we got five, and the best thing about when you have five is that it gives you a chance for six, and that's the best thing there is. Do we have to play better and clean up to go on the road to Blacksburg [Virginia], we obviously know that yes. We've got to play a whole lot better and we did pretty damn good in the first half, but we've got to play a whole lot better second half. First half was great. Penalties. Penalties. I don't know how many yards we lost on penalties, and not just the penalties itself, but the yards that came away from it. It had to be damn near 150 yards. It's just crazy.

DB Justin Simmons on the difference in halves...

In the first half we executed really well. In the second half, we knew they were going to take their shots. Give credit to them; they found what was working. We just had to fight it out and we were able to make a play at the end.

Simmons on filling in for the injured DB John Johnson at corner...

As safeties, we have to know the defense inside and out. I knew all the plays at corner but I just had to get the techniques down. My coaches did a great job all week helping me after practice getting extra work and before practice getting extra film so it's all credit to them.

Simmons on getting the interception to seal BC's win...

It was great. Our defense is all behind each other. Give credit to the defensive line for getting pressure on the quarterback at the end. All game long, they were consuming Wolford and I was fortunate to come up with that one.

QB Tyler Murphy on finishing out the game...

Our main focus was to finish today. We knew we were going to be a fight from the jump. [Wake Forest] did a good job making plays to get them back in the game. As an offense, we tried to stay calm and collected. We have been in situations like this before where we had a chance to get a first down and close against Colorado State and we didn't do that and they went down and scored, so our goal was to get a first down and make them use all their timeouts and keep the defense off the field. The defense did a good job of getting a turnover and giving us the ball to close it out.

It felt good to finally close something out because you lose sleep about it. We were just a hungry team coming into this week and to be able to close out and finish a big confidence booster for us. We are going to have our work cut out for us next week with another ACC road game but we have to find a way to get win number six.

Murphy on freshman running back Jon Hilliman's performance...

Jon did a great job of trusting his blockers and trusting his speed, his strength and his ability to hit the hole. And just running. You could tell he was just having fun out there, running around and trying to make plays to help the team. He did a great job of that.

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson's opening statement...

I am really proud of how hard the guys competed. At halftime it certainly could have gone in another direction, especially after last week. The foundation of our program is we are guys who go out there and fight and compete and that is certainly a great foundation to build on. Our offense had 260 yards in the second half against one of the best defenses in the ACC but in the first half we had almost no production and you can't wait until the second half. We've got to come out early and move the ball better. As well as we've played on defense that is the third time we've had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter and didn't do it. We're learning some painful lessons. Again, I'm really proud of how our guys compete and battle and at the end of the day if they do that you have to be proud. We've got a lot of things to clean up.

We're early in this process and if we can establish effort as a starting point then we are headed in the right direction.

Clawson on establishing the run game...

We have taken ourselves out of so many games this year because of how much we throw the ball and turn it over. We really wanted to come out and try to establish a running game. We played against a football team that has 33 juniors and seniors in their two-deep that has spent the last three or four summers of their lives lifting weights and they physically overwhelmed us. That's where we are as a program. We aren't as strong or as physical as we need to be. We're very young in a lot of our linemen positions but that is part of a rebuild. We will get a little stronger every year. That takes time, you can't fix that in one week or one month. But we will fix it.

We've already taken steps to fix that and it will get better in time.

Clawson on atmosphere on the sidelines...

It's great on the sidelines. The kids are in to the game. Our guys battled and played hard. The crowd was in to the game and it was great to see them give us some energy.

Clawson on John Wolford's turnover in the fourth quarter...

He forced it. And that is a young quarterback. I really like how competitive he is and how much courage he has. He'll push the ball places but that is what's really hard for a young quarterback in a two-minute drill. That wasn't the time to push it. We had two minutes left, three timeouts and it was first down. It is okay to throw it away. That is a valuable lesson he will learn.

DT Josh Banks on the two very different halves...

It was tough. We started a bit slow, but halftime we brought it together, we made a big turn the second half. But, we had to just keep on moving and keep things on our side.

There was just typical stuff in the first half. They didn't really bring anything to the table there we just had to make sure we saw things in all places, which we did correct in the second half.

Banks on losing the game...

It was a close game, we just have to tough it up and we need to make sure we are ready for what is coming at us next.

CB Kevin Johnson on the loss...

I would say the morale in the locker room right now is a little frustration because we aren't getting those wins but at the same time we shared a lot of good plays in that game. The second half was hard to come against us. I think we had over 250 yards into the second half. Unfortunately, defense fell back and that was our problem.

Johnson on the play of the defense...

I think that defense held their own, which we all know they do. I think that offense held themselves out really well in the back and played better. We didn't do this in the second half. I mean we had a touchdown, but we still need to go back to the drawing boards and fix what we made mistakes on.

Johnson on the upcoming match up with Clemson...

We know that we can play, we have proved that. We know we can play the first half, then we need to hustle it to play the second. That's what we need to take away to play against them.

QB John Wolford on the failed comeback...

Any game the goal is to win. We're disappointed that we lost. You can look at positive things like the comeback but overall, your goal is to win and we weren't able to do that.

Wolford on the interception...

I thought I had a back shoulder throw. I was trying to make a play and I forced it. You just wish you could take that play back...I have to learn from that. I have to let it go and move on.

Wolford on the change from the first half to the second...

We were really able to open up our passing game. The [offensive] line did a great job. That's the best they've played, I thought, protection wise.