Tommy Bowden Tuesday Press Conference


by - Correspondent -
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Quick notes and quotes from Tommy Bowden's regular Tuesday press conference:

- Wake Forest: Two things have made them competitive. The 85 scholarship limit and Jim Grobe. He's a good coach, he takes players and does things to give them a chance to be successful. They're well coached and have good players.

- Been a bunch of crazy plays, some up there and some down here. The scores have been close, and it's a deflection or something unusual. Sticks out more because the games or close.

- Skinner: Very productive guy. Went unrecruited. He's mobile. Completed 73 percent, so he's very accurate. Lot of composure. Has the intangibles you'd like to see in a quarterback. Doesn't buckle under pressure at all.

- I don't think our players see it as pressure. We'll put pressure on them in practice, a sense of urgency. But you have to play loose. You can't play uptight on Saturday. But pressure would be on me, on staff. They will see girlfriend after games win or lose. You don't have to state the obvious. They know what's on the line.

- When you have reigning champs and have opportunity to repeat, there are certain advantages. They're accustomed to close games, accustomed to winning close games. They play with an edge. They play smart.

- Wake defense: They challenge throws. Secondary plays a little tighter. Rush is pretty intense. I think when you play hard you become opportunistic. The get a lot of turnovers because they play hard.

- Kick and punt coverage: Don't fear them, but respect them. Several things we plan on doing, but would hate to tell you now.

- Noon game atmosphere: I prefer the early games because Sunday's a work day. You prefer your staff to be as fresh as possible. Miami game few years ago was a daylight game. Don't think it was noon, but we set that noise record. Think the crowd will be electric this week regardless of kickoff time.

- Mental focus: Last night's practice as spirited as we've ever had since I've been here. Anytime you have the reigning champs coming in your stadium, and you're in the driver's seat...we haven't had that since I've been here. I don't think enthusiasm or emotion will be a problem. It won't win the game, but it will help keep our attention and focus this week.

- Wake offense: See it once a year, and the execution of it. The guy calling the plays does a really good job.

- Grobe: He seems to be very humble. His team's play good. To do what he's done, I know he's well respected in the coaching profession. Our fans have finally realized how good they are because this is the first time we sold out this game.

- They never panic, and that's a reflection of the coach.

- I tried to get my guys to play like his. You hit through the echo of the whistle. That's how they play.

- Line play: Our knockdowns and cut blocks have increased dramatically. Intensity has improved.

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