Dabo Swinney ACC teleconference transcript

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Audio of Dabo Swinney's teleconference (MP3 Format)

COACH SWINNEY: Quickly. Just tough
Georgia Tech team that we see every year and it's
another big challenge for us, especially to have to
go down there on the road. Great environment to
go play in. Always a challenge when you're facing
these guys with what they do on offense. They put
just a ton of pressure on you every single snap and
force you to play with a lot of discipline. And if you
don't, it's a big play.

So we have got our hands full. And then
their defense is playing really good. They are not
giving up a lot of points, and you know, just really
improved from last year. So just going to take a
complete game on our part and a great week of

Q. Can you talk about Mike Sobeski
and the job he has done, being a walk-on and
open tryout and now on the field and
contributing a little bit during your great
season so far?

COACH SWINNEY: Yeah, Sobeski has
done an excellent job, and we knew about him in
high school. His dad is actually the trainer over at
Dorman High School, and you know, he came in
and actually red-shirted last year, tried to put a little
weight on him so he's gotten a little bigger.

He snaps for our field goals and has done
a really good job. We gave him a shot, I think the
Boston College game was his first game at
snapper. (Phillip) Fajgenbaum is our starter on
punts, and he was actually doing both. He got
banged up a little bit and we really had nobody
else with any experience so we went ahead and
gave Sobeski the opportunity to get some
experience against BC, and he's just really done a
great job for us.

It's really helped us because we have
really developed some depth with our snappers
and we have two guys with game experience and
they can focus on the short snap or the long snap.
It's been really good. In fact, he was our special
teams player of the game this past week.

Q. With your offense putting up 52
points in the last two games, are they doing
certain things better than they were doing
earlier in the season, or what do you account
for these last would weeks?

COACH SWINNEY: Well, we are just first
of all creating some turnovers and our defense has
done a good job with turnovers this past week.
Two of them, for scores. So we are kind of putting
it all together.

Same thing up there at Maryland. Our
defense set up one, our kick game set up a couple.
We took one to the house and another one we
almost took to the house. So we set up some
opportunities to score there, and then offensively
we are doing a good job of executing. Our guys
are doing a good job of making plays and our
quarterback is playing really good and offensive
line and those guys. So it's really a combination of
our team really working together in all three areas,
and you saw that again this past week. We scored
59 points. But Kourtnei BrownKourtnei Brown
Gr. Defensive End
#90 6-6, 255
Charlotte, NC

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on defense scored
two touchdowns and they were able to get several
turnovers and set up some scores and offensively
they played pretty well.

That's a pretty potent attack when you put
it all together like that on all three phases.

Q. Speaking of defense, with the points
you've been giving up the last two weeks, is
that a sign of any regression from the Virginia
Tech game or what do you attribute to that?

COACH SWINNEY: No, we did not play
well up at Maryland. They just -- you have to give
them some credit to Maryland and their
quarterback did a great job against us. We didn't
quite handle the things they were doing very well,
missing tackles.

But our defense actually played pretty
doggone good this last week. Our first group gave
up 17 points and then we just, like I say, we got up
so much and we played a ton of subs in the
second half. We gave up a touchdown on a kick
return, and that's how they got 24.

And the other two scores were, you know,
on all of our backups and not to take anything
away from them. We get our guys out, and it's
really a frustrating thing, because we don't lower
the standard. When we play our backups, we
expect them to go out there, and perform we don't
want to just go out there and prove a point
defensively and risk guys getting hurt when you
have a 30-point lead.

It was an opportunity for us to play a lot of
other guys and learn. I'm confident that our
defense is on track to finish strong and they are a
big reason why we are 8-0 right now. This is a
team effort. It's not always pretty, but there's been
enough plays in all three phases to help us get to

Q. Wondering how Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Jr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 190
Moncks Corner, SC

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Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
RS Jr. Tight End
#83 6-3, 255
Fayetteville, NC

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looked last night in practice?

COACH SWINNEY: Andre was better, he
moved around a little better. I expect him to do a
little more today but he's still day-to-day. I think by
8:00 Saturday night, he's going to be ready to play.

Dwayne is fine. He's been nursing a little
turf toe type deal the last, oh, probably about three
and a half weeks. So just same deal for him as it's
been. And that's why this open date is going to be
great, because we will be able to really get five or
six key guys really well and healed up and rested
for our stretch run.

Q. How much did it affect Georgia Tech
when they lost their center on the first play
down in Miami that you saw?

COACH SWINNEY: Well, I think it
affected them a great deal. This is a guy that took
all the reps, first team guy all week and all of the
sudden you get in there early like that and you lose
kind of your key guy. Same thing with us. Dalton
Freeman, he's the heart and soul up front there.

So certainly had an effect on them.

Q. When is the last time you had a
defensive end score two touchdowns, and not
only that, but by two different ways?

COACH SWINNEY: I don't know that I've
ever seen that in my career as a player or coach. I
don't recall, I've seen defensive ends score -- I
can't ever recall a guy scoring twice, not defensive

Q. I know some of that has to do with
being at the right place at the right time but
how has Kourtnei come along this season?

COACH SWINNEY: He's made a
tremendous amount progress and it just wasn't the
other night. I would say the last three or four
games, he's really started to come on and show
up. He's been making some plays and he's had
some big sacks for us. You know, we are very
pleased with the progress that he's made.

But the one pick that he had was on a
screen play. And he was well prepared for it,
recognized the formation, the situation, the set of
the tackle, the back going out and just did a great
job of peeling off and making a play.

The fumble recovery, Rashard (Hall) did a
great job on the blitz of stripping the ball out and
Kourtnei was doing a good job with his rush
technique and he's, like you is said, at the right
place at the right time there and scooped it, but
you still have to be athletic enough to bend down,
scoop the ball and then be able to -- fast enough to
run away from everybody. I thought it was a very
athletic play and a big, big play.

Q. I wondered, if you're worried about
anybody doing scoreboard watching, with you
guys in the BCS hunt, and in a position where,
you know, your position to be in the national
title chase if things break right, do you watch
the scoreboard or are you worried about your
players doing that?

COACH SWINNEY: No, I'm not. We play
to play, and our philosophy here is to just lay one
brick at a time the very best you can and that
means play that play the very best you can, play
that game the best you can, and we can live with
whatever results. At the end of the game we'll look
up and look at the scoreboard.

As long as we got one more than them,
then that's great and if we do everything the best
we can and we come up on the shorten end, hey, I
can live with that, too. So no, we don't spend any
time worrying about the scoreboard. We are just
trying to focus on our job and be in the moment,
and if it's a good play, move on to the next one;
and if it's a bad play, move on to the next one.

Q. What I'm thinking about, this team,
this group of players has never been in this
position this late in the season, everything
swirling around them, people have to be talking
about, hey, you see Oklahoma lost Saturday
and that opens things up for you; can you jump
Boise in the BCS, that kind of thing do you talk
to your players about avoiding it?

COACH SWINNEY: Absolutely we talk to
our players about not worrying about things that
are irrelevant to what we are trying to accomplish.

Our goals, reaffirm with them, our next
goal is to win our division and then it's to win our
state championship and then it's to win the ACC
Championship. All of those things are way before
a BCS. We have to accomplish those things to
even have a chance to even be in the
consideration for a BCS. So why in the world do
we want to sit around and worry about what
somebody else is doing and things we don't have
control over when it's irrelevant?

And my point to the team is, if you're
worried about that kind of stuff, you'll find yourself
dropping real quick. We need to win our division
and the way you do that is focus on the task at
hand and right now, the task at hand is Georgia
Tech and that's the only thing that matters.

Our players have done a good job,
certainly there's a lot of distractions out there, there
were people that were saying this and saying that,
and people talking on TV all the time. That's just
what they do. But our job is to prepare and stay on
task. You look at Oklahoma and Wisconsin, one
was three and one was five this week. Well, this
week, one is ten and one is 15, with one loss. And
I'm talking about a Hail Mary loss and a
right-down-to-the-last-play loss. Our focus has got
to stay on the task at hand.

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