Dabo Swinney Press Conference, Windows Media, (44:00)
Opening Statement: I am really proud of our guys. Defensively we held Florida State to 17 points. It was a great job by our defense with five takeaways. Offensively, I was very pleased with our balance. I think it was 242 pass and 241 rush, so that was good. We had 15 explosive plays, which is tremendous. We had zero missed assignments up front. We had a lot of good things from that game.
We enjoyed having (US Open Champion) Lucas Glover here (he ran down hill with the team) That was a treat. He sent me a text message that night that said how fun it was and that it was the highlight of his life. That is the US Open Champ.
NC State is a team that has scored a lot of points and is starting to play some good ball. They are a very dangerous football team, particularly at home. They have four out of their five wins at home and they are the only team to defeat Pittsburgh this year.
Offensively we face another top 20 quarterback in Russell Wilson. It seems like every week we are playing another great quarterback and this kid is extremely dangerous and very capable. They got into a shootout at FSU so they are playing with a lot of confidence. They have had some tough losses but they are playing hard.
There is a lot on the line for them to win. They need to win to keep their bowl hopes alive. Obviously we have a lot on the line as well. They are scoring 33 a game and their running back Toney Baker might be the best we have played. He is a very tough runner and is hard to tackle. He is a really good player. They have a lot of big plays built into their offense. We have to do a great job there.
Defensively they have a veteran front. They are young in the back end. But they are not young anymore because they have played a lot of games now. When you play as many freshmen and sophomores as they have then you are going to have some growing pains. When I look at them, as of late, they are doing a super job and have matured. We will have our hands full there.
We need to go on the road and play a complete football game and correct some of our mistakes. We have 11 days to the ACC Atlantic division finish line and every day is critical. There is a lot at stake.
On Your Success on Offense of Late:
It all starts up front. I give all the credit to them hogs up front. If you don’t have that up front then nothing else matters. We had pretty good players here last year too. We had been playing some raw green players last year up front.
The offensive line just takes a little bit longer to become dominant. We have sophomore, sophomore, freshman, senior and junior then Cloy is a sophomore and Smith is a sophomore. Those are the seven guys that have developed into a strong unit.
They are just going to get better and take pride in what they are doing and that has allowed us to get better and develop our quarterback.
Billy Napier has done a great job with Kyle Parker. I can’t say enough about him. He makes mistakes but he learns from them and keeps moving on.
The same on defensive side, DeAndre McDaniel has a lot of picks, but we have are doing some good things in other areas to give him the opportunities. We are getting pressure, and we lead the conference in sacks. It all goes hand-in-hand. What happens on the front in affects the back end on both sides of the ball.
Do you have to get more creative now that it is later in the season with plays?
You always do a self scout every week. We want to use tendencies to our advantage. This is who you are and this is what you have to do. It is still about blocking and tackling and throwing and catching. That is what we focus on. You have to make the blocks and protection. It is about studying their formations and knowing what comes off of them. The same thing goes for the defense. We have a really good staff that is aware of those things on both sides.
On CJ Spiller hurting, yet finding ways to get it done:
He has played hurt and has missed one game in his career ever. When you have 300 and some odd yards, you will be tired and probably beat up and bruised when you do all the things that he does. For him every week he has played through a little pain and by Thursday he feels good and then sore again by the end of the game. But every back in the NFL is sore. His play speaks for itself. All you have to do is turn the film on. They did a good job early in the game, but you just keep giving it to him and sooner or later he pops.
On emergence of Andre Ellington:
He has been great all year. He has made plays when he had opportunities. When Jamie Harper got hurt he has stepped up big time and is an electric little player. He is tough and hard to tackle. He catches the ball well and doesn’t make many mistakes for a freshman. He will be a really good player.
On Xavier Dye coming up with big plays:
You don’t quit. It is a great lesson for him. He quit. But I give him credit because he realized he was making a mistake. That is what men do. He realized he was looking at all the wrong things because he was the starter and earned that and then all of a sudden things aren’t going the right way. Then he is transferring to California. I told him that his problems are just going to go to California with him, that you need to just go back to work and do what you did to earn the job to be first team.
It is just hard work, it is confidence and putting your eyes on the right things and he did. I thought he was gone and he came in there smiling and said ‘coach I am crazy’ and I said ‘yes you are’ and he just went back to work. If you have a bad day and get knocked down just get up again. I am really proud of him.
On CJ and Jacoby’s impact:
Huge. Jacoby was one of those quiet recruits. He has had a phenomenal year and has changed this place. He is a great kid. Spiller is a program changer, unless he just robs a bank he should be on that stadium in the Ring of Honor some day.
He is going to graduate in three and a half years; you don’t find a better person and tons of records. That is a neat thing for that kid. He has a strong faith and is prayerful in all of his decisions. I am really proud of him. I am anxious to see him finish..
Has this team learned how to win?
I would definitely say this team has learned how to win. It starts with how you practice and prepare. They have handled a lot of adversity and it starts with the will to do things the right way. Those are all things that teach you how to win and they believe. I haven’t had a meeting, since last January without a ‘believe’ sign and an ‘it can be done’ sign. This is a team that believes. You don’t have to be good, but if you believe you are good you have a chance.
On Russell Wilson:
We have played four top 20 guys (in passing efficiency) He is 16. We have been challenged by some good quarterbacks, and he is one of them. Nesbit (Georgia Tech) was seventh and Dalton is fourth (TCU team ranking).
That experience helps us. Ponder was outstanding. You watch that kid on film, he will keep you up at night. We did a great job handling him. We have to affect he quarterback and do a better job of stopping the run. We will have the same formula. If we can affect their quarterback we will have a chance to be good on defense this week.
On Bowers Participation Saturday
Probably not, but maybe. It is hard. He wants to play, but my gut is he won’t. I can’t say for sure right now.
What do you think opposing coaches are saying about Kyle Parker?
They look a film and pick out a pretty good player and a kid that is capable. Coming into the season people were trying to make number 11 beat them. I think he has answered a lot of those things. He can make every throw. He runs pretty well. But, they are probably much more concerned about number- 28.
C.J. Spiller, Windows Media
Jacoby Ford, Windows Media
Brandon Maye, Windows Media