Selected Comments from ACC Coaches
DUKE - Carl Franks
FLORIDA STATE - Bobby Bowden
Game with Indiana: NC STATE - Mike O'Cain
VIRGINIA - George Welsh
On Running Back Thomas Jones:
On the Northwestern Game:
"After reviewing the tape of the game, I thought our defense again had another very good game plan. I thought (corner back) Ronnie Hamilton had a great game. They challenged him and he played very aggressively. The play (game winning touchdown over Hamilton) in overtime was a play that certainly determined the outcome of the game at that point. But, there were a lot of other opportunities to change the outcome of that game. I was pleased with the way Ronnie Hamilton competed the whole game. I thought our two inside linebackers (Ryan Stallmeyer and Todd DeLamielleure) played one of their better games along with (defensive tackle) Chris Combs and (nose guard) Mike Steinbaugh and really the rest of the defense."
On the Duke Quarterback Situation:
"We"ll probably let Kevin Thompson start the game this week. He moved the team a little bit better while he was in there. Bobby Campbell did not play that bad. The first couple of series he (Campbell) was in there, he got sacked. He had some guys run some bad routes on him. He had somethings go not exactly right that were not entirely his fault. He will still play some this week. We think what"s best is to give Kevin a shot at it."
On the Play of Kicker Sims Lenhardt:
"Sims Lenhardt, again played very well. A dependable young man. I knew when he went out there to kick that field goal to put the game into overtime, I don"t think there was any doubt he wasn"t going make that. He had a little bit of groin strain, but he didn"t let that affect him."
On Keeping Team Spirit Up:
"We"re excited about coming to play this week. The defense, we told them "you keep playing the way you"ve been playing". And offensively, we going to try and coach them better. Those guys are going to hang in there with us and we"re going to see if we can"t finally put the ball in endzone."
On Injured Quarterback Spencer Romine:
"Spencer threw a little bit last week. He"ll continue to throw some more and see how quickly he can get his arm up to being able to throw the ball with some zip on it. Right now, it"s to early to speculate that he would have a chance to play. We need to get his arm strength back to where he could throw without pain and put some velocity on the
ball with any distance. So I don"t think he"ll be able to play this week. But, you never know. You have to wait and see."
"I know since coach (Woody) Widenhofer has been there, they"ve had a tremendous defense. Its very aggressive and they give you a lot of looks. They"ve improved steadily over the years in their personnel and their schemes, especially on offense. Offensively, they"ve gotten better and better."
"I think I've learned to be happy with a win. Against Georgia Tech, I was shocked that a team could score 35 points on our defense. Nebraska ought to be happy with a win. Florida, naturally, is happy with a win. It looks like it is going to be that kind of year where you better be satisfied that you did not lose.
"We still look like a team of potential that has just done what is necessary to win. We have not been impressive yet. We have been winning because we have superior personnel. Now there are probably other teams out there struggling with the same thing.
"The first week you wonder about our offense. The second week you wonder about out defense. Last night (against NC State) you wonder about the goal line offense and the penalties. If we keep improving we'll be O.K. In fact it might work out just right. You've got to peak in November, but you're gonna have to peak at other times during the year as well. We were just not sharp at times in the red zone.
"The defense NC State used would not let us go deep. They had great cornerbacks. It forced us to go underneath and you better be accurate when you throw under. You can't get the homerun ball against them.
"We are playing a lot of guys. If we played just 11 guys out there, we'd probably be sharper but we would be tired.
"Right now we are just careless enough to run a big play and get a penalty. Minor has a long run (51 yards) called back by penalty. Throw that in and he's got over 100 rushing yards. We've got to iron out out mistakes which are penalties and execution.
"I've not seen much of him (Ronald Curry) this year. He must have eaten Indiana up. With an open date, I'm sure they (North Carolina) have worked on that option for Florida State.
"We faced three very good senior quaterbacks through the first three games. Jamie Barnette is so accurate. I said it after his sophomore year. He is one of the most accurate passers I've seen.
"I've never seen a high school quarterback as good as (Ronald) Curry. Now, is he the best passer I've ever seen in high school - no. But best quarterback - yes. He's the best I've seen in high school and a great kid to boot.
"I feel a lot better about our offensive line. We had a lot of time to throw against NC State. We are starting to knock people off the ball.
"I felt like Chris (Weinke) probably put too much pressure on himself. I tried not to use the word revenge last week. He used it a lot and I thought he had the toughest job of anyone going into the week."
NORTH CAROLINA - Carl Torbush
"I felt like the win in Indiana was a really good win for us, a win that we really needed. We needed to go on the road and win and get us ready for the rest of the season. I'd have hated the thought of heading into the Florida State game 0-2, because we know what we're in store for this week. But I thought our kids played well, especially on offense. After we went through in the first week, to come back and do what we did offensively I think says a great deal about our offensive coaching staff as well as our offensive players. Defensively, even though I thought we played hard and made some plays, we really did a very average to poor job defending the option.
"Overall it was a game that we came out of fairly healthy, though of course Brandon Spoon is someone we can't replace. It will take every backup linebacker that we have to try to be somewhere near the production he gave us. We not only lost a great football player and the leader of our defensive football team, but we also lost a great practice player and a guy with a tremendous amount of experience. Losing him this year is a lot like losing Oscar Davenport at the beginning of the season last year offensively.
Game with Florida State:
"We're getting ready to play the No. 1 team in the country in Florida State. I've got a tremendous amount of respect for Florida State and have had for many years, not only because they have great athletes and a great football team, but because they're as well coached as anyone in the country. That staff has been together a long time. I don't think anyone practices any harder or with any more intensity than Florida State does. And you take great coaches and surround them with great athletes and that's the reason you've got a great football team and a great football program.
"Defensively they're a team that you need to be able to make some big plays on if you can because it's going to be really hard to drive the football on them. They've given up very few drives where you take time off the clock at the same time that you move the ball down the field with five or six yards a snap running or throwing. They've got the same type of front four as they've always had. There's always pressure on the quarterback with the vertical push they have. And linebacker wise, they run as well * if not better * as they ever have. Defensively, they just present big problems, like they have every year.
"Offensively, it starts with the quarterback, Chris Weinke. He's a pro-type quarterback, a really big guy. You don't appreciate how big he is until you really see him on the field. He's got a pro-type arm. He's big and strong and he's the guy that makes things go. Peter Warrick should be the front runner or one of the top front runners for the Heisman trophy. He probably does as much with the limited number of opportunities he has as anyone in the country. He's a game player. When he gets in the big ball games, he always seems to make the big plays."
On being 3-1:
"I am very pleased at this point, but we still have a lot of work to do. The intensity has been there on both sides of the ball, but we haven't had the execution that we need offensively. We still have some improvement to make, and we are going to talk about that offensively and defensively. As crazy as this sounds, we were better Saturday than we were against William & Mary because of the competition level. We will not play anybody better than Florida State, and I think we did a lot of good things. John Fletcher blocked Corey Simon as well as I've seen anybody block him. There were some individual improvements and some team improvements on Saturday."
On Saturday's lost to Florida State:
"Probably the most disappointing offensive thing on Saturday was our ability to make plays. We had the opportunity to make plays, catching passes mainly, and we did not get it done. It may have been six inches a little to far, but we have to make that play. We also have to make the through where it isn't six inches too far. The pressure that Florida State puts on you forces you to do things a little bit faster, so that was the most disappointing thing coming out of Saturday. The finer points of execution are the things that we must improve on."
On the running back situation:
"We have been running back by committee right now, and I don't like that. I like getting one or two guys in there, but because of injury we have not been able to have the same guy back there. It's hard to get consistency when you keep rotating guys in and out."
On Jamie Barnette:
"He is a bit frustrated right now, but that can be expected. Any quarterback who throws the ball out there and gets his tail knocked off and having balls dropped, will get frustrated I can tell you from first hand experience. At the same time is out of his control. You can only do what you can do. There is some frustration, but I don't see anybody out there panicking. There were some times when Jamie has pressed a little bit. The first interception he threw Saturday was were he thought he had to force it to make something happen, and the last one was a forced ball because he was getting ready to get sacked and its third down and 12. You take the sack, so you must throw and unfortunately the guy made a great play. We have to make sure that we don't allow him to become frustrated and feel like he has to have the whole burden on him because he doesn't. I'm not going to panic, and I'm not going to allow him to panic."
Two years ago at Wake Forest:
"I thought we should have won that game, but we did not play well enough to win and they deserved to win that game. We just blew too many opportunities. We created five turnovers and we did not get any points off of them. We went into that game thinking we would run the ball well, and we just didn't, and we didn't take all of our weapons with us because we were too conservative. We will not allow that to happen again this season, we will take all our weapons. We will do everything we can to win this game.
" I can't see anybody in the country being any better than him...I really can't, maybe there are a couple guys as good, but nobody really better than him. He¹s catching the ball, he's blocking, he's making spectacular runs, making guys miss...he's running with a lot of power. Who else in the country is as good a back as him?"
On the BYU Game:
"I think that we are going to have to get on the scoreboard...we just have to do the best that we can. The offense has to do their part, we have to move the football, we are going to have to keep it [the ball] some...field position will be important. All of those things will add up...special teams can help in a lot of ways."
" I think that one of the changes in BYU is that they have a better running game than they used to have and their defense is better. They're good...they have a good secondary and they are used to playing the pass. Their four down lineman are very good, they look like they¹re strong and very active..and they have an outstanding middle linebacker."
On the effect of the Altitude:
"Honestly, I don't think that it [altitude] will be a factor. It's better than playing in 90 degree heat with humidity, that would really effect us."
WAKE FOREST - Jim Caldwell
"They're good. Year in, year out. (Playing them) gives you a real good barometer of where you are and I think (it's the same) with NC State. They're a good football team; they're consistent. We've got to win those games."
On NC State:
"When you look at them from an offensive standpoint they're probably one of the most difficult teams to prepare for because they do so many different things and they do them so well. They're very tough to be able to zero in
on. They're a talented group, too; good running backs. The quarterback is just a heck of a player. He just makes that offense go. The problems that they give you in every facet make them a very tough team to prepare for. Defensively they move around a lot. They do a lot of stunning and blitzing. They're prone to creating problems for you offensively as well. Their strength is probably the secondary. They have some real fine players back there."
"If you blitz (Barnette) too much he makes plays. He's probably as effective when he moves and scrambles as he is standing in the pocket. That's where he's really dangerous... a great leader."
On the team's progress this year:
"Right now there isn't any phase (of our game) that we would consider that we're doing well in at this point and time. We've got a lot of work to do. We're a different football team than we've been in previous years. Sometimes you have a little shift in terms of personnel so you have to be able to adapt accordingly. We're not strictly a drop back team anymore like we used to be. Number one, our talent lends us to more of a run-oriented attack, but then also we just felt that throwing the ball as much as we did, as often as we did, created more opportunity for turnovers, tipped balls.. which caused interceptions. Errant throws and things like that kept us out of the endzone. If you run the ball you don't have that many problems in those areas."
"We want to make certain that we have a strong running game. In the long run I think it's going to help us. I think we'll get better at it every week. We emphasize it because of the fact that we know unless we emphasize it strongly you're certainly not going to make the kind of headway you need to against the people we play."
"Mix it up - that's what we've got to do. What we've got to be able to do is just simply not be so one-dimensional. Early on here we've got to focus and make it go. We don't ever want it to be 71% pass and 29% run (again). They'll eat you alive. You'll never able to take control of the game. We had to move away from some of the things we had done previously. We're fighting for a run-oriented attitude. Once you can run the ball it makes a lot of things work for you."
On playing 5 of the next 6 games at home:
"We're happy to play at home. We're looking forward to it. We haven't played in our stadium in such a long time. Anytime you can have a stretch like that when you're
FLORIDA STATE - Bobby Bowden
Game with Indiana:
NC STATE - Mike O'Cain
VIRGINIA - George Welsh
On Running Back Thomas Jones: