Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe:
On how much better he expects the team to play this week:
“Well this is the most talented team we’ve played (all year). I don’t think there is any question about it. You like to play better every week. We’ve had individual players play better from week-to-week, and we’ve had position groups play better from week-to-week. This would be a nice week to have everybody on the same page and have a great team effort.”
On previous wins against Clemson:
“I don’t know we have played good against a lot of the ACC teams. We have just been very fortunate and won a couple of games. In one we had some turnovers in and Clemson had some turnovers and had a good margin of victory. Last year we were very fortunate to win, had a great drive at the end and barely stopped them from getting back to the other end of the field. We lost a couple of heartbreakers at Clemson, and lost a pretty close game here. We have played them five times and won a couple of games and I think that’s okay, but we’ve lost three of them.
Everybody talks about success we need to win another one to get even with them.”
On excitement of the Clemson game:
“It’s fun. Our fans are pumped up and our players are excited. Our players in particular are happy to be 5-0, but not satisfied to be 5-0.
That makes me feel good. I think we’ll go out there Saturday and play hard.
On improving as a team:
“I think we need to play better as a team. I think in some cases we don’t play bad on offense, defense, or in the kicking game. But certain position groups have been up and down. I want to see all our guys feel good about playing good in one football game. Going into your sixth football game, you should have some expectations that your guys will play on a higher level.”
On the passing offense:
“The thing that’s going to make us a pretty good football team throwing the football is balance. We’ve got to be able to run it. So I think if we ever get in a football game here in these last seven games where we’re one dimensional, we’ll have a problem.”
On the team’s depth:
“In the past, if we’ve had the injuries we’ve had, there just weren’t adequate replacements, and we would have been in trouble. Now, were at the point where it’s not just so much that the guys we put as replacements in are capable, but we’ve got good enough players at the other 18 or 19 positions where we can overcome some young guys. Now we can’t have too many of those guys, we can’t have too many more guys get banged up on the offensive side of the ball, or we’ll be in real trouble. We’re already struggling to find ways to make first downs, but if we stay healthy I think well be a very competitive football team.”
“You really can’t focus on one part. Clemson, traditionally, has been a throw offense, but now they are the leading rushing team in the ACC, and have the leading total offense in the ACC. So they still do a nice job throwing the football, do a great job running the football, actually I think they’re about a 2-to-1 run to pass ratio, so they’re a different Clemson football team than were used to seeing. They have very talented backs. Our defensive football team always starts with the idea that you need to stop the run first and then stop the pass, but stopping Clemson is a different story.”
Sophomore punter/placekicker Sam Swank
On his recent performances:
“I think I started off shaky but I think I found my groove, which is good coming into these next seven games, which are all ACC opponents.
I’m trying to take it up a notch. I just try my best to get it done.”
On playing at home:
“The Clemson Tigers are coming to down and there’s a buzz around campus.
They’re a great team. I think that with the confidence of our guys, going into the game 5-0 and winning some big road games, we’re going to give them a hard fight.”
On the upcoming game:
“There’s been a lot of talk about us being 5-0 and unranked. For some guys, that may be a motivating factor. But this is an ACC game, so it’s huge regardless.”
Junior offensive guard Louis Frazier
On the upcoming game:
“We’re very excited to show what we’re made of this weekend. At times, it’s hard having that record, but it shows that we’re finally working together as a team. Everybody’s working together. When the offense is down, the defense is picking it up. The special teams have been there to keep things going as well. To have the team we have now and people respecting us, it’s not just about this weekend. We really want to show America that we are a team. It’s time to see what Wake Forest is really made of.”
On the offensive line:
“We’re consistent. We can face anything. Losing our starting quarterback and our starting left tackle, we know we’ll find a way to make it through.
On being underdogs despite being 5-0:
“I try not to pay attention to all the attention. I try to focus on our opponent and not what others say about us. It’s not about what someone says because nobody can really predict the real outcome of the game.”
On getting hurt last season and coming back:
“It’s taken a lot of faith. When I first got hurt, I didn’t think that I would bounce back like everybody said I would. I thought it would be really hard. It’s a blessing that I’m starting at left guard. When I came into (fall) camp, I was third string left tackle. It looked very bleak.”
On the magnitude of Saturday’s game:
“This is probably one of the most important weeks of practice we’ve had.
This is a huge game and we need a victory.”