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September 3, 2014

Scott Shafer

COACH SHAFER:  We have a bye week here, so it will be a good opportunity to go back and look at what we didn't do well in our first game and work to improve those things, and then we have to have great preparation as we get ready for a physical, Central Michigan team.

Q.  After the first game you said in the press conference that a win is a win and you're 1‑0.  You had some time to take a step back and look at some film and see this things.  What can you say about the first game and how it's going to help you kind of go forward into this next one?
COACH SHAFER:  First and foremost, have to give a lot of credit to Villanova.  They played well.  Coach Talley has done a great job with that program, and I was really impressed with the effort that they put on the football field.  Cause and effect; they did a great job, and was not pleased with the way we played. 
I always talk the truth as far as, whatever you put on tape, what you see on video is either coached or allowed, and there were far too many things on that videotape that I allowed to happen.
So I went back and looked at my preparation and tried to do a good job, not crossing those bridges again and need to get my team locked in; and a more disciplined unit that's focused on playing the game we expect to play it.  That will start the way we practice this week in the bye week, and then the way we prepare for the Central Michigan outfit.  Looking forward to getting back on the field with them.

Q.  As far as Central Michigan, what can you say as far as their identity of what you know so far, what would you say you're getting into in the second game?
COACH SHAFER:  They are always going to play a physical brand of football.  They are going to be big and strong up front.  The offensive line.  Their kids for years have played that tough mid‑American conference brand of football.  And going to Mount Pleasant, I've done that many times over my career, it's not an easy tour.
So we have to get our kids mentally prepared for that.  Coach Enos has done a good job there with kind of branding his team and we'll be in a dogfight.

Q.  Can you take us through the process you used to address the mistake with Durell since the end of that game?
COACH SHAFER:  Sure.  He was dead wrong and that's why he got penalized and why he got ejected from the game.  And the officials made the correct call.  You know, you can't react that way, and he did and it was a mistake, a flagrant foul called properly by the ACC officials.
Doesn't change how I feel about Durell other than the fact that he's got to do a better job controlling his emotions in that situation or else he's going to end up putting himself at jeopardy to have multi‑game issues.
He understands that.  We had a couple good talks about it, and you know, was disappointed but not discouraged because I know who he is as an individual.

Q.  As a leader of your team, do you handle those talks internally in your office or is it something bring up in a team meeting and use as an example for all the kids?
COACH SHAFER:  That's between me, the individual and the team the way I handle those things.

Q.  Curious how you handle a bye week so early in the season coming off a game that maybe was a little too close for comfort for you guys and having to wait an extra week to get back out there.
COACH SHAFER:  Well, you know, you always want to try to look at it and take care of the things that weren't looking the way you want them.  So you go to work on those things hard.  You feel extremely lucky to some degree that you pulled out an ugly victory.  It's an ugly loss.  And you say to yourself, what do we have to do to get back to playing the brand of football that we need to get to to continue forward in the season.
Having an early bye week, you can say, oh, that comes at a bad time.  You can also say it comes at a good time.  We have some injuries from summer camp and some guys that I think this bye week will help and benefit the team, so you accentuate those positive elements to having an early bye.
For us, it's just getting back to work, putting it on tape and looking at the videotape and saying, this is the way it should look, as opposed to, you know, letting things go by.  What happens a lot of times, you get into a game like that, and we're one or two plays away in the first quarter of making a big play, and then all of the sudden, maybe we got a way with something and it gets brushed under the carpet.
The good thing about a wake‑up call with Villanova playing a good football game against us, and all credit to them.  Maybe there's a sense of reality quicker and it hits you in the face and you say, boy, all right, we know exactly what we've got to do, and we've been exposed in some areas that we can control.  Let's go to work controlling them. 

Q.  I wanted to ask you a little bit about the goal line situations in overtime, you guys obviously had some pretty good chances in there but were not able to punch it in.  Going back and looking at the film, what did you think maybe could have been done better, and maybe what would you have done differently if you could have?
COACH SHAFER:  Maintaining and sustaining blocks.  Playing cleaner through our double teams.  I thought we had one blocked really well with Adonis where it looked like he was going to score.  I don't know what the gain was, eight, nine yards and then he got kind of tripped up and hit his knee and came up about a yard short.
Could have been a touchdown and we would be feeling great about things.  But mainly sustainment of blocks.  Just continuing to work at those type of things in practice.

Q.  Looked on those goal line plays inside the five, a lot of them Michael Lasker pulled from the right guard position.  How do you think he did trying to play that position?  How crucial is that right guard position in those goal line sets?
COACH SHAFER:  I think it's definitely crucial.  Five up front are crucial.  We had a couple injuries and had to move Michael from a tackle down to a guard but that's what you have to do in football.  You have to adjust to it.
Michael has got some things to work on, as do all of our players in those situations.  And there's no doubt in my mind that he will and there's no doubt in my mind that we will improve in those situations.

Q.  I was watching the game on Friday night when you played against Villanova.  Talk about that sequence‑‑ you already talked about the overtime.  How did that all go down?  They missed that two‑point conversion.  Did they tell you guys‑‑
COACH SHAFER:  I'm not really sure‑‑

Q.  Like when they set up for a two‑point conversion, was it something you knew they were going to do, Villanova, or was it like a trick play that didn't‑‑
COACH SHAFER:  No.  There was no trick play and there's not a kicker on the field in the offense against the defense.  No, there was no surprise there.

Q.  What are you guys going to do to get better for next week?
COACH SHAFER:  Yeah, against Central Michigan‑‑ we are going to work our butt off to get better at the things that weren't good and controlling the controllables:  The way we get our mind‑set going into the game, the way we practice, so those habits carry over to the game, and we're anxious to do that.
We have a good practice plan for today and can't wait to get back on the field.  I think the kids are in the same mind‑set.

Q.  How has Durell moved on from the ejection?  Has he taken ownership for his mistake?
COACH SHAFER:  Totally.  He addressed the team and apologized to everyone on the team.  It hurt him, bad.  It was a mistake and he owned up to it, and like I said, the ACC made the right call.  The officials did a great job and they were dead on.
You know, he's got to learn from his mistake and I believe he is in that process and he will learn from that mistake.  Just look forward to getting him back on the football field and learning and not going back over that bridge ever again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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