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September 3, 2014

Al Golden

COACH GOLDEN:  This weekend we're returning home for our opener against FAMU, and we just got done with our first practice on a condensed week.  We're going to work quickly here in the next 24 hours to install everything and make sure we're up to speed.  Good news is we came out of the last game healthy.

Q.  Wanted to ask, on the lateral from Brad Kaaya and Stacy Coley, was there any thought of reviewing the play to see if Louisville had 12 men on the field or was that overridden by the fact they were reviewing the play to make sure it was a lateral?
COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah, they reviewed it.  They were reviewing it, and obviously taking that into account as well.  Right now that's in the hands of the ACC office.  Other than that, I don't have a comment on the play.

Q.  Really quickly, can you talk about the match‑up in the trenches the O‑line of FAMU versus your D‑line?
COACH GOLDEN:  Well, I think the biggest thing is from our standpoint our defensive line has to continue to improve.  There is no question about it.  I think just from what I've seen of FAMU thus far, they're going to keep you‑‑ it's not just about taking off.  It's going to be about gap integrity.  It's going to be making sure we know who the quarterback player is for any of the read stuff that we'll see.  That's going to be important because this quarterback is capable of pulling it at any time.
So I think obviously the offensive line is a physical offensive line.  As I just said to our press after our practice, I'm very impressed with FAMU on both sides of the ball.  It's a short week for us, so we have to get our tail to go and our defensive line has to play really well.

Q.  He's got a pretty young line and (No microphone) with that comes adrenaline and ambition.  How much does that concern you guys?
COACH GOLDEN:  Well, listen, anytime we play a school like FAMU there is going to be that‑‑ there is going to be that extra motivation and adrenaline and ambition and all that, so there is no question about it.  We have to be ready for that.  But the reality is what I'm trying to teach our guys is we have to take care of ourselves.  We have to focus on our one play at a time.  Don't worry about anything else.  Block it all out.  For us, it's about execution.  As it relates to this particular operation on offense, it's going to take more than just strength and depth on our defensive line.  We're going to have to be really sound.  We're always going to have to have the quarterback accounted for and be ready for the pull plays and the pull series.  I thought FAMU played really well.

Q.  I wanted to ask you about your running game.  I know you'd like to see more out of it than what you saw Monday night.  Was that a function of Louisville's defense being that strong or is there something you saw in your own execution that could be improved?
COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah, so anything I say relative to the Louisville game always starts with them.  So I'll preface it by saying they played really well, and I thought they executed really well on defense and did a great job stopping the run and played a lot of eight, nine‑man front.  So give them credit.
As it relates to us, we didn't execute really well.  At times we had some mental breakdowns that was something that we did not see coming and then the number of negative plays we had really put us behind the eight ball.  So number one, for us to get the run game going, we need to do better on third down so we can get more plays and we can't get behind the sticks.  So I think those two factoring in with some of the mental errors and the positive play from Louisville, we came up short in the running game, for sure.

Q.  Can you talk about Duke?  He had a decent game, but sometimes we expect even more from him.  Did he look like the old pre‑injury Duke to you?
COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah, I don't think there is any question he did.  We didn't, as I said, we didn't give him enough opportunities because we had some TFLs, which obviously causes you to get out of the run game a little quicker than you want on that particular series.  Then just the number of plays wasn't what we wanted.  So therefore the number of carries wasn't near where we wanted.  So those are some things that we have to fix, and it goes back to third down, eliminating some of the negatives and pass protection.  That all impacted the amount of runs and our inability to control the game with the running game.

Q.  Wanted to go into the passing game with you for Brad as a freshman in that first game and what you took away from it.  Couple interceptions and some mistakes out there, but what can you say about him being thrust into this season and how he reacted to that first game?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think you see a glimpse of what he is and what he can be.  I don't think there is any question that there were some big league throws there.  Third down connection to Braxton, third down connection to Clive, some really good vertical throws.  Clive on the goal line, so some deeper vertical throws to Herb.  So I don't think there is any question we saw a lot of positives out of Brad.
A, we've got to do a better job protecting them.  B, stay out of the third and very long which we were in too much, and therefore Brad got hit too much.  So we never really let him get comfortable, but he was resilient.  He had a good look on game day, and he really settled in and wasn't out of whack on the sideline.  Was really good communicating the whole time, but overall we have to do a better job of protecting him and staying out of the third and long situations, which are tough to begin with.

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