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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE MEDIA CONFERENCE


October 15, 2014


Steve Addazio


STEVE ADDAZIO:  Well, we're awfully excited up here in Boston to have a chance to have a national caliber team like Clemson coming in here.  They're certainly one of the finer teams in the country without a doubt, absolutely one of the best defensive teams with some real star power players, future NFL players with Vic Beasley, who's also impossible to block on the edge, and Stephone Anthony, their Mike linebacker, is sensational.  Their nose guard, No.50, sensational.  They have a bunch of really good players.  I think they're well coached.  I think they're really talented.  Their scheme I think is well put together.  They do a great job on defense.
Offensively they're explosive.  They have dynamic players.  Again, well coached, Cole Stoudt is a really good quarterback.  He can throw the ball, he carries the ball.  The receivers, they look like they have another group of future pro receivers.  And on special teams, I think they're very talented.
I think this is a really good football team.  I think like I said, they're really well coached, really well put together, and very, very talented.  We have a really big challenge ahead of us here.  We've had two good days of practice, and we're looking forward to the game and looking forward to having a chance to, as I said, play one of the elite teams in the country.

Q.  You guys have five offensive linemen who are all 22 years and older.  They're graduates.  Does that experience give you any confidence against Clemson's defensive line?
STEVE ADDAZIO:  I mean, it's great to have those older guys in there, but I don't know what would give you a lot of confidence against Clemson's defensive line.  It's one of the best defensive lines in America.  Very few people can move them an inch.  I would say that going into this week's game, there's no peace of mind.

Q.  What do you remember about last year's trip to Clemson, one of the bigger factors in you guys keeping it close was 3rd down execution on your own defense?
STEVE ADDAZIO:¬† Yeah, I wouldn't characterize last year's game as keeping it close.¬† I thought we played really hard, and I thought it was a real hard‑fought college football game down there.¬† You know, we led most of that game.¬† I just think that when you play a really good football team like Clemson, you need to be really physical.¬† You need to have great intensity.¬† You've got to keep the chains moving on offense so that your defense isn't on the field as much, and your defense has got to get off the field to give your offense more cracks because it's not realistic to think that you're going to have very many long drives.
So it's about making the plays that are available to be made and being a competitive excellence when your number is called to make that play.

Q.  Did it feel like that one slipped away last year?
STEVE ADDAZIO:¬† I mean, I thought it was two good teams that were playing each other.¬† We had a critical turnover in the fourth quarter, they had a bunch of turnovers throughout the game.¬† I thought both teams battled, and at the end of the game, we led that game most of the way, but at the end of the game, they made the plays they had to make to win the game, which is a sign of a really good football team, and they were at home.¬† I have the utmost respect for their program because obviously it's a‑‑ Dabo Swinney has done a great job with that program, and they know how to win.¬† That's what they did last year.¬† They were able to battle and come back and find a way to win, and we did not find a way to close that game out.¬† But I felt in that game that on the road, our program battled, and they fought them.¬† You know, and our program has got to take the next step in those games, and that's what this is all about.

Q.  Because Clemson has such a good run defense, what are the keys for you guys in order to be your usual productive selves on the ground against them?
STEVE ADDAZIO:¬† Well, you know, I think you've got to have some diversity in your run game, and I think you have to have some balance in your early down calling.¬† And I think you have to be prepared for the fact that you're going to have a fair amount of three‑and‑outs, and you can't panic on that.¬† You've got to hope your defense is playing well and your special teams are playing well, and you've got to hang in there.¬† You can't start getting crazy and letting a defense like that‑‑ you can't turn the ball over.¬† You've got to make good decisions.¬† You take your shots, you try to create a little diversity in your run game.¬† You try to utilize your play action, but at the end of the day, be prepared that you've got to get this thing to the fourth quarter and you've got to make it a real physical game and hope your defense is playing well enough that in the fourth quarter you've got a chance to go win it.

Q.  You talk a lot about Clemson's talents.  What are you looking at with Boston College what you're doing well right now to bring into a game against a team that you obviously respect very much?
STEVE ADDAZIO:  Well, at times, we're playing very physical, hard football, and we need to play more consistent football.  It's kind of like the highs have been really good and the lows have been low, and we've got to take out some of those peaks and valleys.  At times we're playing really well.  At other times we're not playing at the same level.  We've got to be a much more consistent football team, and that's something we're working on.
I would say‑‑ but what we do well, I think on defense we attack, and I think we've improved in the back end.¬† I think we've got a little bit of depth, even though it's young depth, in the linebacker front unit so we can roll players.¬† On offense we've added the element of the quarterback that can run the football, so you're defending a power run game but you're also defending a spread option game, so there's more diversity and more for the defense to have to account for.

Q.  As far as beating a top 25 team in USC, when you have Clemson coming in, do you ever channel some of what you did right in that game against USC knowing that you did that at home, as well, on your field?  Do you ever talk to the players going into a game like this about their resolve and what they did in that game to be able to withstand what was coming on with USC?
STEVE ADDAZIO:  I think that what happened there, they know.  I think it's all about getting us to peak performance.  I think our team understands that that particular game we played at a pretty high level, and we've had a couple other games where we haven't played at that same level, and the goal is to control what we can, which is maximizing every day and trying to get ourselves to execute and compete at a high, high level.
That's what has to happen at home this Saturday for us to have an opportunity against Clemson.  We've got to play at a very high level, and we've got to play really, really hard and physical.  That will be mistakes in that game, but our intensity and our physicality and our resolve have got to stay really, really strong, and we've got to sustain and get it to the fourth quarter.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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