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September 7, 2016

Steve Addazio

Greensboro, North Carolina

STEVE ADDAZIO: We obviously had a tough game, a good game out in Dublin with Georgia Tech, a physical game. We're on our way back here right now and getting ready for UMASS. UMASS looked great on tape versus Florida. They've got some explosive playmakers.

We've had a great week of practice, and we're looking forward to improve on the things that we need to improve upon as we head forward into this game this week.

Q. Coach, I'm curious, with a game under your belt, could you assess how the transition went to your new coordinators with Scott and Jim and how that process has worked for you guys?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, I mean, I think it's been great. On defense we held Georgia Tech to 238 yards, which I thought was fantastic. They averaged over 350-some-odd yards last year, and we were able to hold them down to 2.7 yards per carry. And they're one heck of a rushing outfit and they do a great job. I thought our kids are playing at a very, very high level on defense.

I think on offense we made tremendous strides and we had complete balance rushing for 176, passing for 176, 352 yards on nine possessions. Usually you get 12 possessions. We were able to throw the ball, move the ball around. I think utilizing the different players we have. I think we've come a long way on offense. I think we've really developed a lot fundamentally on defense, and we'll continue to grow. So the transition has been very good. Our team is developing very, very well, and we're continuing to improve in the areas that we needed to improve in.

Q. We know your history with Lefty, what was your connection to Jim Reid and how did he come into the fold?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I've known Coach Reid for a long time as a northeast guy, former head coach of UMASS, former head coach at Richmond. Had been a coordinator at Boston College, and had a great deal of respect for him. He's a Massachusetts guy. Tremendous reputation for developing great chemistry. He's a tremendous fundamentally football coach. Of course with Coach Reid we're able to have Coach Pasqualoni come here who is also just a phenomenal, unbelievable football coach as we all know. So together with Anthony Campanile who came from Rutgers, we just have Al Washington, just have a phenomenal staff. And those guys have done a great, great job and brought a great deal of energy to our program.

Q. Paul Johnson made a statement after the game saying that your team was as good defensively as anyone that he's played including Clemson. I know you said some positive things coming off of that game as well. Just what you can say about your defense, obviously, moving forward and knowing their success last year as well?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I just think that it's one game, one week at a time. Our goal is to develop and continue to develop fundamentally and work on things that we need to work on. This has been a big fundamental year. Last year we were a heavy-pressure team, and we have the same ability to do whatever we want there. But we wanted to develop fundamentally and we have. Up front to be able to control the line of scrimmage with great technique.

So, you know, I think we're continuing to develop defensively and that's the key. You have to improve. You have to get better.

One of the things we want to improve on from a week ago in those situations on long down and distance to be able to get underneath coverage or underneath our safeties deeper. Just some of the things that we're continuing to work on to become a well-rounded defense. The ability not just to pressure, but to be able to play some zone and to be able to still stop the run in zone coverage. So we've worked really hard defensively. We have good personnel, and I think we're going to continue to grow.

Q. As far as assessing on the offensive side, Patrick's first game at quarterback for you with Boston College, what you can take away from that?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I thought he did a great job. I thought he had a great second half. I thought what you saw was balance, which you haven't seen at Boston College. While I've been here we haven't had great balance. We've been able to run the ball well, but we did both.

Like I said, we're a balance run pass, we work the ball around to a lot of different receivers. We have a variety of ways to attack people in the run game. And we're still young up front. We're probably not where we need to be. We're going to get there though, but we're young. And there were times we looked really good, and there were times we left some real yards on the field in the run game. I think that can continue to grow and get better.

I think as that happens you're going to get even more productivity offensively. We've got to make sure we have more productivity in the red zone. We had three trips in the red zone that we didn't convert on. We converted on one and didn't on three others. Two of them were field goal related. But offensively we moved the ball. Time of possession in that game, they had 30 minutes. We had 29 and high change. It was almost even time of possession, which tells you a lot on nine possessions that we're moving the ball well. We've got to continue to do that and we've got to become much more efficient and much more high-percentage of scoring in the red zone.

Q. What stands out to you about that UMASS defense as you prepare for this game?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think they're pretty athletic and they can run. You saw that against Florida. They have some good personnel that's athletic and can run and they're all over the place. You know, so they've done a great job there of recruiting athletic talent. That's what you saw defensively. They play a lot of multiple coverages and they do a lot of different things on third down. So they've got talent on that football team and they played well last week.

Q. You lose a game right at the end like that, it's tough to take. Normally a team heads home and thinks about it. In this case you guys had a long flight to get back home. I just wondered, how did the guys handle that? How long before they could turn the page on that game?
STEVE ADDAZIO: That's a good question. I don't know that you know that exactly. I can tell you this, we had two good days of practice, I can tell you that, and that's usually a good indicator. I think our guys were a little fatigued yesterday, maybe a little more than usual for a Tuesday, and I think that's probably a little bit of the travel related. But we had a good day today, and I think that's yet to be told.

There are hurdles in football season. There are injury hurdles. There are travel hurdles. There's tough-loss hurdles. There's big-win hurdles. You get to the point where you realize you've just got to kind of take it a day at a time, put the best in you can today. Today not tomorrow, man, today not tomorrow philosophy. Go out and grind and prepare and put your best foot forward.

As a head coach you're trying to watch and manage and say, okay, we've got to cut down here, we've got to do more here. Just the different things you try to do to tweak your team's preparation and try to get your team to the highest level of competitive excellence you can come Saturday.

So will that trip have an impact? I guess that's yet to be told. But there's nothing we can do about it. It is what it is. We've got to go play and we'll get judged on that, and that's the way it is. So we'll find out. But we had two good days, and I anticipate we'll be ready to roll.

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