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November 9, 2016

Steve Addazio

Greensboro, North Carolina

COACH ADDAZIO: We're excited to get down to Tallahassee to play a really, really good Florida State team. It's a short week for both teams. These short weeks are tough to get turned around and get ready to roll.

When I look at Florida State, per usual, they're very, very talented, very well-coached. I think Jimbo Fisher just does a great job with his program both sides of the ball, keeping the momentum going, coaching them. I see the same here.

Balanced offense. Physical up front, great runningback, talented receivers. On defense, extremely stout up front. Great skilled athletes in the back end. The challenge will be really, really big for us.

We had a great week this week of preparation. We're going to need every bit of that as we head down to Tallahassee.

I'll take questions.

Q. I know you've had several younger players who have really developed for you on both sides of the ball this year, come along in their development. Can you talk about who they are and what they've meant to your team this year.
COACH ADDAZIO: On offense, Jeff Smith and Mike Walker are two skill players that both did not redshirt. Mike came in as a high school quarterback, came in as a safety, kick returner, then developed as a receiver. Jeff came in as a quarterback, did not redshirt, now is a receiver. Both have delivered some electric plays for us.

I think Elijah Johnson started as a true freshman, now is a left guard, has really made an impact for us. Davon Jones is a redshirt freshman tailback, has seen a lot of action for us. Some young tight ends. Those are some of the names.

On defense, we've had some outstanding play. Ray Smith as a nose guard, young guy, has done an outstanding job. Will Harris as a safety. Max Richardson playing special teams and linebacker for us.

Young guys' names on both sides of the ball that have really made some unbelievable contributions. They're exciting players for the future.

Q. What kind of a challenge is this for your team to have to go back-to-back Louisville then Florida State on the road on a short week?
COACH ADDAZIO: I'd say monumental. This has kind of been our deal this year. We've gone kind of like this right from the beginning where you have a hard time establishing momentum.

We played an outstanding team last week. Everybody knows that. We play another outstanding team, on the road, this week.

I think these are opportunities for you to develop and grow your team. They're challenging. But with challenges come opportunities. That's the way we see it. We have to really lock in on the things that we had to develop from last week's game that were controllable by us that we didn't do a good job with, and grow with that.

That's our goal right now. So to go down here, compete like crazy, get better, seal up some of the problems we had a week ago, and continue to move forward.

Q. You always seem to play Florida State well. Why do you think that is?
COACH ADDAZIO: I mean, Florida State is without a doubt one of the measuring sticks in our conference, meaning they're in the upper echelon. It's one of the high water programs in the ACC, always has been.

I think the guys will always feel like we're going down and just playing an elite team. Great players want to play great in big games. When you're playing Florida State, whether it's here or Tallahassee, you know it's an unbelievable arena and an opportunity to play a great program and great players. Hopefully what it does is bring out the best in you.

Q. Talk about playing Florida State's defense, No. 44, Walker. Seems like he goes all across the field. Talk about his playing defense.
COACH ADDAZIO: He's a dynamic player. I mean, he has a combination of size, explosiveness, and athleticism. He can really control the line. He's a great pass-rusher. Like a lot of guys that have come through there, this is an elite player. We have to account for him and be able to handle him, which is very difficult to do.

The challenges will be great up front with the offensive line. But this is what you know you're going to face when you face Florida State. It's what you have to prepare for.

Q. You're an old Florida Gator guy. How difficult is it to play in Tallahassee with the crowd? How do you quiet the crowd?
COACH ADDAZIO: I don't know if you're going to quiet that crowd. That's a great arena. Obviously you need to play as well as you can. That is a home-field advantage stadium without a doubt, passionate crowd, love their team, as they should.

Like in any away stadium when you're on the road, the best thing you can do is play well and not give any opportunity to encourage them that how loud they are is going to make a difference in the game.

Q. Heading down the stretch here in this season, what kinds of things are you looking for from your team as it finishes up the 2016 season, what kind of improvements?
COACH ADDAZIO: I think on defense, we want to continue to play the run well, not give up as many big plays. On offense I think we need more consistency so that we can have longer, better drives that result in scores. I want to see the development of our explosive players. And continue to develop on special teams.

Those are a couple things I'd like to see us do as we go down the homestretch.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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