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November 8, 2017

Greer Martini

South Bend, Indiana

Q. I noticed you came in barefooted. Are you getting ready for the game down in Miami Beach?
GREER MARTINI: That's exactly why. No, I was actually getting some treatment. I didn't have time to put on some shoes here.

Q. What do you know of the rivalry and some of the history of the game and how you feel like both sides are approaching this game knowing some of that history?
GREER MARTINI: Yeah, I think there's a lot of history between the two teams. I saw the "30-for-30." Before that I really didn't have a great knowledge of what the rivalry was. It was kind of my own experience with it. Obviously a lot of history between the two teams but for us it's just another game, another team that we've got to compete against.

Q. Were you surprised at how way out it got, the rivalry in that game and stuff, after seeing the "30-for-30"?
GREER MARTINI: Yeah, for me it was just like I didn't know that's kind of like where it started and how it started and the T-shirts and various things like that.

I thought it was really interesting. But it got out of hand. But now it's just more about two really good teams playing against each other.

Q. Off of last week's game and the performance of the defense and stuff like that, as you look back on it, how did you -- what did you take from that game? Where do you think -- what do you think you need to do to get back on track, maybe a little bit different?
GREER MARTINI: Yeah, I think as a defense it was humbling in a good way to show that we have been playing such really good football the majority of the season. And to have a game like that kind of get away from us just humbles us and makes us re-approach it and know that we have to execute at a very high level. It's tough to win football games at this level. We have to do everything we can to execute at a very high level.

Q. After you have a performance like that how necessary is it to get back on the field and let's show we're better than we were against Wake?
GREER MARTINI: For sure. As a defense we were ready yesterday to get out in practice, and the tempo was really high and the energy was there. I think that was due to also not performing as well as we could have. And the guys just want to get back out there and compete.

Q. And as a senior, as a captain, what's your role as far as making sure the defensive guys are on a better page this week than what they were last?
GREER MARTINI: I think we have to realize that it's coming to tend of the season. Guys get tired and kind of get banged up. And we have to make sure that everyone is coming with the same attitude we did with the rest of the game. That wasn't an issue yesterday. All the young guys brought it.

As a leader on the defense I don't really have to do much of that because of the defensive unit, for the majority of the part, they do it themselves.

Q. Coach Kelly said yesterday if you had seen our practice on Wednesday defensively you might have been able to kind of tell that there would have been some slippage on Saturday. What did you see from last week that said as good as we've been throughout the year, there just seems to be something off about this week heading into the Wake game?
GREER MARTINI: Yeah, I think as a competitor you can see like all the guys didn't bring it today as much as we usually do. And something's a little bit off.

But I didn't really have that initial reaction from just practicing last Wednesday. I think a lot of it just is me focusing on doing my job. And I can kind of see from the outside. But I didn't have that feel as much as maybe Coach Kelly said. And that's just more of a feel thing.

Q. You guys have played these top 15 spotlight matchups but it's been here at home. What's the mentality of going into a matchup like this when you're on the road in a hostile environment?
GREER MARTINI: I think there's a lot of excitement for us to go down there and prove ourselves. We've proved ourselves up to this point throughout the season. Now it's the next challenge and that's going down to Miami and beating them.

Q. And what can they do offensively to make that trouble for you guys?
GREER MARTINI: I think they've got a lot of playmakers. They're sound. I think just for us it's more about just executing our stuff at a very high level. I think we kind of got away from that last week.

It's just about really about understanding what we have to do as a defensive unit, not focusing on some of the external factors.

Q. When I was watching the game last week and then you saw the Dolphins playing on Sunday night. They've had a lot of sort of field issues down there where they change out the turf a lot. How do you guys as players get ready for something like that where you're not sure where exactly some rough spots are going to be?
GREER MARTINI: To be honest, I didn't even notice -- I didn't know that fact or whatever. For us it's just wherever we're going to play we're going to come out and compete. Doesn't matter what the surface is for us. At least for me I'm not going to think about it at all; it's just about going out there and executing at a high level.

Q. I think over the last few weeks getting more national attention for the teams you've beaten, but how does this raise the bar in terms of playing a seventh-ranked team plus being all the way down in Florida?
GREER MARTINI: I think it raises the bar just because it's the next game. It's the big game for us. Obviously both seasons are on the line here. And both are going to come out and compete. But for us it's just the next game and it's a really good team. That's our next challenge.

Q. How similar or different is Miami to the team you guys faced last year?
GREER MARTINI: I think they're very similar. Obviously they're having more production on the opposite side of the ball this year. Like I said before, they've got a lot of good playmakers. But I think they're a similar offense, similar scheme. But ultimately they've just been better at getting the ball to the guys that make plays for them.

Q. I'm curious how they're better maybe just a little better this year I think than they were in the other game, finished strong after losing to you guys. Is the difference just efficiency or what's maybe the slight uptick in their performance?
GREER MARTINI: I think that just at the time they need to make plays they do. And I think that ultimately as an offense they just get the ball to the guys that they need to get it to, it seems like. And I think that's the most basic answer to that question.

Q. Did you have a chance to watch a little bit of the Miami/Virginia Tech game last Saturday after you left the stadium?
GREER MARTINI: Yeah, actually I had two neighbors come up who are Virginia Tech alum and we kind of watched a little bit of the game. I didn't watch too much of it but I watched probably two quarters of it. Miami looked really good because I know Virginia Tech is a really good team as well. So definitely it shows that they can compete at a very high level and we have to be on our A game.


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