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November 2, 2011

Frank Spaziani

THE MODERATOR: We welcome Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani.
COACH SPAZIANI: We are 36 hours from our five-day turnaround, and that in itself poses some problems, and it's compounded by the fact that we have a very, very talented and well-coached football team coming in here.
With that, we'll open it up for those important questions.

Q. How does your practice week differ when you're preparing for a mid-week game after playing the previous Saturday?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, for us, we usually take Monday off and practice on Sunday so what we did is we altered our Sunday practice a little bit, and tried to do a little more, and practiced on Monday. We had a conflict with some classes, so that was a little bit of a problem and then we went a little bit lighter in gear, that is, Tuesday and then here we are Wednesday ready to go.

Q. Does that motivate your team now that you're coming off your first conference win of the season?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, you know, does it motivate them? We try to be motivated every week, but certainly our confidence level should be a little bit better, knowing that we have accomplished something, sure.

Q. I wanted to ask you where the running attack came from. I mean, when you look at your numbers going into that Maryland game, you obviously were struggling on the ground and all of a sudden you have a tremendous rushing game. Was that a product of the offensive line?
COACH SPAZIANI: There's never one answer to that, but there are some factors that went into it. No. 1, our offensive line has been getting better.
You know, I think I've been quite consistent in saying that we have been, you know, able to hold that group together now for the last -- going on four weeks now, they have practiced and they have been out there every day. So that in itself lends itself to more proficiency and certainly Deuce has gotten a better flow of having to run the ball and what we are expecting of him.
That added to it, and then that was two major contributing factors to the performance.

Q. Can you talk about what a test it will be to sustain that against the No. 1 rushing defense in the ACC?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, it will be a different level of intensity over there. And certainly, it will be quite challenging to say the least. They do have quite talented people over there in their front seven and in their back end, also.
So it's going to be a big challenge but once again in order for us to win any game, we have to be successful running. Now that's the key word, what is successful. So we are going to have to get some yardage and keep them off balance a little bit.
Mike, I have a question for you. What was the date of that 1863 or 1869?
THE MODERATOR: It was 1869.
COACH SPAZIANI: Gary Galep (ph) was around then.

Q. I don't mean to bug you on this, but I'm doing a feature on Matt Daniels at Duke. I know it's been a while since you've played them, but anything you remember about him? He's in the top three in the conference in tackles and passes defended. Did he make any impression at all?
COACH SPAZIANI: Oh, absolutely, yeah. Certainly with the -- before the game and during our game, we were aware of him and we had to make sure that we understood in our game plan where he was.
You take notice to playmakers and he is certainly one of them.

Q. They have got the defense with three safeties and five defensive backs, and they seem to think that he's the key to that with his ability to move around the different safety spots. Is that something that you saw, too?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, once again, it's been a while. And let me say this: His flexibility and his ability to go in certain places certainly lends itself to some problems offensively.
You have to account for where he is and then he's in different spots. That also contributes. His athletic ability, but that also contributes to his value on the defense.

Q. A few weeks ago --
COACH SPAZIANI: No, you just tested -- somebody put you up to that to make sure that I've got a memory, huh. (Laughing). Any time.

Q. You guys are a little thin at running back this week. Are you concerned about that?
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah, more than a little; a lot.
Well, you know, once again, the job description is manage your way through the problems, and you know, there's going to be problems that you can foresee and some you can't foresee. This is something that we are just going to have to manage our way through. We have a couple of plans, we have an A, B and C, and so it poses some problems. It does, yeah.

Q. Do you have somebody that you -- an emergency back in case something happened to Deuce?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, you know, Andre is not out. So that's the first thing. I don't know where you are with that.
But that will be a game-time decision and then we have got Javorski and we have Elliot. You know, we have -- it certainly hurts our efficiency, but there's things we can do and we will just have to decide some different areas.

Q. I know there are a lot of challenges in having a short week, but are there any positives or anything that can help, that can keep the momentum going from your win on Saturday going with the short week, that you can get right back out there?
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah, there's a lot of stuff in routine that we as coaches love to do and we don't like to break our routine.
But sometimes when you do break it in a certain way and lighter practices and then pads off or on day, shorter, there's some energy comes out of that. The players respond to that in a different way, and certainly they won and they are excited. A lot of this game is mental and especially at this time of the year now.
So there's a lot of positive stuff that can come out of that and hopefully we can carry it over to tomorrow night.

Q. I just had one question. I wanted to ask you about EJ manual, you obviously had that big game against NC State last weekend. Just wanted to know what you've seen from him so far this year and how he's done?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, I've seen a very accomplished football player, very talented. He's a big guy and he can throw and run.
He's kind of like Cam Newton in a lot of ways. They don't ask him to do as much running, but certainly if they did, he could do it. They have a little bit different attack, but he's got it all. I don't see many -- I don't see any flaws in him to be honest with you.

Q. There's one thing from that win last week that you could put in a bottle and play that same way the rest of the season, is there one particular thing that was the most encouraging to you?
COACH SPAZIANI: There are a lot of things. I think we have been playing a little bit more with emotion as the season has gone on. This team is young and they were growing. They played with emotion and they were physical.
And that is what we need to do as we go through the whole year. As a coach, you like to see that momentum continue in that area; it has, and we certainly need more of it, and again, against a quality opponent like, this you have to be mentally right, that's for sure.

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