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September 12, 2012

Al Golden

COACH GOLDEN:  It's great to be back home after being on the road the first two weeks of the season.  We're playing Bethune‑Cookman team who came in here a year ago and was up 14‑7 at the half, and then 24‑14 at the start of the fourth quarter and did a great job in terms of total yards against us.  Very aggressive group, a group that prides itself on toughness and resiliency.  Came back in the first two games 21‑0 versus Alabama State, and 14‑0 against SouthCarolina State.
It's an experienced group with a high‑powered offense.  So it's obviously going to be a good challenge for us on Saturday.

Q.  How is it to get back and get over the mental hump?
COACH GOLDEN:  That's our focus.  We've improved so much this week in practice.  We've had spirited practices.  We've been resilient.  Now we have to carry it into a game with a team that's played with a lot of confidence and how they played us last year.  I think you're right on.  We definitely can't be concerned about last week.  We have to improve our team and play well, just execute ourselves.

Q.  Is there any one area?  Obviously, overall execution and all of that.  But is there one area that you're especially concerned about improving?
COACH GOLDEN:  Concerned about a lot of areas.  I was concerned about a lot of areas when we got back to Boston College.  We were lucky enough to win that game.  We had explosive plays and takeaways, and that aided in our ability to win that game.  But clearly there were a lot of breakdowns across the board there.
As I said a week ago, we could not play the same way in Manhattan, Kansas, so we were going to get run out of the building.  So we got run out of the building.

Q.  I know you have a very young team on defense.  Taking a look at your points against by quarter, you seem to be losing early in the first and then again in the fourth.  Is that part of the conditioning and getting used to the college game or is it just part of the scheme of being young?  What do you think?
COACH GOLDEN:  I don't want to make any excuses.  The other team executed certainly early on.  BC did a great job early on offense, and jumped out to the first two touchdowns in 16 plays.  Never get them off schedule and never got off the field on third down.  The same could be said against Kansas State.  We had the same situation.  We didn't stop them on third down.  They had a long drive to start the game.  One drive, sometimes that happens in the opening drive.
But you have to get the team off of the script.  Our offense didn't answer.  In fact, we turned it over, then they came right back and went up 14‑0.  So I think there's a lot more reasons than just the transition to the game.  We're playing with 17 freshmen or sophomores on defense, and they just have to all learn how to do their job and execute their role in the game.

Q.  Let's get into some of the positives.  Let's talk about some great things that you've seen with these youngsters and some things you saw in practice this week?
COACH GOLDEN:  I just think the reality of it is that a lot of these guys are growing up before our eyes.  They're not getting tested or I shouldn't say they're not learning in cupcake games.  They're learning at Chestnut Hill in the ACC to open up the season, and then at Manhattan Kansas.  So any mistake they make along the way is being compounded.
They've been resilient.  They're staying confident and just growing.  But certainly we expect Johnson to continue to improve and Malcolm Lewis, and Herb Waters, has had a good week.  Flowers continues to be strong at the tackle spot, and we're seeing a lot of other guys come on, Deon Bush, Earl Moore.
So, again, we're growing, we're learning, and hopefully we can continue to improve.

Q.  I wanted your thoughts on the Notre Dame announcement today?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think it's great.  I think it's great for, first of all, they represent what we all represent in the Atlantic Coast Conference.  And Doug, when you think about it, of course I've lived where you live now.  And now we're really talking about we have Boston, Pittsburgh, and New York City now with Pitt and Syracuse, we have all the Atlantic Cities now, D.C., Baltimore, Richmond, Charlotte, all the way down now to Miami, and now we're adding Notre Dame who has national appeal.  Even though they're not a full‑time football member right now in all the sports and obviously we'll have a scheduling coalition or whatever you want to call it.
So I think all of those things are really going to benefit our product here in the ACC.

Q.  Do you think ultimately that they'll be a football playing member?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think I share the sentiment of anybody, we'd like to have them.  They represent all the things that we represent in the Atlantic Coast Conference in terms of committing to student‑athletes and grad weight rates and doing things the right way.  So I would hope that that would be the point.
But to be honest with you, I just found out myself, because I don't know.  I haven't even looked at it.  Is the ink dry yet?  I just think it's great and can't say enough about their leadership in our conference offensively and what we've gotten done in the last year.

Q.  I just wonder, is there a reason Duke Johnson can get more touches?  Is that something you want to do?
COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah I don't think there's any question.  We had 17 plays designed for him on Saturday.  And to be honest with you, the game got out of whack.  Now we're just not in the system.  So I don't think there is any question we want to get him more touches.  He'll get touches in a variety of ways.  So we've got to do a better job doing that.  We've just got to stay on track.
But between kickoff returns and catching the ball and running the ball, I think he had over 200 yards the first game.  Then Duke didn't play as well the second game.  He had some drops.  He'll get over that, and we have to do a better job getting the ball in the back field.

Q.  I was looking.  I'm sure he had too many kickoff returns in that game?

Q.  Wondered about his rushing.
COACH GOLDEN:  It got skewed.  There is no question it got skewed because of the way the game went.  Again, I've got to make sure I do a better job.  That's my fault.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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