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September 19, 2012

Jim Grobe

JIM GROBE:  I was very disappointed in our performance this past week.  We got our ears pinned back pretty good.  But at the same time I think we played a really good football team.  I was very impressed with Florida State in really all three phases.  I thought their kicking game was great as well as their offense and defense played really well, very disciplined, very talented, and I wish we'd played better.  But I think I came away from the game disappointed in us but very, very impressed with Florida State.

Q.  Talk about Army's triple option, specifically the Maples kid.  He's kind of become their go‑to guy the last couple years in that offense.
JIM GROBE:  Yeah, I think what they've done is they've got a lot of good ball carriers.  They've got a lot of guys that are very, very capable.  The Maples kids is really special.  He's got great balance.  He's very physical.  You know, he makes great decisions.  I think that's what you notice is they have talented players, but I think they do such a nice job executing.  You know, it puts a lot of pressure on you because they're not just a one‑man team.  You've really got to defend a lot of different guys in that running game.
One of the issues that they give you offensively is you spend a lot of time trying to get people at the line of scrimmage to stop the run, and then it opens up some of their throws.  So they're going to be a great challenge for us.

Q.  Where do you see any aspect of your game against Army that you could see as possible mismatch, something you could take advantage of on them?
JIM GROBE:  You know, I really don't.  I think the thing that's the problem for us right now is that they are‑‑ they're very complex on both sides of the ball.  You know, the running game is sort of a spread offense, but it's got its roots in wishbone football, which is a tough, hard‑nosed approach, which suits the academies perfectly.
But they also give us some problems defensively.  They're a unique preparation for us.  It's a defensive scheme that we don't ever see, so they not only give you problems on offense but they give you problems on defense.  It's hard to even look at match‑ups as far as your players are concerned because you spend all your time getting ready for schemes that you typically don't see during the year.

Q.  I think I read where you said after the game Saturday that Florida State is a special, special team, and I'm wondering what you might identify as the big differences between them this year and last year when you faced them.
JIM GROBE:  Yeah, I think the thing that I noticed, and I commented to Jimbo before the game, but typically what we've tried to do at Wake Forest is try to play a lot of juniors and seniors, try to grow our kids up, and hopefully by the time they're older guys be able to compete in this league.
But we really reversed the roles Saturday.  Florida State is a very veteran football team.  This is the most veteran football team that I remember.  Of course I'm in my 12th season here now, but I don't ever remember a Florida State team playing as many juniors and seniors as they're playing right now.  I think defensively Saturday they had 10 juniors and seniors starting for them.  I think they had a sophomore corner who's another great player.  But the thing that's remarkable to me about this Florida State team, they've always been very talented, but they've always relied on a lot of young players to play, and this is a pretty veteran, tough, hard‑nosed, crusty football team.

Q.  To build on that, the big question everybody wants to know is are they back?  Are they for real?
JIM GROBE:  Well, you know, they remind me of some of the Florida State teams we played when we first got to Wake Forest.  We weren't as competitive as we have been over the past few years, but‑‑ and a couple of those Miami teams, a couple of Larry Coker's teams back in the day and a couple of the Virginia Tech teams that we faced, of the really, really good teams that we faced over the last 11 plus years, I would say they're right there with the best of them.  I thought in all three areas, I thought offensively they were very talented, they run the ball well and they've got the real good quarterback and skilled receivers.  I think their offensive line is playing good.
I thought defensively they're really physical, they're big and physical and they run to the football and they don't make many mistakes.
And then their kicking game I think is fantastic.  They've got a kicker that kicks the ball as high as most people punt it, and so you've got some issues with trying to return kickoffs, and then I think their punting game is good.
So I liked all three phases.
Last year I think here in Winston, I think they had over 100 yards in penalties, and they didn't have any of that stuff Saturday.  They really managed the game well.  They didn't have many penalties.  I just came away impressed.  I didn't see any weaknesses when we left Tallahassee.

Q.  Given that, I guess how much do you kind of write off last week as that was just playing one of the best teams in the country, or how much is it your team took a step backward and we need to improve this or that for this week?
JIM GROBE:  A little bit of both.  I thought our win over Carolina was a good one, and I think Carolina is a very talented team, also.  And when we went down to Florida State, I really did not expect that to happen to us.  I thought we would compete better.  I thought we had a couple opportunities early in the first quarter to make a game out of it and wasted a couple of good field position opportunities, and then it just seemed to snowball.  But I was really disappointed in our team, but I think the flipside to that was I've just got a sense‑‑ now, we'll find out this week when Florida State plays Clemson, we'll find out if they're for real because I know Clemson is very talented, also, so it'll be two great teams playing this weekend.  But I came away from there feeling like we played a pretty special football team.

Q.  If I could piggy‑back on that, just in terms of defensively, is there anything you take away from that game that moves you into this week, or again, is that something where you just ran into a team that was clicking everywhere on offense?
JIM GROBE:  You know, I think there are things we take away from it.  I think as good as Florida State is, we saw some things in the game that we could have done better.  We had some opportunities.  You know, maybe not to beat those guys.  I think even if we'd have corrected some things, we might not have been good enough to win the football game.  But I think we saw where some of our weaknesses are.  I think we've got some things that we can work on.
I mentioned I think last week that I think we have the potential to be a good football team, but I didn't feel like we're there, and it kind of exposed us a little bit Saturday.
So I think we've got some thoughts personnel‑wise, maybe some guys that need to go up on the depth chart, some things that kind of stood out to us.  But I think overall we just came away feeling like we played a pretty, pretty good football team.

Q.  And is there any update on Nikita's status?
JIM GROBE:  I would say it's a stretch to think that he'll play this week.  I think he's not been able to practice for a couple days, and that's one of the issues that we've got.  You know, you have guys that you try to get ready by Saturday, and you think, if we can just get him healthy for Saturday.  But down in Tallahassee, we had two or three kids that didn't practice much last week, and we actually got them in the game Saturday, but they didn't play very well because they hadn't practiced.  That's your problem.
We certainly want to get Nikita back, and he will help us immensely once we get him in the mix, but we need to get him not only back healthy but we need to get him practicing again.

Q.  Three weeks into the season you've got two undefeateds left in the conference and two ranked teams at this point.  How important is it you do have the big national marquee game Saturday, how important overall in terms of getting a positive look nationally on the conference which has kind of struggled across the last few years and taken a little bit of heat from where it stands nationwide?
JIM GROBE:  I think it makes it really big.  I think one of the things that I've said over the past few years is the ACC has probably taken a little more heat than we should because we haven't had a team make a run at the National Championship.  That doesn't mean that we're not a great conference, that we don't have a lot of good football teams.  I think we're a very balanced conference, and I think we've got a lot of good teams, and you've got to play every week to win.  But I think this game, after coming out of Tallahassee this past Saturday, I just thought that Florida State is really, really special, and I think everybody feels like Clemson is the same way.  I think this is going to really highlight our conference.  I think this could be a battle between two great football teams, and I think that this might be the year that we've got a team that can make a run at the whole thing.  I think certainly whoever comes out of Saturday's match‑up with a win is going to have to carry the banner for the ACC.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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