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October 3, 2012

Jim Grobe

JIM GROBE:  I was very disappointed this past Saturday.  We lost to a good Duke team.  I thought their kids played great.  We did not make the plays that we needed to make.  We got in pretty good shape in the fourth quarter with a great chance to win a football game at home and didn't get it done.  So we're disappointed.  But we're also excited to get back to playing again.  Tough place for us to go.  We've had mixed results at Maryland, mostly bad ones, so hopefully we can take this football team up and play better than we have the past couple times.

Q.¬† What difference do you see in the Maryland team ‑ of course they're coming off a bye week, also ‑ but from last year when they were 2 and 10 to this year?
JIM GROBE:¬† Well, for one thing they're playing much better defense.¬† They have a really physical front, a good group of linebackers.¬† I think their secondary does a nice job in coverage, whether it's zone or man coverage.¬† I think they're playing offensively really solid to try to run the football and hitch off play action throws, and they've got some really talented kids, a group of receivers that are talented, one kid in particular that's a home run threat every time he touches the ball.¬† And I think ‑‑ the Diggs kid is who I'm talking about, and when he's on special teams as a punt returner, kick returner, he's electric doing that stuff.
They're just a much‑improved football team.¬† I'm sure their year two with Randy in every area, offense, defense, kicking game, I'm sure they're feeling better about things than they did last year.

Q.  And from your standpoint, now that you've had some time for the loss of Campanaro to actually sink in, how do you compensate for that?
JIM GROBE:  Well, we can't, I don't think.  I think he was just special.  You know, every team has got two or three kids on both sides of the ball that are your key, key guys, and you need to keep them healthy.  In our case, Camp was just kind of an invaluable guy because he was worth 100, 150 yards of offense every week, and that's a big chunk to take out of your football team.
But maybe we can distribute a little bit better.  You know, I think that sometimes where Tanner Price, our quarterback, was kind of counting every snap on having the option of going to Camp, I think now we've got to read it out a little bit better and we have got to count on our guys to catch a football.  We didn't catch it very good on Sunday.  We had some opportunities without Camp out there but dropped too many balls.  A couple of them led to turnovers.  We've got to do a better job catching the football, but we can't really replace Camp, but maybe we can spread the ball out a little bit more than we have been.

Q.  In order to get some W's the last two months of the season, what do you have to improve upon and what has to get better?
JIM GROBE:¬† Well, I think the thing that we've not done a very good job of is we haven't really played well in a game‑‑ maybe North Carolina was probably our best game where we played good defensively and offensively.¬† So we need a good effort out of both sides of the football.
I thought this past Saturday going into the game, I thought our defense had the biggest challenge.  I was worried about Duke's ability to score points, and I didn't think we played very well offensively.  We had too many turnovers to win the game.
So what we've really got to have here down the stretch is we've got to play better defensively.  That's something that you've got to do if you're going to win.  But we've got to be an offense that takes care of the football, and those are things that we just can't compromise on.
So it would be nice for us, and I think it would give us a chance to win if we could get to where on Saturday we don't have one side of the ball or the other playing their best football without the other side.  So I think the key for us is to play good on both sides of the football.

Q. ¬†To follow‑up on the Camp question there, who are some of the guys that you really need to step up with him out?
JIM GROBE:¬† Well, he's really, really a young guy, but Sherman Ragland is a kid that has all the ability in the world.¬† We see him kind of as a Camp guy going forward, so eventually that's the kind of role that we see Sherman Ragland filling in for, but he's got to catch the ball better.¬† And right now he's struggling a little bit with not just running the offense but routes and catching the ball and doing all those‑‑ pretty good blocker, but he's got to improve.
And then I think Terence Davis is a real key for us.  I think Terence has been hurt this year.  He's had two separated shoulders.  He's back in action.  The problem he's had is he just hasn't been able to practice much, and I think this week we're going to get a full week of practice out of him for the first time since August, and I think that will be key.  It would be nice if Brandon Terry stepped up for us.  That's a big kid that can run and catch the football.  I think Brandon could be a key.  We may even have to look at a couple freshmen going forward.  It's probably going to be three or four weeks before we get Camp back.
But when you talk about Campanaro and trying to replace him, I'd say Sherman Ragland and Terence Davis are kids that could fulfill that role if they'll step up.

Q.  I know Nikita was banged up this season, and you had another, too.
JIM GROBE:  Yeah, Merrill Noel had a hamstring from the start of the season.

Q.  Can you put into perspective how much of an impact that's had overall on your team to have such big name guys banged up?
JIM GROBE:¬† Yeah, it's really been a problem for us.¬† The thing that you generally count on from both Nikita and Merrill Noel, you count on a lot of bonus points.¬† I don't think that Nikita, so far this season, has had a tackle for a loss or a sack, and I don't think Merrill Noel‑‑ last year he led the nation in pass breakups.¬† I don't know if he's had but one or two this year.¬† And then they've been hurt, so I can't be overly critical.
But when you take your play makers out of the mix, and of course we talked about Camp earlier, every team has got two or three guys on each side of the ball that are really key, that are the big play guys, and if they're not making big plays, it's hard to estimate how much that hurts your offense or defense.

Q.  I know Campanaro is a local guy.  Has he been disappointed that he's not going to be able to come back and play in front of his family and all that stuff back in Maryland?
JIM GROBE:  Yeah, I'm really disappointed for Camp.  He's got a broken hand.  The good news is they're not going to have to do surgery.  He doesn't have any displacement in the bone.  He'll just be able to keep it casted and it'll heal up on its own.  The plan right now is hopefully to have him back for Clemson, possibly not until Boston College, but we're going to get him back, and that's the good news.  The bad news is I really think he was looking forward to coming back close to home and having a chance to have family and friends come and watch him play.  He'll probably be with us anyway.  I think we'll bring him with us just because he's good to be around the receivers and kind of be another coach for those guys.  But he's definitely disappointed that he's not going to be able to come home and play.

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