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October 10, 2012

Frank Spaziani

FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Well, you're absolutely right; we've got Florida State in Tallahassee and certainly a very talented football team that's well‑coached and has a lot of talent.テつ It's going to be a challenge for us, and we're looking forward to going down there.

Q.テつ Obviously you were part of a really strong BC teams here in this league and in the other league.テつ What's different about this year's team?テつ Is the talent level different?テつ Is the experience level different?テつ Why has this year been a struggle for you guys?
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Well, you know, a combination of everything you just said there.テつ And I would add we've got very difficult challenges.テつ Some of the teams we've played have been very good.テつ So you put it all together, and the one thing we're trying to get home here is that we just‑‑ we're close but we're not crossing the line here, and we've just got to try to put our finger on exactly what it is.テつ We're working on it.

Q.テつ And have you put your finger on it?テつ What's keeping you from getting over the hurdle there?
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Well, you know, we've just got to get‑‑ here's been our problem:テつ Obviously we've had a problem on defense, and one of the problems is that we've been‑‑ we've had guys in and out, and along with a number of other things, but just getting consistency of guys out there practicing every day.テつ That'll help.テつ When we get that, we'll be a little bit better off.

Q.テつ As you see Florida State on film, from last week's game, what did NC State figure out with Florida State's offense to give you and everyone else in the league some clues?
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Well, let me just say this:テつ NC State played a very good game, obviously, and they were into it mentally.テつ They played hard for 60 minutes, and I think that's what you can take out of it.テつ That's what happens, I think, when you're playing a team of Florida State's caliber.テつ They got it down to a four‑minute game and they made some plays at the end.

Q.テつ Just wondered if you'd had any chance to meet up with your new athletic director here in the last 24 hours since he arrived on campus.
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Yeah, we did.テつ We spent some time together yesterday.

Q.テつ And how did that meeting go?
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ It went fine.

Q.テつ From your perspective, I wonder what is the relationship like these days between an athletic director and a football coach?テつ Has it changed here in the last five, ten years, or maybe you can explain it a little bit for us.
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ The relationship between your boss and an employee?

Q.テつ Yeah.
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ It has to be a‑‑ that's the relationship to start out, and then it has to be a working relationship.テつ You have to be a team.テつ In order for a lot of things to happen in a football program, it has to go from the top all the way down to the bottom level in your program.
That's the relationship, and once again, everybody has to be on the same page because there's not much of a margin for error in any program going anywhere.
I don't think that's‑‑ I don't know if I'm the right person to be asking that question to, but I don't think that's changed.テつ I think that's in any successful organization, yours included.テつ You have a boss, right?

Q.テつ Absolutely.テつ I was asking because of the high pressure now it seems like on football coaches maybe compared to 10, 15 years ago to win immediately and the pressure ADs may feel to get things done in one or two years.テつ That's kind of what I was asking.
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Okay, well, that's a little different question then, right?

Q.テつ Right, but it also goes to the relationship between the AD and the football coach.
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ I think what has changed, what has changed along that, is there's a lot more finances involved, and obviously that changes the dynamics of the‑‑ but the relationship still has to be the same, but there's immediate financial consequences that maybe weren't there 10, 15, 5 years ago, whatever.

Q.テつ And one more question if I can:テつ You had mentioned some of the injured players like Chris and Bobby, particularly on offense.テつ Are they closer to coming back for you guys?
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Bobby Swigert?

Q.テつ Yeah.
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ No, Bobby was back last week, and he's back.テつ Chris started practicing with us last week.テつ He's practicing more this week, and we have to see how that goes.テつ But he's getting closer and closer now.テつ Exactly what's going to happen on Saturday, I'm not sure where we go with Chris.テつ But Bobby will be there.

Q.テつ Is there a better situation in terms of whether you come down to Tallahassee, maybe they're still undefeated and ranked high, or a team coming off of an upsetting‑‑ or being upset like last weekend in terms of your approach in bringing your club in here?
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Well, no.テつ That's a very common question.テつ Once again, I can't get into my opponent's psyche.テつ That's Jimbo's job to worry about the psyche of his football team.
The best way we approach it, and it's held me in good standing throughout coaching, is get our guys to be playing at the highest level they possibly can and expect the other team to play at their highest level and then go from there.

Q.テつ I'm working on a story about guys that take a non‑traditional routes to college football, whether they worked in a factory or in your case you have a guy who was playing in the minors for a couple years and is a good bit older.テつ How valuable is it to have a guy like that with that kind of different background when you're dealing with kids that a lot of times come in from high school and have known only football?
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ Dave Shinskie, I presume that's who you're talking about?

Q.テつ Yes.
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ I can't say enough about Dave, I really can't.テつ He came here when we didn't have a quarterback.テつ He hadn't played for six years, had been in the minor leagues, and we won eight games with him.テつ We won two the following year.テつ We made a quarterback change, and that probably wouldn't sit well with a lot of people.テつ But Dave is a great teammate, and he's a great asset to our program.テつ We are very fortunate, A, that he contributed to those wins and he's still helping contribute in another way.テつ But he's a great teammate, and I attribute that to some of his maturity and what he's been through and stuff.テつ I can't speak for other guys on our team, but we're very happy to have him.

Q.テつ You've been saying that on defense one of the struggles is guys going in and out and you were trying to decide whether to go with a group of guys and go forward from there or kind of deal with guys going in and out‑‑
FRANK SPAZIANI:テつ No, we're not deciding to go forward with it.テつ In other words, we know who the players are, we just‑‑ they've been in and out, a little inconsistency working.テつ We've had some injuries and some guys haven't been there, and you have to make plans‑‑ that's been part of the problem, and it's not an excuse; everybody's got injuries.テつ But that's been part of the problem.
We know who we're going with, and we just have to make sure they just get lucky a little bit with having them stay healthy for us and be out there every day, because on defense you need to be recognizing a lot of things, and it shows up first on defense when there's some participation issues.

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