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October 17, 2012

Paul Johnson

COACH JOHNSON:  Good morning, I tell you, we are excited to have a chance to get back out there and play again after coming off a bye week, I think the bye week came at a good time for us.  We are able to regroup a little bit and heal up physically, so anxious to get back out there and get started again.
I know that Boston College is struggling like we are, and we fully expect that we are going to get their best shot when they come in here on Saturday.

Q.  It seems to be a trend this year, more teams are going for it on 4th down and they are doing it more frequently.  Your team has sort of been at the forefront of doing that for several years now.  Two parts, is that part of your general philosophy and why do you think it's catching on across the country?
COACH JOHNSON:  Well, as a general you'll, our philosophy, because we have basically been running offense, we felt like we were in a situation where it was less than a couple yards, felt good about having a chance to pick it up.  That, and the other thing probably is before the game, that certainly dictates on how the game is going.  If you're having a hard time stopping the other team, a lot of times you don't want to give upa point if you have a chance to make a first down.
I think that's something you have to look at overall in national scope of things.¬† The games are becoming much higher‑scoring games.¬† So it lends itself sometimes to more teams going for it, just by the nature of the games are played.

Q.  I'm curious, just your thoughts on the bye week, the extra time, how much of an impact does that have, how much of an advantage is it in game planning, and do people really change much in their bye week?
COACH JOHNSON:  Well, I think it varies.  Depends on everybody's individual situation.  Like I said, whenever it comes, we were pretty beat up physically, so it came at a good time for us and we needed to revamp some things and change some things, so it's at an appropriate time for us.
How much people change I guess is depending on their situation and what they are doing at the time.¬† I don't think you can put‑‑ one size probably doesn't fit all.

Q.¬† Working on something on your senior class, and I know that this group is part of your first class and part of your second class, whether they red‑shirted or not, wonder if in your experience‑‑ what makes them special compared to maybe some of the other classes?
COACH JOHNSON:¬† Well, I think that each class is special in their own way and each has their own individual identity.¬† But this class, a lot of these kids were committed when we got here.¬† We took over in December.¬† So it's not a very big class.¬† It's probably split in that the kids who red‑shirted were more than likely committed when they came and the ones who didn't, and it played early, would have been our really first class that we recruited.
We have only got about nine or ten of those guys, and you know, they inform the leadership of the team and have been a lot of fun to work with and they are a great bunch of guys.  I think all of them are going to get their degree and that's a positive.

Q.¬† When Al grow was up in Virginia, he was one of the few guys around using the 3‑4.¬† Seems like more and more teams are using it, I believe Maryland and Wake Forest, although I guess there's a difference between the two‑gap and the one‑gap‑‑
COACH JOHNSON:  I'm not sure that I could explain it.

Q.¬† Is the 3‑4 something you like?¬† Is it something that's going to be around in college football, do you think?¬† I guess that's maybe a question for another day but what do you think of the 3‑4 just off the top of your head?
COACH JOHNSON:¬† Well, I think the 3‑4 is fine, it's like any scheme, you can do a lot of the same things out of whatever you do. ¬†Certainly Al is very knowledgeable in what he does, and he's probably as knowledgeable as anybody in the country in two‑gap and what they do from that aspect of it.
For me personally here, it wasn't working.  It could have been personnel, it could have been a lot of things, but it just weren't working.  But I think it could certainly be a good scheme and clearly he knows what he's doing with it, there's no question about that.  He's done it for a long time and had a lot of success with it.

Q.¬† Just wondering if long term it's a possibility you can stay in it and go to the one‑gap?
COACH JOHNSON:¬† You know, we'll probably‑‑ we can't just start over, so we'll base out of that.¬† We'll do some different things a little bit different than what we have done in the past.

Q.  How much more have you been involved this past week because of the changes on the defensive side and going forward, how much more do you expect to continue to be involved with the defense?
COACH JOHNSON:  Well, I've been more involved because I guess for the last two and a half years, I pretty much just kind of let Al run the thing.
But our defensive coaches still are in charge.  I wanted to make sure we get the right base in and we get some of the stuff that I wanted to do and then we'll let them coach.
I'll probably stay involved depending how it goes.  I needed to be more involved, anyway.  Truth be told, I probably let it get away from me more than I needed to.
I think it's good for the kids to see me over there once in awhile, as opposed to being on offense all the time.  It's something that I'll be more involved, depending how it goes, will determine how much.

Q.  Is that something you enjoy or is it tough to juggle, because you already have so much on your plate just being head coach?
COACH JOHNSON:  I enjoy doing it.  I think that when you have a chance to do it, and I'm fortunate, the offensive staff here has been together for a long time and most of them either play for me or coach for me for double digit years.  I can slide over there some and get away.
So it's been fun for me.  You know, I want to reiterate the fact that those guys on defense are still running it.  I'm not running the defense.  I'm just there to help.

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