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October 31, 2012

Jim Grobe

MIKE FINN:  We now welcome Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe.  We'll bring coach on, ask for a brief opening statement, then go to questions.
COACH GROBE:  We're disappointed we didn't play well against Clemson.  Of course, Clemson I thought played great.  They got a heck of a football team.  Thought their guys played lights out.  We didn't play as well as we needed to to compete and have a chance to win.
Hopefully we'll bounce back and play better this week.  We've got a Boston College team coming to town that has some confidence after beating Maryland last weekend.  We know we're going to have a tough time this Saturday, but hopefully we can play better.
MIKE FINN:  Questions for Coach Grobe.

Q.  How important is getting to a bowl game for your program?
COACH GROBE:  Well, I think it's important.  We feel like here bowl games are kind of a measure of how successful you are.  So I think it's very, very important.
I think it's tough to get one, though.  With the schedule that we play, the people we play against, it makes it really tough to find six wins.
Of course, you're kind of torn, your goals going into the season, everybody would like to win the division, play for the ACC championship.  But I think bowl games are very important.

Q.  Do you feel at this point now with four games left on the schedule it's crunch time for you guys?
COACH GROBE:  Yeah, I think we missed a couple opportunities earlier in the season.  I think we're disappointed that we had great opportunities against Duke, against Maryland, didn't get it done.  Our backs are against the wall right now.
With four games left, we have four really good teams to play.  We'll have to play our best football to win any of them.  To win two of them is going to be a challenge.
But I think we're capable of winning all four.  It's a matter of staying healthy, playing good, having a good plan as coaches, having the kids go execute it.
Yeah, I would say our backs are against the wall a little bit for sure.

Q.  Jim, Campanaro caught six passes.  Watching him during the game, then watching on film, how did he really play?  How rusty was he?
COACH GROBE:  He was pretty rusty.  For him, he had gotten to where, when he broke his hand early in the Duke game, he was really playing well.  He was blocking well, running his routes great.  He catches the ball really well.
The nice thing about Camp, he can do something with it after he catches it.  He was playing at such a high level.  You compare where he was to how he played against Clemson, not very good.
But he did give us a spark.  The kids like having him out there.  They feel better when he's on the field.  Made some nice catches.  Didn't run his routes as sharp as we need him to.  Wasn't as well‑conditioned.  He hadn't done much in about three weeks.
Hopefully after this week we'll get him in shape a little bit better and he'll be a little bit sharper running routes, running the plays the way they're designed to be run.

Q.  Is he able to go full tilt in practice without any restrictions or reservations?
COACH GROBE:  Yeah, he is.  He's really to the point where I don't think we worry about his hand as much.  It's just getting him back in shape, getting him back to playing at a high level.

Q.  Jim, how much do you write off last Thursday as playing a great team or how much of it is this is what we need to do better than last week?
COACH GROBE:  It's tough.  I think any time you get beat by a really, really good football team you have a tendency to want to go ahead and put it behind you as quick as possible.
As good as Clemson is, as talented as they are, especially offensively, we just didn't play very well.  We had a couple plays in the game where they just had a better player and made a great play.  But several times we just didn't play the coverage very well and gave them big plays.
I think part of it is we got to chalk it up to getting beat by a better team.  The other side to that is we didn't play as good as we were capable of.  It wouldn't have taken much on our part to be better in our coverages, limit their big plays.
If we just limited a couple of those big plays, now it gets interesting in the fourth quarter.  I think all the credit goes to Clemson because they made the plays they needed to make.  But it wasn't total mismatches physically, it was our kids really not playing the way they were coached to play.
We want to put it behind us, but we also want to improve.  You don't improve much if you don't learn from past mistakes.

Q.  How confident are you you can rectify those things this week?
COACH GROBE:  We have another really good throwing football team.  I really like their quarterback.  He's a big, strong‑armed kid.  Got a great sense of their offense, a big arm to get the ball anywhere down the field, does a good job with his underneath stuff.  They have two or three receivers.  Amidon kid is special.  Swigert kid is a good player.  They have good receivers to throw the football to.
We better improve.  We've got to play better than we did against Clemson or some of the same things will happen because Boston College is really, really talented throwing the football.

Q.  Most teams running the spread don't even have a fullback.  You have a guy leading your team in touchdown catches.  He's never a runner.  He blocks and catches passes.  Is that his role?
COACH GROBE:  Yeah, a little bit of a switch for us.  Unfortunately we played Tommy as a true freshman.  I wish we hadn't done that.  I'd like to have him for another year because he's really starting to come into his own.
We felt like this was going to be a season where we weren't going to be able to spend a lot of time lining up in the I formation, running power and iso, stuff like that.  We kind of made him a hybrid.  Sometimes we'll get in the I, but we'll offset him, we'll put him at tight end, put him at slot in a wing position, use him as a blocker, but also use him as a receiver.
In the past he's been a short‑yardage kid for us in the I formation, but we really haven't had a chance to do that with him.  We've used him primarily as a blocker and receiver but at the perimeter running up inside.
He's got good hands, become a dependable guy for us.  I think our quarterbacks feel as good throwing the ball to Tommy as anybody on the field.

Q.  The passes he's catching, is he catching those coming out of the slot or as a fullback?
COACH GROBE:  Mostly from a slot position, tight end alignment.  We get him more in the flat out of the backfield, more down the field from the slot or wing position.
MIKE FINN:  Coach, thanks for being with us.  Good luck this weekend.  We'll talk to you next Wednesday.
COACH GROBE:  Appreciate it.  Y'all be good.

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