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September 18, 2013

Dabo Swinney

DABO SWINNEY:  Good morning, everybody.  Good to be with y'all this week.  We are excited about heading up to Raleigh today in just a bit.  We've had good preparation.  We took good advantage of the extra time that we had to prepare for this game.  Excited about going on the road and it's going to be a very tough environment.  NC State has a bunch of good players, and again, a tough place to win.
So looking forward to seeing how our guys respond in that environment tomorrow night.  We are going to have to play very well.  Offensively I think they are doing an excellent job with their new scheme up there, and defensively very impressed as well, especially with their defensive line.  Their defensive line has been very disruptive and productive for them in the first couple ball games.
Just a big challenge for us all the way around and look forward to getting into conference play and trying to play our best game.

Q.  I think I know the answer but I'm hoping‑‑ I just want to hear it from you.  Why is it that more than any other position, the quarterback position, if you're one of the best quarterbacks in the country, you're automatically a Heisman Trophy candidate?
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, I guess it's just most of the time, the quarterback position is the most critical position on a team, most of the time.  If you're going to have a great football team, you probably have a very, very good quarterback and that's pretty much standard at every level, high school, college, NFL especially.
Those great teams, they all have great quarterbacks.  And I guess the Heisman has typically been more tilted toward offensive guys for whatever reason.  I don't know the whole history of the Heisman, but I think that's just kind of where it starts, just the perception.
I mean, the quarterbacks, they get a ton of credit and a ton of blame, as well, and so it just kind of comes with the position, the most visible position.  They get the most notoriety, and, you know, but most often, they usually are the cog in the wheel.

Q.  Do you think this year's offense can be as good as last year's offense, given the personnel that you lost?
DABO SWINNEY:  Absolutely.  We got a lot more back than we lost.  We only lost one offensive lineman, one receiver, Nuke Hopkins; he was a very good player.  But we didn't have Sammy.  He only played in about seven games last year, so having him back, we hope, will pick up some of that slack.
And the emergence of Martavis Bryant, he was a guy last year, but not a focused guy, and was inconsistent.  So hopefully he's taking another step like we've seen in practice and hopefully we'll see that transfer to the games throughout the season.
But we've got good players.  You know, who knows, statistically, what will‑‑ we may not be as good statistically, but that doesn't mean we are not as good.  There's a lot of things that go into that.  But I definitely think that we have a very good offense, third‑year starter back at quarterback and again, good veteran guys up front, and there's no reason for us to not be very successful on that side of the ball.

Q.  And last year, I think ‑‑ would you say Tajh's best game was against NC State as an offense, the 62 points would be your high watermark there?
DABO SWINNEY:  Oh, he had a lot of great games, he really good.  I don't measure performance based on points.  Again, there's a lot of factors that can go into that.
He did play good against these guys, had some big plays, but he had a bunch of good games, I mean, a bunch of good games.  That Bowl game he played to me might have been best his game of the year just because of what he had to overcome, the plays that he had to make, throwing and running on that type of stage.
So a lot of good moments for him last year and hopefully a lot more this year.

Q.  What do you see with NC State tomorrow night?  What have you seen in their videos?
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, I like what they are trying to do offensively.  They do some similar things that we do.  They have a very good plan in place.  They understand how to out‑leverage and out‑flank defenses.  They do a good job with their formations, their motions, their shifts.  They are simple in what they will actually do, but they are very complex in how they get to some of their things.  They do a great job of getting the ball on the perimeter with their screen game built into the run calls, so you have got to be able to defeat blocks in space, tackle in space.
Defensively, very impressed with their front.  Those guys are playing really, really hard and they have been disruptive the first couple of games.  You know, more change offensively than defensively offensively‑wise.  But they are playing very well as a team and they are playing with confidence.  They have got a bunch of good players.
So, tough challenge for us, for sure.  Their kicking game is very sound.  Their kicker has been outstanding out year.

Q.  Losing that wide receiverthat Boyd throws a lot to after the ACL injury, what do you have to do to regroup on that one?
DABO SWINNEY:  Yeah, Charone was off to a very good start for us.  That's a tough loss.  We felt he was poised for a great year and is a great talent but we are fortunate to have a guy named Adam Humphries who started a lot for us last year and really has been as productive a guy as we've had the last two years.
So, we are fortunate to have him.  He'll step in and fill that role.  And then some of our young guys, like Germone Hopper, will have to step up, as well.

Q.  I was going to ask about Charone Peake.  Do you think you guys will lean more on the running game, or do you feel like you have enough out wide to continue passing the ball the way you've been?
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, I mean, we definitely want to run the football, but losing Charone doesn't affect us as far as how we call the plays.
Like I said earlier, with the guys that we have at tight end and receiver, we feel good about our ability to throw the football.  Adam Humphries, especially, he's been a starter for us, basically, for two years.  So he's a junior guy that was rotating at different spots that now he'll slide into the role that Charone had, and still got Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant and some good young talent, and then also with our tight ends and backs.
We try to involve all of them in the throwing game.  So it's not just one guy or anything like that that would take us away from what we try to do from a play‑calling standpoint.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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