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September 18, 2013

Paul Chryst

COACH CHRYST:  Well, it was certainly good to get back to playing.  I thought we did some good things last Saturday.  Probably more so, though, looking forward to, like you said in the intro, our first time on the road with this group and going down and getting back into ACC play.  Looking forward to that opportunity Saturday.

Q.  When you look at the film, do they change very much with Brandon Connette at quarterback who's had to replace Anthony Boone?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, I mean, it's hard always for me to answer that when you've just got a few games in on the season, and you don't know if new additions are things naturally.  I think you always adjust to your personnel, so to think there's not some change I don't think would be right.
But we've got to prepare for what we see and have seen on film and then make sure that we're sound against that.  So I think that always, now I'm speaking not for them but from something like that happening to us, you always adjust to your personnel, and obviously I would think that Coach Cutcliffe is a heck of a coach and he's going to adjust and play to his strengths, and each guy is different.

Q.  Speaking of quarterbacks, I know Savage now has started two games after a long, long layoff.  Can you see development as he's getting more experience?
COACH CHRYST:  Absolutely.  You know, I think that there's nothing like game experience and playing, and he is‑‑ he has never been around a quarterback that has played perfect, but he's got some stuff to work on.  But I think he is getting much more comfortable, and we'll continue‑‑ the thing I'm excited about, a lot of times with a fifth year senior, maybe their room for growth isn't as much, but I think Tommy will continue to grow throughout the season just because he hadn't played for a while, so I think getting back into it.
But he has grown, and he sure is fun to be around day in and day out.

Q.  I know it's only been two games, but have you noticed at all with what Tyler has been able to do that teams haven't been able to maybe double or roll their coverage over to Devin as much so far?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, I would say too early to tell on that.  I really wouldn't be able to speak.  I think certainly with the two games, you know, they've both done some things to earn attention, but I don't know.

Q.  Is this sort of a best‑case scenario then, the emergence of Tyler?  Do you hope that's what teams won't be able to do going forward?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, it's always good when you've got any player that emerges, whether it be whatever position, but certainly we're happy that Tyler is emerging and he's got‑‑ kind of like what I was talking about with Tommy, I really believe‑‑ he's done some good things, but he's two games into his college career, and he'll get better, but you're happy when any of your players contribute.

Q.  And then the three first‑time starters on the offensive line, TJ, Adam and Artie, did you see a big improvement in them from game 1 to game 2?
COACH CHRYST:  You saw some improvement.  I don't know if it was big.  Part of that is I think they did some good things game 1, and I think they did some things game 2, certainly a different opponent, different defense, so you can't just take one for the other.  But I think they're all getting better, and like I say, with a lot of those guys we're talking about right now, just game experience and seeing different things and having to react, they're only going to get better.  Not that they're playing perfect, but they're going to continue to get better.

Q.  I was just wondering your defense.  When you have a defense like that, are there things you can do to mitigate maybe a lack of (inaudible) possibly?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, I think depending on how you're playing and if you match up.  I think you go into every game trying to, certainly offensively, trying to run your offense, and running the ball is going to be part of every game plan, and you've got to go out and you've got to earn any yards that you get.
I would have a hard time approaching it any other way.

Q.  But on defense, do you coach it any differently because the guys maybe‑‑
COACH CHRYST:  Oh, our defense?

Q.  Yeah, your defense I mean.  Your line may not be as big as some others.
COACH CHRYST:  I think you know who you are going into a season, and I think you play to those strengths, and certainly within your scheme.  But I think there's always things you can do to schematically try to help your players, and those things have strengths to it, and like anything, it doesn't matter what defense, front, pressures, coverages.  I think the same thing on offense.  What you're doing has strengths and then you've got weaknesses and you've got to make sure you can hold up to them.  But I don't know.

Q.  Aaron Donald is off to a really good start for you in sacks in particular, but can you just tell me a little bit about him and what makes him an effective pass rusher, especially from the tackle position?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, you know, I love talking about Aaron.  He's a good football player, and physically he's not the tallest guy, but he's got very good strength, explosion and quickness, so physically he's got some things.  He's a guy that he loves playing the game.  He studies, does a great job in preparation, so he knows his opponents, knows what people are trying to do, and he competes.  He's got a great motor to him.
He's kind of got a lot of things that coaches love, and that's a talented player that's got a great work ethic that loves competing and playing in games, and I think that's why he has a chance to be productive.

Q.  I'm sure he's seeing some double teams and things.  How does he work to combat that and still get in the opponent's backfield?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, you know, I think it's‑‑ I think when he has‑‑ he doesn't make a‑‑ he doesn't sack the quarterback every time in the run game.  He's not Superman; there isn't one.  But when he's got a chance, he puts himself in positions so if there's a chance he's going to be able to take advantage of it.  If you're getting double‑teamed properly, you're not going to make the play probably.  But then other guys around him need to.
But if it's a double‑team that's loose or if a guy is on an edge, I think he puts himself in those positions to where he can take advantage of that and make a play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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