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October 16, 2013

Paul Chryst

PAUL CHRYST:  Well, it's been good to get back on the practice field and have an opportunity to bounce back after last week's loss.  But looking forward to playing Saturday night and certainly got a lot of respect when you watch the film of Old Dominion and what they do.  A good team last year in the playoffs, and so we've got to make sure that we clean up some of the things that have been problems the last couple weeks.  But it's good to be back on the field and getting ready for Saturday's game.

Q.  Just wondering how you guys get your run game back on track.
PAUL CHRYST:  We've got to run the ball better (laughing).  You know, I thought we had‑‑ certainly we've got to get it back.  I think that when you look at the last two weeks, we haven't run the ball like we'd have liked to, and I think there's some things, just as you look as it, we can do some things I think schematically to help our players a little bit and then I think how we play the game.
And just last week was tough to run the ball when you're that far behind the chains.  So we've got to avoid the lost yardage plays certainly, and then we've just got to keep working at it and help the guys get better at it.

Q.  On the other side of the ball, Aaron obviously has gotten off to a terrific start to this season, a mid‑season All‑American a bunch of different places.  What is he doing this year that's made him better and more productive than a year ago?
PAUL CHRYST:  You know, I think he certainly was a really good player last year, but I think he's also, like you want all your players, he's found ways to just keep trying to elevate his game.  I think he's a year further in just his preparation and knowing what people do.  He's kind of stayed who he is.  I don't feel like he's redefined himself necessarily, but I think some of the little things that he's just getting that much better at.

Q.  I was wondering how the transition for‑‑ how you felt the transition to the ACC was going in terms of alumni, fans, and the branding issues, and whether you thought maybe a week like this where there's so much attention on the ACC can help Pitt long‑term down the road?
PAUL CHRYST:  Yeah, you know, I'm probably the worst one to ask, a coach in the middle of a season, how those effects are.  So I think I'd be commenting more on kind of the big picture, certainly the excitement and that.  But specifically with this week, I don't know if I'd really have a great pulse on it.

Q.  When you've looked at the tape of the last couple of games with some of the sacks that y'all have given up, I know a lot of people just like to put it all on the offensive line, but evaluating how much is on them, how much did Tom maybe hold onto to the ball too long, how much was it maybe backs or receivers not making a block they should have?
PAUL CHRYST:  Yeah, you know, obviously spent quite a bit of time going back over it, and I'd say that it's almost right down to this, because we looked at not just sacks but pressures and hits, and if you were to assign a number to it, it's almost exactly with the percentage of guys in there other than the receivers.  The receivers, I think we had them for the whole season.  They've got two on players, but the line has the most accountability to it, but you're also talking about five guys in protection.
Everyone showed up on it, and it's probably‑‑ it was almost equally distributed as far as the number of people in there.  But certainly the most has been on the line, but that's because you've got five in on every protection, where a lot of them the tight end isn't involved on some.
The good news and the bad news is we're in this one together.  We're all to blame and we all can be part of the solution, though.

Q.  So what is the solution after looking at some of the tape?
PAUL CHRYST:  You know, I think there's a couple things we've got to do.  Just technically we've got to make sure that they're understanding on some techniques.  We can help them if they get better at this technique, whether it's staying inside or if it's‑‑ the other thing is just knowing when they've got help where their help is coming from, making sure they completely understand it and play accordingly, and then with the quarterback it's understanding where kind of the rhythm of it, the timing of it.  I'd say the quarterbacks and the receivers, the ball has got to come out at this point here, and then play calling and schematically this fits this and this doesn't.
I think we just try to look at everything, and there are solutions.  Now, whether it's just because we've identified them and are working on them, it's not like we just started that this last week.  We've just got to keep helping them grow and get it, and we've got to do everything we can as coaches to help find ways that they can feel good and the bottom line is it gets corrected.

Q.  How is Devin feeling today?
PAUL CHRYST:  Saw him earlier today.  He says he's better today.  That was good.

Q.  So he's pretty much getting better every day then since Saturday?
PAUL CHRYST:  Better every day.

Q.  Old Dominion has a quarterback who's completing 75 percent of his passes this year and 70 percent over his career.  What's the tape show you about him?
PAUL CHRYST:  You know, he's obviously a good quarterback.  I like the way he plays the game.  I think he's got a good group around him, but he certainly knows what they're trying to do and distributes the ball.  He's accurate.  When things are‑‑ when it presents itself, he can extend the play and can be dangerous throwing and running with that.
But I think you just look at him and he's playing the position.  He looks like he's truly playing the game.  Obviously they've got some good weapons around him, and he gets it to them, but I think when you just watch him, you say, there's a guy quarterbacking.  He knows the situations, he competes.  I think like anything, when they're doing well and when you mention those numbers, when you complete 75 percent of your passes, I mean, you've got confidence and you're also talented, and you see that on film.

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