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October 30, 2013

Scott Shafer

SCOTT SHAFER:  Thanks for having us on, as usual.  Had a good bye week, got the kids healthy and had a chance to really focus in on the academic side of things a little bit heavier and feel good about that.  Now we're 100 percent focused on the next game against a well‑coached Wake Forest team.
With that, any questions?

Q.  Having that bye week, coming off that lopsided loss to Georgia Tech, what's kind of been the focus there?  How much have you kind of looked at that game and said, well, that's because we were playing a unique offense in Georgia Tech and how much of that is we need to work on this and this and this during the bye week?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Yeah, we've gotten by the loss.  We've had tunnel vision after that Sunday of looking at it, and our tunnel vision is a focus right on Wake Forest, and for the bye week a lot of focus on ourselves and looking at what we've done well, what we've struggled with and really focusing in on the improvement of the things that we haven't done as well and trying to accentuate the positives and trying to build off of those types of schemes and concepts on both sides of the ball as well as in the kicking game.
Kind of a focus on ourselves, and then a full direction right at Wake Forest.

Q.  Any few things that you really need to improve upon from the Georgia Tech game?
SCOTT SHAFER:  A lot of‑‑ there's a lot of things.  It was a perfect storm.  We didn't play well.  I didn't have them prepared well.  We just tried to flush that thing and move forward to be quite honest with you and got back to focusing on the things from our self‑scout, cut‑ups throughout the season that we've already had a chance to look at, evaluate once or twice coming off the first bye week, and now the second bye week add to those cut‑ups and see where we've made improvements and what we liked going into this next game.
Really our focus was on ourselves and the production or lack of production of the things we did throughout the course of the first seven games.

Q.  Talking with Coach Lea last night, he said you guys are waiting to see how Dyshawn's ankle would respond this morning after his first practice with contact.  Have you heard anything on how he's feeling?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Yeah, he's doing well.  He practiced yesterday, ran around pretty good, and then he was in for treatment early this morning, and he's done a nice job staying up on the treatment.  We're ramping him up each day and looking forward to getting him back on the field.

Q.  Is there any kind of feeling like now that you guys have gone back to kind of your traditional 4‑3 working in the Okie, as well.  Is there any kind of feeling that the defense might be looking that a little bit more or kind of getting back to what it's used to, might be a little more beneficial in some senses?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Yeah, I mean, we changed with Georgia Tech, right wrong or indifferent, but other than that, we've been playing this scheme.  The kids enjoy it and they like playing in it, and I know they're excited to get back out there against the Wake Forest team and run the stuff that we run.  So really anything more than that, I'd say back to work.

Q.  I wanted to ask you looking at film, how disruptive is Nikita Whitlock and what do you have to do to keep him under control?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Yeah, he's a great player, very disruptive, really can't block him with one guy very effectively.  Love his motor, actually love watching him play.  I hate to say it.  I wish he wasn't playing in this game coming up.  But he's fun to watch play.  Extremely disruptive.  I think the biggest thing is you have to run your offense, you have to account for him, but you also have to stay within the framework of what you do.  But you can't create‑‑ you can't try to create too many one‑on‑ones with him because he does a great job with that.
Very good football player, plays with a great motor, fun to watch.

Q.  And on the other side, Michael Campanaro is putting up historic numbers.  How do you account for him?  He's not physically going to run past you or jump over you, but he catches 10 passes a game and seems to be unstoppable on 3rd down or something.  How do you deal with that?
SCOTT SHAFER:  I've watched him for a couple years, and I kind of would disagree as far as‑‑ I think he can run past people and can go up and catch the ball in difficult situations.  I've seen him do it all.  I think he's going to be a very good NFL wide receiver.  He reminds me of Welker, that type of player.  But he does have better speed than people give him credit for in my opinion.  Another phenomenal football player.
You know, he accounts for 32 percent of their offense in the breakdowns that we've had, 44 percent of all the passes thrown have been thrown at him.  In clutch situations they're going to him, creating mismatches with him on the linebackers or nickelback.  So we have a difficult task in front of us, but it's a task we're looking forward to giving them a good shot.  You really can't necessarily keep him from catching a pass, but you have to do a good job tackling him when he does and change some things up and try to cause a little bit of confusion and change up some of the reads for the quarterback, who's done a nice job the last few weeks, as well.
It'll be a good challenge for our kids, and we're looking forward to it.

Q.  When you've got a quarterback coming off a really rough game, of course everybody had a rough game in the last outing, but are you concerned at all with where his confidence is, and if so, how do you get that back up to where it needs to be?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Yeah, yes and no.  He's a fighter.  He's a hard‑working kid.  He's had all kinds of major speed bumps in his life, and he can brush it off and go to the next game.  We talked about one game that didn't go the way we wanted to, but now you get rid of it and focus on the future of the next game, the preparation, and you just talk to him, talk to him no different than you would your own son, hey, how you feeling, how's your mindset right now, what are you struggling with, what aren't you struggling with, how can we get you better.  Communication is the key, regardless if you won a game and you're worried about they're too big for their britches or you lost a game and you're worried about them feeling sorry for themselves.  You bring them back the same way; you be consistent as coaches and leaders and give the kids an opportunity to communicate with you then you go to work on it.  The biggest thing is you man up and you face it like a man and you prepare like a man for the next game, and Terrel has done a nice job with that and so has the rest of the team.  I'm impressed with the bye week in preparation for this Wake Forest game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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