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November 28, 2011

Landon Walker


Q.  Landon, when you guys obviously are a different team than you were a couple of weeks back, when you played Virginia Tech.  And so are they.  What do you think you guys need to do in this game to play better than you have in the last four?
LANDON WALKER:  Yeah.  That's a pretty good question.  I feel like ever since obviously Virginia Tech's only loss, ever since that game they've been‑‑ the sky's the limit for them they've been doing nothing but great things.  Every game they've played their offense has just gotten better every game.
And it seems like we were going that way until about three weeks ago.  Georgia Tech kind of was a downfall for us.  We didn't play as good as we wanted to at Wake and obviously NC State and South Carolina.  We haven't been ourselves the last three, four weeks.
But the biggest thing I feel this team needs to do is just realize this is the postseason.  The last three games are behind us.  We ended the season poorly.  And I think that we didn't play as well as we wanted to there at the end of the season.
But obviously postseason, in any level, is just a different‑‑ it's a different mentality, the way you enter the postseason, there's going to be a lot of teams watching at home and you have the privilege of being in the game, in the ACC Championship game.
So I think the biggest thing to address the team is just it's a new season.

Q.  Do you sense the guys have the confidence and they sense of urgency they need going into this one?
LANDON WALKER:  I think confidence level is something we've been talking about the last couple of weeks or so and getting that back.  I feel like we fell off there a little while, especially NC State.  That was a big blow to the confidence, getting beat like that.  We hadn't gotten beat like that in a couple of years.
So that really hurt us.  But I think that relaying to the team, it's the postseason and there's a lot of teams watching us.  That's going to bring confidence right there.  It's a whole different mentality.  If anything, hopefully that can bring some confidence to the team.

Q.  You said that you hadn't really been yourselves the last few weeks.  Can you pinpoint what is it that's kind of held the offense back the last few weeks compared to the way you all were going the first part of the season?
LANDON WALKER:  Yeah, it's been turnovers.  Obviously at NC State we turned the ball over and gave them the ball right inside the 20‑yard line three times.  When you do that, there's no way you're going to be able to win.  Turnovers and momentum has been the biggest difference in us early on in the season and late in the season.
I think when you give teams turnovers like we have the last couple of weeks, especially when you're on the road, it's very hard to catch the momentum and get the momentum back in order to be able to do what you want.
I think anytime when you give a team turnovers it gives them momentum and they're going to capitalize.  I think that's huge for an offense to be able to get the ball with great field position like we've been given offenses the ball.
And I think the defense feeds off the offense.  Obviously when the offense can go and score points and be successful doing that, the defense is going to be able to really stop the run, stop the pass.  And I think it's really a game of motion and momentum, and I think we haven't had that on our side the last couple of weeks with the mistakes we've been making.

Q.  I was wondering, this is a team you beat by 20 on the road.  And you're going into this game as an underdog.  Does that kind of bother you, see the point spread the way it is; this is a team you beat pretty handily and is that something that you can use as motivation the fact that it seems a lot of people are doubting you like they haven't since maybe the start of the season?
LANDON WALKER:  Most definitely.  I think when we were playing the beginning of the season we were picked to lose in almost every game when we played.  I think at least the first five or six we were picked to lose.
Even when we were winning at Auburn and Florida State, Virginia Tech was picked to beat us at Virginia Tech.  That was very big for our motivation.
I think when we were picked to lose those games, I think it helped the team.  We had something to play for more so than the end of the season when you're on top of‑‑ you're kind of on top and everybody's gunning for it.  I think it makes it a lot easier to get motivated and play for that kind of thing.
Obviously when you have a point spread and you're not the team that's picked to win, I think that's motivation in any case.  But, yeah, I definitely think that's going to help our team this week and practicing harder and developing a winning mentality this week when we practice.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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