What’s the case to replacing Patrice Rene?
Greg Ross played really well, he’s played a lot of games. I think Storm Duck is a really talented young kid who got thrown in the fire that first game and did well.
It sucks for Patrice. He’s a great kid; really, really great kid. He was over at my house last week and my wife was like, ‘Man, he’s such a nice boy.’ I’m rooting for him to have a chance to keep playing football.
Were you pleased with the rotation with Ross and Surratt at linebacker?
We wanted to get Dominique into some different situations as a pass-rusher because I think he’s got a really, really good skillset on the edge, and credit to Miami, they did a good job of kind of keeping us out of some of that with some formations and some personnel groupings. Going forward, that would be a situation where we’d like to get them on the field a little bit more than we did.
Was Jeremiah Gemmel better in his second game?
South Carolina was his first game ever really playing, so I think you always improve after you’ve played once. We played more plays and they ran the ball a little better, but yeah, but Jeremiah, I thought, play really well.
Who’s behind Storm Duck?
Obi Egbuna, and we’ve got a lot of confidence in Obi.
How can you combat Wake’s tall receivers, especially with Patrice out?
We’ve got Trey Morrison hanging from his closet every night hoping he gets a little bit taller.
I’ve seen pictures of Chazz Surratt with his brother and they look like twins and Chazz is a pretty big dude. We’ve got to do a good job.
Trey Morrison defends big guys every day in practice … Storm Duck is a bigger corner so I think there’s a little bit more of a favorable matchup for us there, but I don’t think we have a bunch of real little guys so i think they’re used to playing bigger guys and I think they’ll be OK.
Trey had a good game against Miami. What does he bring and what do you like about how he plays the position?
We matched him up on 4 (Jeff Thomas) who I think is a really elite player and did a great job and he took a couple shots at him, and he defended it really well. He’s got great quickness. When you’re talking playing press man, you’ve got to win at the line of scrimmage, you’ve got to win at the end and get to the top of the route. I think he did a great job of winning both sides, winning at the line of scrimmage and at the top of the route multiple times.
He’s a really competitive kid, he’s a good football player and I think moving him to corner has been really good for us.
What does your defense need to do on Friday to put the offense in position to win the game?
Just make them punt a couple times and we score a bunch of points, I hope.
No; Wake Forest is really good on offense, they’ve got their big receivers, it’s a pretty unique situation. I’ve got a lot of respect for Nick Tabacca, their offensive line coach; I was with him at Ball State.
I think we’ve got to do a really good job in the run game. They’re very good at blocking looks in the run game. We’ve been able to steal some plays in the run game with lesser run-boxes and they’ll make you pay if you do that, so we’ve got to do a really good job of defending the run and we’ve got to defend those big receivers.
You said Storm Duck survived his first game. Was Saturday a survival or a little better?
He didn’t play a ton Saturday, but when he went in, he did really well. I’m really confident in Storm.
What do you like about Jamie Newman and the way he runs that offense?
I think he’s a really dynamic player. I think he’s super accurate; that’s what we told our guys. Going back and looking at the games he played last year, just super accurate, and to guys who are covered a lot, it’s really impressive.
When they ask him to run, they’re going to have some designed quarterback runs. He’s really effective; I think he’s a really good player.
Wake runs a lot of delayed RPO. How much discipline does it take to defend that?
I think they do a really good job of, they don’t let you steal guys in the run game. If you're trying to drop a safety in to defend the run or use a corner in the run game, because they hold onto it for so long and because the O-line does such a good job of protecting the line of scrimmage, when Jamie feels that, he’s able to pull it and throw it and replace you. They kind of make you play honest and I think Phil does a good job of that with our offense.
You have to be really disciplined at linebacker, you have to really stay in your gaps and everybody has to do their 1/11. If I’m the B-Gap defender, I’ve got to defend the B Gap. They do a good job; it’s a good attack.
Have you seen anything different from Chazz gearing up to play his brother?
Not really. I asked him today if he wanted to go out and play press-man on him and he said yeah, so we’ll work on that for third downs.
It’s a pretty cool story. They’re both really good players. I asked his mom and dad after the south Carolina game if they were planning on having any other ones; we’d like to offer that one a scholarship too. Pretty talented kids.
Is it kind of crazy winning those two games? What was your mental state entering the season and where you are now?
I was confident in our kids and I think I go into every game with the expectation that we have the ability to win. I think we’ve played well at times and not as well at other times.
We’re trying to get better every day and I think when you’re at this point with our program, that’s what we’re trying to do – every day, just make progress and then I think if you do that and if you have talented enough kids, which we’ll do, you’ll win enough.
What did you do to have success on third down vs. Miami?
We did a good job with some of our pressures; we had some looks that I thought were good looks when we ran them and I thought our D-line had really good pressure. Tomon had three sacks, I thought Jason was really disruptive, I thought Aaron was really disruptive. We were able to kind of mix some coverages up on third downs, we got in some favorable third downs which is always helpful and I thought the front did a good job rushing.
Is this what you expected from Tomon Fox?
Yeah, I think he’s a really good player.
I think we put a lot on him … we ask a lot of Tomon Fox; he’s a really good player. He plays about three different spots and we move him around and try to get favorable pass rushers. One of the sacks we had Saturday was a look.
The other thing he does, when we move him around, he dictates protections a little bit. Because he’s an outside linebacker, we put him in situations where they don’t want to put a running back on him in protection so we can kind of force some protections with him by aligning him in certain spots and get Jason or Cater or one of those other guys one-on-one and that’s a favorable matchup for us. He’s a very valuable kid.
Miami got to the 25 in the first quarter, Morrison had a breakup, Tomon had a sack and Ross had a pressure. Is that the epitome of what you want?
Yeah, I think we’re trying to create pressure with as few players as possible.
One of those was a zero blitz, all-out look which we don’t much and the other one was a simulated pressure, four man, where the overwhelming pressure kind of dictates the protection and kind of scares them into a protection where you get one-on-one or one-on-none in that case with Dominique.
We’re trying to be multiple, we’re trying to give different looks. I think we’ve done OK with that so far. It certainly hasn’t always been pretty … that last drive, we busted a coverage on that one ball in the flat, but I think our kids are doing a really good job of managing (being) asked more of them than maybe was asked in the past.
What have you liked from the third defensive line spot?
Xach Gill played about 20 snaps and I thought he did really well; I think he improves every day, got a lot of confidence in him. Tomari Fox, I think, is playing well. WE want him to play more; he’s still a freshman, he’s got to grow up a little bit, every snap, but he’s really talented. Ray Vohasek has played some and done a nice job, then we’re using Cater some, I think Tyrone Hopper has still got a club on. When he gets that club off, he’ll be able to help us more. A lot of guys are playing that spot.