Oct. 12, 2010
On partnership with Under Armour Wounded Warrior project:
"We are proud to be partners with Under Armour in the Wounded Warriors project. We accept their support and we are very excited to be sporting new uniforms. We hope that our fans get behind us and support this project, for the individuals who have given so much to fight for our country. I know it was a great success last year and hope for the same success this year."
On Clemson's offense:
"Clemson is a very, very talented team. They will be one of the most talented teams we will see all year. Offensively, they are averaging about 30.8 points per game, 371 yards total offense, and are pretty evenly distributed. Kyle Parker, who is also a very good baseball player, I was reading in the media guide where he's the first player to throw 20 touchdown passes and hit 20 home runs. He was offered to sign a professional baseball contract.
"They have two very talented running backs: Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper. Ellington is in C.J. Spiller mode, he is very explosive and averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Clemson's fullbacks are big, Chad Diehl and Kasey Nobles. Their offensive line is experienced, with several players back from last year.
"The line has experience, size, and athleticism. Their wide receivers - they probably play eight or nine guys. Jaron Brown has nine catches for 13.1 yards per catch. DeAndre Hopkins is a new freshman they played last week, and he ends up with nine catches. The guy they go to is their tight end Dwayne Allen. He's very athletic, he's a sophomore. He's got 18 catches with 13.3 yards per catch average.
"So offensively, our defense has its hands full. They run a lot of formations, there will be a lot of adjustments and we'll have to deal with that crowd noise."
On Clemson's defense:
On what was accomplished during the bye week:
"Defensively, they are very similar - big, strong and fast. Da'Quan Bowers is a force with 21 career starts and six sacks, which leads the ACC, and 11 tackles for loss. On the other side is Andre Branch, who is very athletic. They'll also play him at linebacker. Their inside people are big. The linebackers are young and probably the least experienced. Brandon Maye has 26 starts, Corico Hawkins has five starts, and Quandon Christian has three starts, so they're a little inexperienced in that position. Their secondary is very good. They play a lot of man coverage, a lot of press."
"One thing we wanted to try and do was really improve some of our fundamentals. Last night's practice was fairly good. The other main objective of the off-week was to try to get well. We still have some people nicked up and not as well as I'd hoped they'd be but everyone looks like they're going to play."
On Demetrius Hartsfield's progression this season:
"Well he played very emotionally last year in the (Clemson) game. I was looking at it the other day and that was the first thing that jumped out at me. He's not that kind of kid. He's kind of a quiet kid. I don't know if Clemson didn't recruit him, but being from North Carolina he seemed to be pretty fired up for that game. Demetrius is going to be a very good linebacker. He is already but I don't think he's reached his potential yet. I think it's just going to get better and better. He's very athletic, he can run well and he's very physical and smart. I think as he matures and grows he'll just continue to get better."
On the benefit of the big play:
"It gives us the opportunity to stay in the game. The fact that we have some real threats, it just takes us one play to get us in the end zone. What I'd like to see is us get better at is sustaining drives and putting it in the end zone. I think if we had both of those things we could stay on the field longer, than I think we have more opportunities for those people to make plays. That's one of the things that we really tried to work on in the off-week is not having the dead plays on offense.
"Defensively I think one of the biggest factors in our success, and hopefully we can continue to do that, is our turnovers. We're not turning the ball over on offense and we are getting turnovers on defense and in the red zone on defense, which even makes a bigger impact when you get that. Hopefully we can continue to do that. It's something we work on very hard, but we still have to go out and do it during the game."
On the challenges associated with playing a hungry team:
"I thought when we played Duke that they would be hungry too and they were, and we had a very tough game. This is complicated because now we go into their home territory and if you've ever been to Clemson it's just an unbelievable atmosphere. It's going to be very loud. It's something you have to deal with. You have to keep your poise and your confidence. That's critical for us being successful. We know we're going to get Clemson's best shot and we have to go out and play our best game of the year. There's no question about that."
On having Jamarr Robinson and Danny O'Brien healthy during the weekly preparation:
"It cuts down the reps for Devin Burns, but for my preparation and how I organize practice - it's tough organizing practice when you only have (Tony) Logan and Devin Burns. You have to get prepared for everything you're going to see and the other two are watching and learning. So I think with that having been the case being 4-1 is a credit to our players and especially to our quarterbacks."
On playing at Clemson:
"I think Death Valley is a great, great place to play football. To me it's what college football is all about. If you get to know the Clemson fans, they're really great fans. They're very enthusiastic about their team but they're not belligerent. You talk to our fans that go to the game and they're as friendly of fans as you see. Their sportsmanship is really outstanding. But as far as playing there it's not easy. We already worked last night with noise and we'll work again some today. As the week goes we'll get more and more so we're able to acclimate ourselves to the situation that you're in. When you put with their talent up against us with the noise and all the distractions that's where the real test of poise in how you can keep control of yourself and understand what's happening."
On the atmosphere at Clemson and his experience there:
"Their fans are what college football is all about - they are rowdy, they are loud and they are behind their team. I remember when I was a redshirt freshman when we played down there and I was nervous. I remember Darrius (Heyward-Bey) pulling off a big reverse, and then on the next play I scored my first touchdown so that's something that I will always remember."
On the team's big plays on offense this year:
"It's just execution. Our playmakers are making plays when they present themselves. I feel like this year we are taking better advantage when opportunities present themselves. Whether its receivers going downfield, running backs breaking tackles, linemen blocking, or special teams with Tony [Logan], I feel like everyone is playing their role and it's working out for us. "
On injury and if he would have been able to play last Saturday:
"I got rolled up on twice on the same play [against Duke]. There was some pressure there. My tape job snapped completely in half. If I wasn't taped it might have been an ugly sight out there."
"The only way I wouldn't play is if I was in a wheelchair to be honest. If I feel like I can go and help our team, then I am going to do it. If I'm not helping our team, then I'll step aside."
On true freshman offensive lineman Pete White:
"He's doing pretty well. He's getting better each week. He's getting more complicated assignments and obviously it's going to get tougher for him now that we are in the ACC. It's going to be a tough challenge for him but I think he's getting a lot better for us. I think he'll be able to help us there."
On the team's bye week:
"The bye week definitely helped us. You could tell in our practice yesterday. Guys were flying around again. I think that the bye week came at the right time for us this year. A lot of us are banged up, so getting healthy was one of the biggest things for us. I focused on watching some film while I was home."
On the last play against Clemson last season:
"That play was hard to explain. It was my first big play in college. Game-winning sack, I the forced fumble and I recovered it. It was a big play for me and the team. Even though the season didn't go well, that was one of the positives that I could look back on from the season."
On blitzing Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker:
"Every week, I think we are going to bring a lot of pressure. Especially with a good quarterback like Kyle Parker, you have to put pressure on him because you can let him sit back in the pocket and have all day to throw it. We are definitely going to bring some pressure."
Sophomore Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano
On playing at Clemson in Death Valley:
"I have never been down there personally but I have heard that it's crazy. It will be similar to West Virginia. I think the biggest thing is looking at how in the second half we were much better compared to the first half against West Virginia. We have to come out playing like we did in the second half against West Virginia."
On Clemson's offense:
"They have breakaway speed. Their running back can fly so we just have to get him onto the ground. It's similar to the Navy mentality. It's not going to be easy, but we just have to get them onto the ground from the start."
On Clemson's Defense:
"They are big, strong, fast, physical and they have some natural playmakers. They are big across the board, all of their linebackers are over 230 pounds, and physically they just look intimidating."
On the big plays offensively this year:
"When you get a chance to make a play you have to make it, that's the mindset that Coach Franklin introduced to us. When you have a young team with a young offensive line and quarterback, the first thing you have to do is whenever you get the chance to make a big play you have to make it."