Posted: 6:53 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
By Brian Favat
COACH ADDAZIO: Great to be with you guys. We're coming off of a good win versus Army last week where we really were able to establish our run game and then continue to grow offensively, defensively and special teams. We're faced this week with a great challenge. We're playing an undefeated team, number three in the country with a great home‑field advantage, maybe the most skilled team in the country with a veteran, proven quarterback, a defense that is a smothering defense. Vic Beasley, their defensive end, has got six sacks. He's a dynamic player. They're leading the nation with sacks at 19, and they're seventh in the nation with nine interceptions, and 17th in the country in passing defense. They've got some great players on defense, some great scheme, very confident football team on offense. They're averaging 518 yards of offense per game, which is an awful lot of yards.
As I mentioned Taj Boyd, I just think he's a great player and he's a guy they can spin plays. He's got a great arm, great leadership. Just a heck of a football player. Their running back Roger McDowell was an explosive guy. He's averaging 58 yards average per game and 294 yards and 60 carries. Samuel Watkins I remember coming out of high school. He is a dynamic player, a difference maker and Martavious Bryant tremendous size and speed. Across the board great players really well‑coached, an unbelievable challenge for us. We're looking forward to the opportunity to come down and play our brand of football and get going here.
Q. Monster game for André Williams, he's had a couple of really terrific efforts like that this season. But what are the characteristics of his running style, and what makes him so efficient?
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, let's start with the fact that he's got a really good offensive line and a group of tight ends that are really blocking well. That's number one, and that is the starting point. André is a big, strong physical guy. He's a 235‑pound back who has really good speed. He's powerful.
So I mean, you put a big, strong powerful back with breakaway speed and you put him behind a good offensive line, and that is a combination for the run game. I think those are the characteristics that he has, and that combination is growing and improving.
Q. Three of his touchdowns against Army were over 30 yards. So, obviously, once the line gives him the seams and he hits that second level, he can break it from just about anywhere on the field.
COACH ADDAZIO: Yeah, he has really good speed. You look at a big guy sometimes, and he's a fast big guy. He's powerful, but when he gets in open field, he can pull away. He's got legit speed.
Q. After having given Florida State a game, what do you have to do to stay in the game again this time against a team like Clemson?
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, our goal is not to stay in it. Our goal is to win it. But what we need to do is we need to play the field position game. We need to control the ball. We need to get off the field on defense. This team is so explosive, Clemson. You guys know that. That's no great mystery to you. I've seen a lot of great football teams. I just put this team up there with those great football teams.
So all we can control is what we can control, and that is the execution of our offense and our defense. When the plays are able to be made, we've got to make those plays and play a very physical football game. We're not going to try to play a fast‑paced game. We're going to try to play our game.
Q. Defensively, what is your defense this week about ‑ how to slow those guys down or contain them?
COACH ADDAZIO: I think the thing is we've got to really get 11 hats to the football. We've got to tackle really, really well, and we've got to get pressure on the quarterback and disrupt the rhythm and the timing of the offense. That sounds great, but that's really hard to do especially against a team like this.
It's going to be a tremendous challenge. Obviously, you're not going to stop a team like this all the time, but you've got to be able to make your plays when you have a chance to make them.
Q. Obviously a big challenge playing a top 5 team in Clemson. But just a couple weeks ago you played a team with similar rankings, similar kind of skill in Florida State. I was just looking at Florida State's numbers, you guys scored more points in Florida State than their other four opponents combined. Nobody else has 300 total yards offense against them; you went over 400. I know you didn't win the game, but you had success against them. Does that carryover give you a confidence level going to play a similar Clemson team?
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, I mean, for sure it helps you because you've played against an explosive team with great talent. Of course, that was at home and this is in one of the toughest stadiums in the country to play in. But there is no doubt that it can help you get accustomed to the speed of the game. So I'm glad we have played that game. We also played USC, which we didn't play as well on the road, but that is a very skilled team with great team speed as well.
So we've got two of those styles of games under our belt. I think that is something that's important. I think the fact that we played well on defense early and well on offense early and got out in that game gave us a chance to develop our run game. That is something that we need to do again. We're a team that needs to kind of get the run game going, and let the run game and defense complement each other.
Q. The other thing I'm looking at is in a game like this where you have any chance for the upset to win the turnover battle, I think most coaches would agree, you guys have only committed four turnovers in five games. Can you talk about ball security what is resulting those good numbers?
COACH ADDAZIO: You're really right on the first comment, no doubt. You've got to win the turnover battle. We've got a real focus on ball security every day around here. We know that we've got to handle all the things that take no talent, we've got to handle them because those are things you can control. So be good at what you can be good at. We can be good at those things, so we've worked at it.
Knock on wood, you never want to say too much because you're always just a player or a game away from something happening. But we've put a heavy focus on ball security and on defense. We've put a heavy emphasis on trying to strip the ball. So those are things that we've made an effort to do well, because we feel like they're things that we can control to a degree. So that emphasis has worked to this point very, very well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports