Transcript: Bobby Petrino ACC teleconference 9/30/15

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com
Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

BOBBY PETRINO: We’re looking forward to going on the road and playing a very good North Carolina State team, a team that’s playing really good defense. They’re big and physical up front. Their linebackers really run and tackle. Basically, the same secondary guys that we played against a year ago. They’re also playing very good offense. I think their running backs are running really hard, big offensive front. Jacoby Brissett is doing a nice job of running their offense, being very efficient and accurate and completing a lot of passes. It’s a great challenge for us and certainly one we’re looking forward to.

Q. The environment after the first win, obviously, it was some time coming. Once the team got that, just the locker room after the game, how the team’s responded in practice, and what that’s done for you at this point going into the next game?

BOBBY PETRINO: That was a good win for us. Obviously, it was one we expected to win and should win, but our players went out and took care of business basically in practice. That’s what was great to see was how well we practice and the effort and attitude we had in practice. I’ve had three tough games where we didn’t come out on the right end, but our guys have a great attitude, keep working hard. It was fun in the locker room to see the smile on their face after a victory.

Q. And then as far as Lamar Jackson taking the majority of the snaps in that victory, one pass, touchdown, two on the ground, just what you can say about your quarterback at this point? I know we’ve seen multiple people there, but just where Lamar is at in your mind at this point.

BOBBY PETRINO: Lamar is a very, very talented guy. He made some really good decisions in that game. I thought he took care of the ball. He operated the offense. Besides his ability and his play making, you have to operate the offense, make sure we’re in the right formations, make sure we get the motions in on time, make sure the tight ends get where they belong. It’s all a learning process for him, but he continues to work hard, and he’s gotten a lot better. I look forward to him continuing to improve on a weekly basis.

Q. With an increase in recruiting services and the Internet and Twitter, a lot of high schoolers are followed by fans, and there’s a lot of attention on them. Do you think that has any negative effects on the high schoolers?

BOBBY PETRINO: I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking, but I think everything affects recruiting. Everything that you do. There is no hidden information. Everything’s all out there. So what we try to do is really sell our university. We try to sell our APR and our graduation rate and the fact that we had 18 players graduate at midyear last year. Our model is to get your degree as your eligibility ends. So that’s what’s most important. And then it’s up to us to put on a great performance on the field and show our crowd. What we try, the hardest thing to do is to get guys on our campus so they get to see for themselves.

Q. How do you think it affects the kids for fans to have such access to them on a regular basis?

BOBBY PETRINO: You’d have to ask the recruits that.

Q. The question I had was just, when you think back about when James Quick got hurt in the Auburn game, it seemed at the time that it was going to be very serious, at least from our sort of perspective. Just kind of seeing how he reacted and stuff. What was kind of going through your mind? Were you worried that he was going to be out for a really, really long time? Kind of what you thought about when it didn’t turn out to be as severe?

BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, I was really concerned because of the way he went down, and the initial thought was it might be an Achilles tendon. It was good when we got the news after the game that it was not what it was and the fact that he would just have to rehab and get back. It was really great to have him back. He showed his speed and quickness. He really helps us in practice. I think that’s the thing that people don’t really understand is, with his understanding of the offense and his work ethic, he makes everybody practice better.

Q. I assume you’ve seen, I guess, the forecast. They’re saying there’s going to be a lot of rain this weekend. At least as of yesterday, it was 100 percent chance there was going to be rain on Saturday. Will that affect at all how you guys plan for this game?

BOBBY PETRINO: We’re going to prepare the same way, but you do have to understand what the elements are going to be. We’re keeping our eye on it too. We know that it will probably be some inclement weather, and you just have to go in and really work hard on taking care of the football and operating your offense in that type of weather.

Q. Does that lend itself that you need to run the ball more or just — I don’t know. Does that change the plays that you call?

BOBBY PETRINO: Sometimes it does. Sometimes it’s harder to rush the passer when it’s a soggy, wet field. Sometimes the offense has a real advantage in throwing the ball when the field’s bad and when the weather’s bad.

Q. The other additional thing on Monday is hoping to sort of get the power run game going better. What do you think has maybe limited that as an option other than just all the quarterback runs that you have been very successful on?

BOBBY PETRINO: Just the ability to control the line of scrimmage, knocking people off the ball and the running backs hitting the hole at the right spot, making yards after contact. What hurts is when you don’t get four, five, six yards on first down so you can continue to call those plays. So we’re just really working hard at it in practice, and I think we’re improving.

Q. Coach, there’s a question here about NC State and the level of competition they’ve played, whether they’re for real or not. From what you’ve been able to tell, what’s your opinion of how they’ve started the season?

BOBBY PETRINO: I think they’re for real for sure. They’ve got a really good offensive front. Their running backs are running the ball, and the quarterback and receivers are making big plays down the field. Then we know them real well on defense. This is a group we battled real hard with into the fourth quarter last year, and we were fortunate enough to come out with the win. You put the video on from last year, and it’s the same guys playing physical and fast for them. They’re a very good football team. They’re very well coached, and they’re playing with a lot of confidence.

Q. Good morning. What concerns you most about defending the NC State offense as you look at them on film?

BOBBY PETRINO: The biggest thing is they utilize a lot of form motions and motions. So the first thing you have to do is make sure you’re in the proper alignment and understand what the formations are challenging you with. Then we have to be able to stop the run because we know they’re running the ball real well. And they’ve got a quarterback that can really throw it down the field. So it’s a great challenge for us.

Q. Can you just talk about, with moving Reggie (Bonnafon), or just with anybody, when a quarterback goes into the wildcat or goes into the backfield or whatever, how big of a learning curve is it? How different is it being under center or being taking the snap than it is maybe receiving a snap? Were you surprised that he did it? It seemed like pretty easy switch for Reggie.

BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, it’s actually easier for a quarterback because, as a quarterback, you have to have an understanding of everybody’s position and what the paths are for the running game, what the footwork is. He’s a real natural athlete. He can jump in there and really do it. Reminds me a lot of Michael Bush and his ability to make a real quick move and be able to help us at different spots and in different plays on the field.

Q. And then flipping to the defensive side of the ball, you haven’t been here an entire streak, but when you have a streak like 17-0 without an interception, does that get competitive for guys? It just seems like, when a ball’s in the air, you guys are all after it the last few years. Does that become contagious?

BOBBY PETRINO: I think it does. We always tell our players that playing hard and playing fast and making plays is contagious. We try to do it on both sides of the ball. Our defense does a great job of pressuring the quarterback, and usually that’s what leads to interceptions. And then our guys are very confident in seeing it and breaking on it and not hesitating. I think that’s one of the biggest things is that you have to trust what you see so that you break and play fast.

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