Say What?!? ACC Football Coaches Speak - Atlantic Division

By M. Shannon Smallwood

It was a spirited weekly conference call for the ACC Football coaches today as each team prepares for its Week 3 opponent.

Here is the quick hits, news and notes in the weekly segment of Say What?!? for the ACC coaches in the Atlantic Division.


Boston College Eagles Head Coach Frank Spaziani

On Notre Dame Fighting Irish – “Nothing new is changing for us. We already play them now.”

On if its getting easier facing teams with similar up-tempo styles of the Northwestern Wildcats – “I don’t know if it is getting easier, but more teams are running this type offense and are becoming more comfortable with it. It is still a very disruptive offensive that you have to be prepared for.”

On WR Spiffy Evans – “He is just a talented kid. He is a good route runner, he has great hands and is a good student.”


Clemson Tigers Head Coach Dabo Swinney

On Notre Dame – “Notre Dame is great news for our conference. They had their pick of any conference and for them to choose us is a great statement for what we have here in the ACC.”

On the progress of the defense – “We are a very young group that has had a tough orientation so far. We are a only a few weeks into a new scheme and it is a work in progress. Overall, I’m very impressed on what’ we’ve done. We held Auburn to a single touchdown. The first 45 plays Saturday against Ball State were great before we got sloppy in the second half. There is no doubt we have to improve on our run defense and do a better job on gap control. Its all about the fundamentals. We will get there.”

On the return of Sammy Watkins – “I told him we are exited to be 2-0 and he better not mess this thing up. Seriously, though, we were able to really grow as a team during his absence. I think it was great for Sammy too. It now gives him a lot of confidence. He doesn’t need to be the savior. He just needs to do what he does to help the team.”


Florida State Seminoles Head Coach Jimbo Fisher

On Notre Dame – “I’m just walking off the practice field and this is the first I’ve heard of it. It’s great news I guess. But, I haven’t read anything and I don’t want to comment at this time. I focused on getting ready for Wake Forest and a big conference game on Saturday.”

On the Wake Forest Demon Deacons – “Wake is a heck of a ball club, we will have to bring our A game for sure. They have a ton of athletes and will cause us a good bit of problems.”


Maryland Terripans Head Coach Randy Edsell

On the Connecticut Huskies – “This is going to be a tough game against Connecticut. We are just looking to get better each week. We got a lot better from Week 1 to Week 2 and now hope to get even better from Week 2 to Week 3.”

On the improvement of Perry Hills – “Having that first game under his belt was huge. He did a much better job utilizing all those players around him. You can see he is starting to feel more comfortable. He is a true freshman so you are going to see sectional growth. He is going to be a well rounded QB. We want to get the game to slow down for him each week.”


North Carolina State Wolfpack Head Coach Tom O’Brien

On the South Alabama Jaguars – “They have a lot of Division I and junior college college experience and talent. They have a transfer from Virginia Tech and Alabama on defense and a transfer from Georgia at running back. This will be another big test for our football team.”

On Mike Glennon and the offense – “We have been simply working on getting everybody back on the same page. Mike had a hard time with the weather and that wind last week. Both teams did. We have to protect him better overall. The O-line has to do a better job. We figure those things out and we will be alright.”


Wake Forest Demon Deacons Head Coach Jim Grobe

On Florida State – “We were very fortunate to beat North Carolina this past weekend. The challenge gets even tougher this week in traveling to Tallahassee to face Florida State. Big plays are the key. We really don’t know what we can take away from their first two games. They are averaging around 13 yards a play in their first two games. They are motivated for revenge after we beat them last year. We have to limit the big plays and make some on our end.”

On the status of Nikita Whitlock – “Nikita and his ankle is still a question, but everyone else is ready to go. With kids you never know how they heal. We won’t know until Saturday. It’s hard to replace Nikita, but we have about five guys who are in our rotation now. Tyler Harris is a true freshman, but I love what he is doing right now. We will be ready.”


M. Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years experience in sports broadcasting, journalism and college athletics and currently covers ACC Football for Rant Sports.

Follow him @woodysmalls

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