Say What?!? ACC Football Coaches Speak - Coastal 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 Costal Division.


Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Head Coach Paul Johnson

On the Virginia Cavaliers – “It was great to be back home last week and we are happy to be at home with a tough conference game against a team that beat us up last year on the road. Virginia is big and physical. We have to stand in toe to toe this year. We need to buckle our chin strap and be ready.”

On Vad Lee – “Vad played well Saturday. He has a tremendous upside and we are happy to have him here. I don’t have any set plans to use him this week, but he has a bright future.”

On Zack Laskey – “Zack has good quickness and very quick feet. He had a really good camp and has done all the things we have asked of him. David (Sims) has been banged up for us, so he has been a major key for us.”


North Carolina Tar Heel Head Coach Larry Fedora

On the Louisville Cardinals – “We are looking forward to going on the road against a ranked opponent and seeing how we match up.”

On the Carolina Secondary against Louisville – “It’s a scary thought after last week. We are working on trying to get pressure without opening up lanes. We have to get more pressure on the QB and we simply have to cover people. This is definitely a concern for us.”

On the availability of RB Giovanni Bernard – “Gio practiced yesterday and said he feels fine. We will see on Saturday”

On RB A.J. Blue – “Blue is the leader of this team. He is a special kid. He is a physical kid. He ran for over a 100 yards and he plays special teams for us too. He wants to help the football team win any way he can.”

On the Carolina offense – “We are still not where we want to be. Our pace is inconsistent. We are learning and it will be a long process. We are still learning the focus it takes to quickly set and get ready for the next play. We will get there, but we are not there yet.”


Virginia Cavalier Head Coach Mike London

On Georgia Tech – “We are excited about getting into conference play and our first road game. We are looking forward to heading to Atlanta. Georgia Tech is fast and they are running the ball really well. It will be a tough test for us.”


Virginia Tech Hokies Head Coach Frank Beamer

On the Pittsburgh Panthers – “Pittsburgh is an improving football team. That is expected with a new staff. They are getting better and we need to be ready to play a very physical football game. I think they are very athletic. They have the making for a really great offense.”


Duke Blue Devils Head Coach David Cutcliffe

On the North Carolina Central Eagles – “This is a game the community takes to heart. Everyone in Durham is aware of this game. They have a lot of guys who played high school ball right here as do we. It is a big event for this town.”

On the return of Blair Holiday – “It is not a guarantee, but as of now Blair and his family are scheduled to attend the game. I had a chance to spend time with him in the hospital this week and it lifted my spirits to sit with him. His friends have not seen him since the accident. They have only been able to text him. Just as people it would do great things for our squad to see him on Saturday.”

On improving the running game and finding a featured back – “We are definitely trying to use the players more in our offense. I love all of them. They all bring something we need to this football team. We have experience and leadership with Josh and Juwan. Our two youngsters are explosive and impressive too. I simply just have to get our back more involved in our offense.”


Miami Hurricane Head Coach Al Golden

On the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats – “Great to be home after being on the road for the first two weeks. Our goal is to play well and improve this week. We have been resilient and we have to carry that into Saturday.”

On being outscored in the first and fourth quarters – “Other teams have simply executed better early and late than we have. We have struggled in getting our opponents off of their schedule on the field. In both the Boston College and Kansas  State game we struggled on defense to get them off the field on third down. That is something we will improve on.”

On the youth of the defense – “We have 17 freshmen and sophomores on our defense. That is in no way an excuse for our performance though. They are just unfortunately growing up before every ones eyes. Any mistake that they make is compounded. We haven’t played any cupcakes. These young guys had to do this on the road in Chestnut Hill in conference and on the road in Manhattan against a ranked team. No excuses, though. We haven’t executed. But we will get better each week.”


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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