Coach Dana Holgorsen News Conference
Just to give you an update where we are at - December is one of the busiest months we have if you do things right. We have had seven coaches out recruiting all week, and we have 12 recruits coming in today. We practiced today and will tomorrow, and then we're back out on the road on Sunday for another week of recruiting. The players take finals next week. We will have practice next Friday and Saturday. We will have more recruits in on Saturday. After that, it becomes a little easier because recruiting and finals are over. We will begin preparation for the Orange Bowl at that point.
On the number of practices between now and the Orange Bowl
We will have 15 workouts because that is what we are allowed. We will take advantage of all of those practices. Not everyone can get 15 practices in because of where their game falls on the calendar. Because ours is late, we will get 15 in.
On when the team will leave for Miami
We will leave after Christmas. We will have 10 practices here then five there. Once we wrap up our 10 practices here, we will let them go home for Christmas, and then we'll leave for Miami a couple days after that.
On if he will have the game in place before they leave for Miami
Yes. Next week is busy with recruiting and finals, but after that we can practice and watch a bunch of tape. I haven’t watched any Clemson tape other than watching the game on television. I won’t have much time to watch tape this week either because we will be gone. Because the game isn’t until Jan. 4, we will have plenty of time once recruiting is over.
On what he has taken away from previous bowl trips
One thing is we want to get work done here. You want to have a pretty good plan and have work done prior to leaving. Once you get down there, it is reward, so you want them to enjoy it. You don’t want them to enjoy it so much that they are wore out though. It is a tricky balance, but we have a pretty good idea. This is my 13th in a row, so we have had some success and had some positives as well as negatives.
On balancing time off
You really don’t need to keep them focused. You have to work on timing. We are working the younger guys as opposed to the older guys right now. The older guys need to heal up but still have good timing. We won’t do anything from Sunday through Thursday. They have to finish strong (in the classroom) so they are eligible to play.
There are specific things they have to do. They know their responsibilities. You don’t want to show them a bunch of Clemson film right now. The game is a month away. We have talked about this a bunch going back tocamp. We didn’t work on Marshall until about two weeks before the game. It allows them to be students and allows them to rest. They can get back into lifting shape and keep the conditioning.
On if the players showed rust
No. They were bouncing around out there. I think they are pretty excited about what is ahead of them.
On beating an ACC team
I don’t care what conference the team is from. I don’t think it has anything to do with it. We are going to line up and try to win.
On the last meeting with the team
It was about two hours ago. Everyone has been gone and been on the road. I purposely wanted to give the guys off Saturday through Monday. We did do some lifting with Coach (Mike) Joseph. We laid it out to them about what was expected in the next month.
On sticking with what was done all season
If you do it right, you get so many practices. You don’t need 15 practices against Clemson. It is really another spring practice. You start over, and we have broken it up into halves. We work half of the offense every day. On defense, we are repping the young guys. We are trying to get as many reps as you can. You are dealing with young guys and their mistakes now as opposed to March and April.
On the value of practice for young guys
We are finding out what guys do well and we are teaching them the offense. They have to see the signals and all that stuff. It is a lot easier to do it now than March and April.
On using the Orange Bowl as a recruiting tool
Yes. It probably is a little bit. It is a high-profile game. It is the only game that will be on television. We are all aware of what the broadcast will do. It makes it important for us to play well. Recruiting is going well, but anytime you win it helps. The other advantage we get is that it makes the team meeting we just had a lot easier because guys are tuned in and excited about what is ahead of them.
On Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey complimenting each other
Stedman is consistent and Tavon is not. They both have a ways to go. It is not only those two, but other guys, too. It is going to be fun to watch next year, and those two guys are no different. It is a lot of little things. I don’t mind saying it. The interception that Geno (Smith) threw at the end ofthe game was Tavon’s fault not Geno's fault. There are little things that you don’t see that need to happen in order for us to be better right now.
On Geno not being named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year
I don’t pay attention to that stuff. I think Mike Montoro sent me and e-mail with some names on it. I didn’t go through it and look. This is a team sport, so I could care less about that stuff.
On trimming plays during bowl practices
I don’t know. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We will re-evaluate where we are at. We will start watching tape. We will have more time on our hands for a few of the rep things. There may be more offense in there for a bowl game.
On player’s from Miramar High School
I have been there once. I was there during my first week on the job. That is as much interaction as I have had. We have had some of their players up to visit. It looks to me that they are well coached.
On past bowl experiences
If you look back at the record we have had, we lost the first two. We didn’t do some things very well, and since then, it has been pretty successful.
On what changes he made
I can’t tell you because you will write about it. You don’t want to wear them out. You want them to have a good time, but not too good of a time to where they want it to be over.
On the defense’s finish to the season
They played well the last three games. I have been pretty vocal about that. The whole team responded to adversity. Defense played a little better than offense, but still not good enough to win if not for the offense and special teams making a few plays. This is a team that needs to play well on all three sides of the ball to win. They improved from when the adversity hit.
On time between the end of season and the bowl game
I think it is fine. Some teams don’t have very much time because they play early bowl games. Whatever cards you are dealt, you have to be smart enough to deal with them. We are not dealing with something that our opponent isn’t.
On current injury situation
We have about five or six guys that aren’t ready to go full speed right now, but we don’t have to push them to go full speed. One of the key points that I hit with them during the team meeting was that they needed to be smart with their bodies. They need to make sure to find time to come and get treatment if they are hurt. They need to rest and recover. When you start feeling better, you need to put your foot on the pedal and go. Because there is so much time in between games, we should heal up pretty good and have enough time to prepare.
On Clemson playing well at the beginning of season then struggling near the end
Well, they didn’t look too bad in their last game, and they played a pretty good team. They were real hot and won some close games. It is hard to maintain that. We saw that with them as well as a whole bunch of other teams. They hit a two or three game skid, but because they are well-coached and have good players, they were able to win the game that counted at the end. It is what college football is about. They regrouped kind of like how we regrouped. It is a tribute to their coaches and players.
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