“We’re coming off a very tough challenge this past weekend. I thought South Florida played extremely well. I thought our kids fought through some situations and dealt with some adversity and being on the road for the first time. We battled through – handled some very well and we need to get better at some. That’s football. I’m very proud of how hard the kids played. They stayed in the moment and they kept fighting and they made the plays they had to make in order to win the game.
"There’s a lot of things we need to clean up. We had some missed opportunities in the red zone. We need to learn how to convert those opportunities and I think South Florida did a very nice job shortening the game, especially in the first half – keeping the ball out of our hands.
"It was a great win, especially coming off a very emotional and physical game against Clemson. I knew it was going to be draining for us, but we had to get up to play and it’s a good thing that we learned to overcome that. I was very proud of the kids as far as the preparation and what they had to do.
"We’re going to have a tough challenge to play at NC State – a very tough place to play, very loud, they’ve got good players and they’ve got a good team. We’ve got another challenge on being on the road again.
"Hopefully, we’ll learn from our mistakes and those young guys will get that second road trip and clean up some things and we’ll play a little bit better. I thought our leaders played very well in the game. We did some nice things in the game. It was a great challenge, hope we get better because this is another double whammy game – ACC and a divisional game. They’re very important and we’ll have our hands full.”
On Cornellius “Tank” Carradine’s improvement:
“He made some big plays but he had a lot of boo-boo’s in that game – a lot of things you didn’t see. We’ve got to clean up a couple little things, but he’s able to rush the passer and cause a fumble.
"Tank is a phenomenal player. But, being an every down player and a starter, there’s a lot of little things that goes within the teamwork of the defense and he’s a phenomenal player, don’t get me wrong, but you have to be more consistent for a longer period of time. He went from 30 plays a game, to 60 plays a game. That’s a big difference. He’s doing some excellent things and he’s going to have a long career in this game.”
On the high scoring offense:
“It’s about winning the game. It’s great that we have good offense, but I don’t care if we lead the nation in offense – in points and yards – I don’t care if we lead the nation on defense, I care about wins not how you do it. If we have to do that to win, that’s great – play great offense and defense, that’s all important but it’s not our or my mindset. Chris Thompson and EJ (Manuel) wouldn’t have taken knees in the game. We didn’t want them to touch the ball again because that’s the only chance we had to lose. It’s about winning and everyone has their own style of doing it.”
On having different defensive ends in Tank Carradine and Bjoren Werner as well as the younger guys:
“I think it’s good to have diversity in your defensive ends. We’ve got two really dynamic ones that start and we’ve got some good young ones too in my opinion. You’ve got to build around what your talent level is.”
On Mario Edwards Jr.’s snaps in the game:
“We’ve got to continue to make him grow. That was a weird game for him to get a lot of snaps in because every possession was very critical there for a long time. He’s really playing the run well, developing the pass rush, trying to get his explosiveness down. He’s going to be a really good player.”
On the progression of the pass protection:
“A couple of our pass protections in the game got off the ball a hair late. It’s wasn’t bad but we did have some nice pass protection stuff. We had a couple plays at the end where they got pressure on it but we’re getting better.”
On NC State scoring seven points against Connecticut earlier in the season:
“At times on offense, you’re just going to be a hair off. Defense is effort and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, but offense is timing. If one guy is out of whack – any time a ball is involved there are going to be days where you’re not as sharp. A lot of those offenses that rely on the quarterback throwing the ball can go up and down. That’s why I feel that I have to have a strong running game because when those things aren’t going on, you better turn that off and create things from the running game.”
On if Xavier Rhodes was hurt last year compared to this year:
“He’s was banged up a bit, but I think he got a little heavy at times. When you’re a big corner like that, sometimes three, four, five, six pounds makes a difference from that perfect playing weight. I think he’s doing a real nice job now.”
On Demonte McAllister’s play:
"(He’s playing) really well. Of all the guys up front, I thought he played as well as anybody. I think he played really well. McAllister is emerging, he’s getting some pass rush things and I’ve been very pleased with his development."
On having Lamarcus Joyner and Karlos Williams back for the return game:
“It’s dynamic. In the Clemson game they kicked it away from nine and kicked it to 20. Lamarcus makes big plays. Lamarcus is a competitor. He’s just a guy that loves to play ball and do whatever – very fast, dynamic and explosive. He’ll do whatever he’s got to do. He puts his heart and soul out there on the line.”
On his game plan for a team that just gave up a lot of yards passing:
“People are going to adjust. Some of those plays in their game came from freeze plays and NC State stopped. That's great form Miami and that’s something you’ve got to learn, but otherwise there were a lot of throws that they covered and played well. They’ll make adjustments. They’ve got a great staff and they’ll make some adjustments.”
On E.J. Manuel not getting a lot credit for leading the ACC in passing efficiency and completion percentage:
“He’s a hunting dog. He’s not a show dog. It doesn’t matter to him. He wants to go out and win games and see what his team can do and that’s the way we are. That’s it. Expectations and all of that are for everybody else. We’ve got to be about preparation and not expectation. We need to keep preparing well and playing well and if those things come it will happen for him and everyone else on our team. We’ve just got to remember that.”