Props to Scott Satterfield for not holding back here. I would have been disappointed if he had.
What a great college football game. I got a lot of respect for Wake Forest and Coach Clawson. His kids, man, they played hard. They got a veteran team, and and old team. They came out and played with that kind of experience today. I was really proud of our guys. We got down 10 in the middle of the fourth quarter, and our guys didn’t flinch. They continued to fight, we came back, tied it up. Seems like whoever had the ball las was going to win.
Overall, we made some plays, and still left some plays out there on the field. The turnover (missed field goal) right before half obviously hurt, but I thought we held down on the 10-yard line. 10 seconds to go, and they ran four plays. There was a second left somehow, and they got three (points), and that was the difference in the game. It was unfortunate we’ll go back and look at it. But even at that, we had opportunities and chances to make plays. Just came up a play too short.
(On the 3rd and 3 where Malik Cunningham did not come back in after a timeout)
That was a big play. We called a timeout thinking Malik can come back - we’d burn a timeout for that - but it wasn’t. They said on the play, when he came off of the field of play, he had to come out and you couldn’t burn a timeout for that. Evan comes in, they had a tight man-to-man coverage on a contested throw, and we don’t get it, which was unfortunate. We had momentum right there. It was a short third and three, felt like we had a chance to get that right there. You go down and score, now we’re up two scores. It was a big part of the game, but there’s a bunch of plays where (momentum could have changed). We had a couple of guys that we missed in the first half for touchdowns, we got a big third down on 11 or 12, and on the second-to-last drive they had, and we let the guy get behind us. You can pick up a lot of different plays, but we got to play better as a team, and we just came up a play short tonight.
(On the explanation he got regarding the end of the first half)
I really didn’t get (an explanation). They said they were looking to see if there was more time left on the clock, but they never blow it dead. So it’s kind of hard to tell, and I don’t know when they started the clock. It was four seconds when they ran a running play. It’s just hard to tell. Usually, when you run a running play, it’s gonna take a minimum of four seconds. Whenever they ask you to clock a football, you have to have three seconds just to get the ball out to the center and clock it. There was four seconds, they’re in the shotgun, they hand the ball off, and it bounces (around). I don’t know how it was only three seconds, but obviously, I’m not working the clock here in Winston-Salem.
(On if they will take the officiating up with the league office)
Well, there’s really no recourse. It’ll go down as an ‘L’. There’s nothing you can do, you just got to take it.
(On how shocked he was that James Turner missed a 50-yard field goal)
50-yarders are hard. He’s been kicking outstanding this whole fall camp, and really in all our games. Once he gets to 50 longer, it’s gonna be a 50/50 thing We felt good enough to try it, and see if we can hit it. He had the distance, just pulled it a little bit. We got all the confidence in the world in James, he’s one of the better kickers out there. He’s gonna win a lot of games for us. Obviously, you want to make them all, but that was a tough kick.
(On how to stop the long drought they have had for the second straight game)
In the second half, it felt like a couple penalties hurt our drives. It’s hard to overcome holding penalties, and you’re pushed 10 yards back. That’s unfortunate. We had a big pass play right here, and they called a block in the back. I don’t know, man - we just got to keep fighting, and keep making some plays.
(On the offensive line penalties over the last two games)
I’m very frustrated, because I don’t know what to tell them. We’re fighting and we’re playing hard. We’re getting the calls, and we don’t see them get the calls. You can call holding on most plays, let’s be honest. A bunch of big dudes in there, and you’re grabbing, and you can call holding a lot of times on both sides. But it’s just not happened that way. I can’t control that. All I can control is our effort, how hard we come out and fight. Whatever happens out here, we’ve got to play the next play.
(On the injury status of Renato Brown and Ashton Gillotte)
I don’t know how they are, they obviously couldn’t come back to the game. I feel like we’ve been hit with the injury bug a little bit. You think about it in the last three games, we’ve had somebody go out. I hope it’s nothing serious, I don’t think it is, but they obviously could not come back in. We’ll go back, evaluate these guys, and see where we’re at on Monday. We’re starting to use some young guys that are having to play now, obviously don’t have as much experience. You play a team like this that’s got a ton of senior experience, and sometimes that comes back to bite a little bit. But man, we fought. We had a lot of young guys make plays. (Trevion) Cooley was out there again, (Michael) Gonzalez, (Ahmari) Huggins with the nice touchdown catch. There was a lot of good young guys that made plays today. So we’ll keep building, we’ll keep working on these guys, and get them better.
(On the confidence he has in Josh Johnson to return punts)
We got confidence in him. (On the muffed punt), the wind was blowing a lot, and it was bringing it back this way. He’s trying to come back here and get the ball. He’ll learn from that, but he’s good. He’s got good good hands, good judgment, got a lot of confidence in him. Just got to continue to keep working, and keep fighting.
(On not letting this result get to them ahead of Virginia)
You gotta close them out, and you got to find a way to win them in the fourth quarter. A lot of these things to come down to this. It’s a lot of evenly match teams, and a lot of good players. You got to be focused, and you got to play the whole game. When this scenario presents itself in the fourth quarter, you got to make a play, that’s the bottom line. It takes everybody, it’s not just one side of the ball, it’s all of us. That was my message to the team. Go look yourself in the mirror: you try to get better as an individual, and we’re gonna get better as a football team.