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Transcript: Scott Satterfield talks FSU win, looks ahead to Wake Forest

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The coach speaks.

UCF v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

You can find video of Satterfield’s Monday presser here

Opening Statement

It was a good road win. In the second half I thought that our defense played well, offensively we couldn’t get any momentum, sustain any drives, no execution, a lot of different things that went into the second half performance, but we fought hard and came away with a good road win. Florida State has talent, there is no question about it, and I thought they played better this week. If you look at turnovers, Florida State did not have a turnover until the very last offensive play. We are watching them right now in preparation for Wake Forest, where they did have a lot of turnovers and missed handoffs, so Florida State executed better, but I thought that our defense played well in the second half.

We are excited about moving forward and playing Wake Forest this week. I think every year Wake Forest is one of the most well coached teams that we play. Coach Clawson and his staff do a great job; I have been battling against Coach Clawson for many years, all the way back when he was at Richmond and he came to Appalachian State and played us in the playoffs, then he was a Bowling Green while I was at Toledo. I have a lot of respect for him and what he does with his program. He always gets a lot out of his players, and they are playing at a high level right now in all three phases.

They have a veteran team with a lot of players that have been around the program for a while. It is a lot of the same faces that we have seen over the last two or three years, but I think one of the things that they have done well again this year is the turnover margin. I feel like every year they do a great job with that aspect of the game; they are very efficient on offense and take care of the football. (Sam) Hartman is playing at a high level right now operating their offense, and defensively they are very aggressive and getting after it. They are playing some man and the linebackers and defensive line are getting after it, they are playing hard, and they are very efficient in special teams.

There is a lot of momentum down there, they are undefeated and ranked this week in the top-25. It is similar to what happened two years ago when went down there, they were ranked team and it was a great football game. We played this team in our last game last year so there is a lot of familiarity because it is a lot of the same players from game that are contributing now. It should be a great matchup; we are looking forward to heading down there and playing in a good environment at 12:30.

Satterfield on Braden Smith update

Unfortunately, Braden (Smith) tore some ligaments in his knee and will be out for the rest of the year. That is two great players in back-to-back weeks for us, key contributors, one on offense one on defense, and I hate it, that’s the awful part of this game that we have to deal with on a week in week out basis. We see it across the country, Clemson had a talented defensive lineman (Bryan Bresee) that went out with a very similar injury and is now out for the year. It is one thing that you do not want to see for anybody on any team, and I hate it for how hard these guys work and then you know the season gets taken away, but Braden (Smith) is in good spirits, and we know that he will bounce back and come get back even stronger. What this means is that other players will have to step up in the receiving room and punt return game. Braden (Smith) does a lot of things for us and we asked him to do for this team, so there’s got to be other players to step up. I was proud of (JJ) Josh Johnson for doing that against Florida State, catching punts, and so we need some more guys to step up and fill in the gap that Braden (Smith) left.

Satterfield on the confidence that other guys will step up

We have a lot of confidence in our guys. The way that we prepare our guys and way they get out and play. We talk to them all the time how they are one play away from being in game and they have to prepare and be ready to go at every position because you never know what position is going to happen at. As coaches we try to create depth, that’s why we bring certain players in and sometimes there is a player that is down in the depth chart but all of a sudden after an injury or two he has to be ready to go, so you never know when your time is going to come and our guys has done a really good job of that, preparing and getting ready to go when it is their time, so we have a lot of confidence that all of our guys will step up and make plays.

Recent injuries changing practice going forward

“Well, I think you’ve still got to prepare the way we think that it’s going to give us the best chance. I don’t think that you’ve got to change your plan just because you lose a player, I think the next guy that’s coming in there, he’s got to prepare just like the player did before him and we’re doing some things at practice that are a little bit different but whether we had an injury or not to have anything to do with that. I believe you’ve got to get your players fresh to the game they’ve got to be mentally fresh, physically fresh, we learned a lot I thought within our first three contests with those short weeks, we learned a lot of things that we could do and so we’ve tweaked a little bit of the practice but we still got to prepare the way we’ve always prepared so whoever’s in the game has got to be ready to go.”

On defending Wake Forest

“It’s a unique offense, the things that they do, it’s the slow ride with the running back and they created some problems with you by doing that you know, you’re right if you get too aggressive and you get out of a gap that’s when they’re going to get you. You have to be fundamentally sound, you have to have an understanding what they’re trying to do offensively because they do a lot of different things with the gaps game zone read or they’ll run Hartman a little bit and then all of a sudden he’ll pull the ball he’ll throw the ball on all these routes and they got some excellent receivers. That’s one thing I’ve been impressed over the years how they’ve been able to continue good receivers and I remember two years ago we went down there and they had some outstanding receivers that we couldn’t really cover and and they still have some great ones this year. I think they’re very efficient on third down but they understand what they’re doing. I think Sam Hartman’s got a really good understanding of their offense and he knows where to go with the football and what you’re trying to present them on defense but it comes back to fundamentals.”

On losing Braden Smith for the season

“I just think his experience is really the main thing that you lose he’s played in a lot of games for us, he’s really our main starter that came back from last year when you think about Tutu and Dez leaving, he was kind of that the main star that came back off last year’s team and the guys in the receiver room really looks up to him, they trust and believe in his ability because he’s been there and done that and I think that’s probably the biggest part of the loss. I think we have some guys that we think can go in and make some plays and do some things that he was able to do hopefully Shai Werts we’ll be back here soon. He’s a guy that got hurt in the Ole Miss game and he’s going to practice this week he will still be a question mark on whether he’s available or not but he’s very close. If it’s not this week, it’ll be the next week he should be back so that gives you another another piece to that puzzle, to have another guy that has played quarterback that’s done some things as well that we can add to the mix.”

On special teams and flipping the field position against FSU

In the second half when we weren’t moving the ball offensively, you have to do something to help counteract that and our punting game was huge. Mark (Vassett) nailed some of those punts and he actually kicked it over their returners head at one point. We downed two of them inside the ten and kept the ball where they couldn’t get any returns. Marvin Dallas had another great hit on a punt. It’s almost gotten to the point now where our team is looking at Marvin to see when he’s going to make the hit. I mean all these returners at point, I think they’ll start probably fair catching I don’t know, unless they like getting hit by Marvin (Dallas). I think the combination of the way we’re covering and then his ability to get the ball out. I think that was huge, because we kept them pinned back and I think that was a big part of that second half, with the punting aspect. I think that was his first game where he’s kind of unleashed some punts but he’s certainly capable of doing that continually. Josh Johnson did a great job in the punt return game and I think Jordan (Watkins) could be another guy back there that we could pull it back there. The biggest thing for me in a punt return scenario is fielding the ball it’s great if you can get some yards after you field it, but it’s fielding the ball because you want to get the ball back in offensively. I think both of those guys give a great opportunity to get the ball back and Watkins may give you a little bit more once he gets the ball, to make some runs after the return. We’ll look at both of those guys and we’ll see but Josh (Johnson), obviously he did a great job and we know he can do it.”

On importance of Wake Forest game and potential to dictate first place in the Atlantic division

We don’t worry about all of that, we worry about Wake Forest and if you start thinking about all the other stuff we need to focus in on what needs to be focused on and that’s the team we got to play this week. We’re looking at tomorrow’s practice and that’s what you have to look at it, I think alumni, media and all the people can look at all the other stuff and talk about it, its fun talk but that stuff doesn’t really matter, this is our fifth game and second ACC game and we got to go play as well as we can possibly play to go to beat Wake Forest, that’s the bottom line. I think one thing it does show you in the first four weeks is the parity in college football is real and if you don’t show up you’ll get beat and it doesn’t matter who you are. Minnesota got beat by Bowling Green this weekend as a 30 point favorite, Clemson loses to NC State, I mean every single week you’re going to see examples of this that the team doesn’t show up they’re going to lose and it’s awesome because this sport is incredibly great and our fans love that part about it and this year more than ever it’s up for grabs. It’s the team that prepares the best week in and week out and goes and performs will have an opportunity to win their conference, to go to a great bowl or go to playoffs but you have to stay in the moment and focus on the team you’re playing.”

On Yasir Abdullah’s role with Monty Montgomery out for the season

“I don’t think so. I think he’s been playing at a high level all year. We saw that in camp from him. He put on some extra weight, he’s got a little bit more confidence and his endurance level is much better this year. In the past he would go from full to empty in a hurry he would have to come off to the sideline and now, he gets tired but he’s playing at a high level. It was great to see him pass rush the other day against Florida State and then we saw Ashton (Gillotte) you know who was outstanding and YaYa (Diaby) put back-to-back weeks together. Those three guys provide great pressure to put on quarterbacks. I just think Yasir (Abdullah) has continued to get better. He’s continuing to develop and become a great player and I think he’ll continue to get better and better.”

On the impact of kick returns

“I think that’s a big debate with the fair catch rule on kickoffs now. Some people look at it as ‘hey let’s just fair catch and get the ball on the 25, lets don’t try that.’ Because sometimes you can get a penalty and now you backed up 10 yards. If you do have a successful kick returner, then it’s worth trying to come out and try to get some yards. If you don’t feel good about your kickoff return team, then it’s probably best just to fair catch it and take a knee. If you look at the Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame game, that kickoff return Notre Dame had his weekend really sparked the team to win. I think it was tied or very close whenever he returned that kickoff for a touchdown and that kind of opened the game up. I think you can certainly utilize that play to your benefit, but we’ll see. I don’t know the studies about injuries and stuff on the kickoff, I don’t know what their stats say, but I think that if there was a higher probability of getting hurt on that play then it may end up coming out, but that remains to be seen.”

On the running backs

“(Trevion) Cooley was a game time decision. (Maurice) Burkley is a guy, like you mentioned, he had a bad injury last year in the Syracuse game, he’s been back and did a great job in the offseason to get healed up. One thing about (Maurice) Burkley is you can count on him. He’s very steady Eddy to me. He’s going to you work hard, he’s going to know what to do, nothing flashy as a running back, but he gave us some good plays, some good minutes out there so he’s a valuable part of our team and he knows when he’s called upon, he can give you everything he has as a running back.”

On having Jordan Watkins replace Hassan Hall for kick returns

“Hassan (Hall) came into the game a little banged up and that’s the reason why I Burk (Maurice Burkley) got more opportunities at running back and then after a couple of returns we felt like he was banged up even more, so we put (Jordan) Watkins back there. We feel good about (Jordan) Watkins, what he can do and, so that was the reason we made that move. It goes back to what we talked about, when somebody gets banged up or you get some injuries, another guy has to step up and make plays.”

On Jordan Watkins’ touchdown

“I have great confidence in (Jordan) Watkins in what he can do. He is going to catch the football; he can run after the catch, and I thought he had another solid game for us. He played well in the Central Florida game, played well in the Florida State game. If you go back to the Wake Forest game, he played well against Wake Forest last year. I think he’s a talented player, he’s going to catch the football, but he has the ability after he catches it to make those runs and that was a nice catch and run to split the safeties and get in the endzone. We expect that out of him and hopefully continue to be able to get him the ball and let him make plays.”

On Wake Forest’s defense

“I think they’re very solid, they’re coached well, they are where they are supposed to be. They’re playing hard up front. Everything starts in the trenches, and their D-line plays hard, they create problems. If you’re getting after the quarterback, which they do, they’ve gotten several sacks, making the quarterback throw the ball when he doesn’t want to, when that happens, those turnovers are going to happen. More than anything, they’re where they’re supposed to be and they’re playing hard.”