Football
Grobe previews the Vanderbilt game

GrobeGrobe

Nov. 25, 2008

Bowl Bandwagon  |  Gameday Central

Wake Forest football head coach Jim Grobe and select players spoke to the media Tuesday about the Demon Deacons upcoming game with Vanderbilt.

Head coach Jim Grobe

On the lesson he learned after last week's game against Boston College...

"You got to make plays. We've played two really good teams the last two weeks and had a great chance to win both games, but didn't make it happen late. The key down the stretch with the teams that we're playing is that you have to make plays."

On Saturday's game against Vanderbilt...

"It's the last game for our seniors so that should be important. I hope the young guys feel a responsibility to help the seniors play their best in their last game at home. I think as much as anything we're just playing really good teams. I'm proud of our team. We've battled really hard the past two weeks and just come up short. We need another effort like that this Saturday."

On if there is a scenario where he would turn down a bowl bid...

"Not that I know of. I don't know of any bad bowl games. That's what you play for. That's what the players play for and what we coach for is to have an opportunity to play in the postseason so that's what we're looking at."

On the injury situation...

"We're really banged up. There are very few kids right now that are playing for us that don't have something wrong with them that limits their performance. I think that's probably the case with most people. Barrett McMillin has a stress fracture and won't be able to play this Saturday. One of the places we couldn't afford to lose people is the offensive line so we've lost another one there."

On Sam Swank's range after his injury...

"We tried a 47-yard field goal the other night and he had plenty of distance. We kind of discussed a 56-yarder at the end of the game but felt that was a little bit of a stretch. Typically, he can hit the ball that far, but he'd have to hit it so hard that there's more a chance to hook it or pull it off line. He's getting better. He feels better. I think he'll get a little stronger and more comfortable. Shane Popham is still kicking really, really well. Sam was the guy we went with the other night. We'll see how he practices this week and make a decision on Saturday."

On if Vanderbilt reminds him of his team...

"They do. They're a good defensive football team. They're doing a nice job on special teams. Offensively, they're doing some different things. They run a little bit of option with one quarterback and they are more of a throw team with their other quarterback. The thing that's very impressive with Vanderbilt is not only how hard they play, but they're very well coached."

Redshirt senior cornerback Alphonso Smith

On playing his final game at BB&T Field...

"This week will be different than last week. We knew it was going to be emotional last week but we also knew we had one more shot this week. It's our last game at Groves and this is our last shot."

On what will be going through his mind on Saturday...

"The same thing that was going through my mind when I took my first snap at Groves (Stadium) against Vandy. It's kind of ironic that we started things at Groves against Vanderbilt and now our last snap at Groves will be against Vanderbilt. It's going to be fun."

About being bowl eligible already but still needing a win...

"We go into every game with the mentality that we want to win. Even though we are bowl eligible, every game is a must win. If you want to be an elite program, you have to go into every game with the attitude that you're going to win and that you're going to dominate. There is a lot riding on the line this week because 6-6 may not get us in. There are eight teams in the ACC that are bowl eligible right now and we're the smallest school. Being bowl eligible doesn't mean you're entitled to a bowl game. We have to go out and impress the bowl chairmen and that's what we're going to do on Saturday."

On his thoughts on Vanderbilt...

"They're a pretty similar team to us. They're a private school that has lost a lot of close games this year and have also won a lot of close games. So we know this game is going to come down to the fourth quarter just like the last five weeks."

Redshirt senior placekicker Sam Swank

On how it felt to get back out on the field last week...

"It felt great. It's where I belong and I loved it. Being under the lights and in front of the crowd; it was something special."

On how his leg feels...

"I wouldn't say it's completely heeled but it's getting there. I can kick a football just not as well and as far as I would like it to go."

On his final home game this Saturday...

"With the seniors being here for five years, hopefully we can go out with a win. It's been a special time for all of us here. We pretty much accomplished what we wanted to. For our last home game, hopefully we go out with a bang and a big victory that will help propel us into a good bowl game. We're definitely going to live it up out there on Saturday."

On what he learned from being on the sidelines...

"It's a lot more fun to play the game then to watch it."

On whether he has a preference of a particular bowl game...

"No preference. I'm open to whatever. It's kind of crazy because when I first got here, we thought going to a bowl game would be awesome and we really didn't care. Now people are asking us if we prefer to go to this bowl as opposed to that bowl. I'm really happy with the attitude change in that sense but I really don't have a preference on where we go."

Redshirt senior safety Chip Vaughn

On if the season has flown by....

"It's been a long season. I would say that a lot of players think that their senior year flew by. I sat back and cherished each practice every day. It's been an extremely long season to me. We started off with two bye weeks early in the season and have had eight straight games. It seems like we've been playing since last January. It's been long."

On how he has dealt with the season not going as the team has planned...

"That's just part of life. Sometimes you have a script of how something is going to go and something happens, so you have to adapt to it. We had all these high expectations this year coming in. We started to lose some games so we had to change our mentality. That's part of life. I don't think it changed how hard we played or how we went about our business each week."

On how much he enjoyed his time at Wake Forest...

"I enjoyed it a lot. It's definitely been a life-altering experience. Wake Forest has made me a better person. I think Coach Grobe for giving me the chance to come here.

Defensive End Matt Robinson

On what he is looking to most about Saturday...

"I'm looking forward to winning a football game. That's really the only thing that matters. It doesn't matter that this is the last game. You can think about that over Christmas or in January. That doesn't matter. The only thing that you'll remember is if you won or not. That just doesn't happen by showing up on gameday. We have to realize that the Boston College game is over and that's not going to get you anywhere. This week we need to have a really good week of practice and get ready to go win a football game."

On trying to secure a bowl bid...

"There's no bigger game than this one. Hopefully everyone realizes that. We've talked about that as a team."

On Vanderbilt...

"They're a very similar team to us record wise and statistically. If you look at both sides of the ball, we're kind of similar. Their quarterbacks run real well. They do a lot of running out of the backfield with their quarterbacks. They have some really good receivers. We have another challenge this week. It's like that every week. Every week you have to show up and this week is no different."


 

 

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