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Larry Scott Pregame Press Conference North Carolina – Nov. 10, 2015

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Courtesy UM

Opening Statement…


“It’s another week, and another challenge for our football team that I believe we’re up for. As kind of a game recap from Virginia, I was happy with the guys and the way they played. They played hard. When you turn on the tape Sunday and watch, you’re impressed with some of the efforts that are being made out there, and the way guys are just scratching and clawing and playing passionate, playing together and playing football the way we want to see it being played at this time of year. At this time of year, we have some guys a little banged up, a little bruised up, a little nicked up, but such is football at this time of year when you’re in a divisional race. That’s what it’s going to be. We laid out the message and expectation for them this week, part of which was being prepared to win this game is taking care of your bodies, getting extra treatment, meal supplements, doing whatever you need to do to make sure you’re fresh and ready to go. We call it ‘roll call’ around here, but that’s another important piece to the puzzle for us moving forward.

“And then move forward on Sunday onto North Carolina, who by the way, I know everybody knows is a very explosive team offensively. The guys know that, they know we have a great challenge ahead of us with this team, being that we’re going out on the road, going to their place. I think we’re up for it. I told the guys, in this month and at this time, this is right where you want to be – you want to be in position to go play these games. That’s why you come to the University of Miami. That’s why you embrace these types of challenges. We know what we have ahead of us, but we also know what we need to do to be in the best position possible to go play as best we can to continue our progress towards our goal. They’re all fired up. They had the right approach, right mindset. We had a really tough practice today – it was warm, it was physical, it was competitive, just the way we wanted it – and they responded very well. We have some things we’re going to clean up from today’s practice, then we’ll be a little bit better Wednesday, and be a little better Thursday. I tell them, ‘Here’s the process. We’re going to win each day so that we can win the week so that we can put ourselves in position to win the game.’ That’s all we have to do: win the day, win the week, and put ourselves in the best position possible to go and win the game. That’s where our focus is right now.”

On if he has reached out to any other head coaches for advice or words of wisdom…


“I’ve been fortunate to be around some really good guys in the business, not all of which are all head coaches, but who have all been in the business for 30 or 40 years. They’ve been around it all and seen it all. I have spoken with my former head coach and a guy I worked for and recruited with, Jim Leavitt. We’ve talked. I’ve talked to Skip Holtz and various assistants and people I’ve come across in the business over the years. Most of [the conversations] were just positive reinforcement, advice of just being yourself, being who you are…basically just guys reaching out to let me know they’re there if I needed their support or needed them in any way. It’s been great. You’re very fortunate and blessed when you’ve worked with some really good people who can give you tips and advice and things like that.”

On what in particular he has learned about being a head coach from the past three weeks…


“You’re the spark plug. You come in every morning and you lay out the plan. They’re looking for the guidance, they’re looking for the plan to be laid out. They’re looking for how we’re going to attack this thing - not only [players], but staff and everyone in the building. One of the things you learn quickly, when you come in, you have to be ready to go. You have to have a plan, have both feet on the ground and be ready to attack. That’s the approach every morning when you walk in the building, before you walk in, and at night, before you finally do get to put your head down for a quick one. You have your thought process together, you have your ideas, and you have things ready to go. You get up in the morning, you get a cup of coffee and you get after it. That’s the way you approach it every day.”

On his impressions of North Carolina’s offense…


“Explosive. You really go back and watch film, they do what they do, but they execute their system very well. Therefore we’re going to have to be up for the challenge of executing. They don’t deviate much from what they do from game to game. There’s a little bit of difference here and there on a route or something like that, but they are what they are. They’re going to play with tempo, they’re going to use their up-tempo style, and they’re going to take shots. They’re a ‘big play’ team - they rely heavily on the big play in their system. You have to be ready to cover, and you have to be able to defend the run, which is something they’ve done better this year than they have before. It’s made them really two-dimensional, especially with a quarterback who can sit in the pocket and make all the throws, but who can also use his feet to create offense – whether it’s designed quarterback runs or sitting in the pocket and throwing the ball down the field. They definitely present an explosive challenge for our team.”

On the similarities between North Carolina QB Marquise Williams and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson…


“They’re probably very similar in a lot of ways. They both can create plays with their feet and run the football, but they can both make all the throws. They’re very similar athletically.”

On if the staff will re-evaluate substitutions against North Carolina’s up-tempo offense…


“Always…you have to. You have to be ready to make those adjustments. Those are of the challenges that are presented to you by tempo teams. You have to have a plan, and your kids have to feel good about the plan an d execute the plan that’s in place as well. You always shave to look at that, evaluate that, ‘How can you do it better? How can you do it faster? Most importantly, how can you put your kids in the best position possible to defend it?’ It’s what we’re always going to look at.”

On if there’s any way to truly simulate an up-tempo offense in practice…


“You have to do it as best you can with your look teams. You have to do it as best you can by creating atmosphere in the meeting rooms with quick answers, everything has to quicken up, and everything has to be sharper. You do the best you can to create that, but when it’s their offensive system and how they operate, you never quite get it to the actual speed that it’s going to be in the game. But you put your kids on alert, and you train them to the fact that it’s going to be fast and we have to be alert, we have to have a system of getting the play call in to the kids as fast as possible so that we can get aligned and we can execute the call at an accelerated pace…that’s hard to reenact in practice. You do the best you can. Really, it’s the information and the transmission of the message in what’s going on, from coach to player on the field and from player to play on the field as well. It’s quickening up the whole transmission of information on the field, it’s what we have to stress and harp on. Once the call is communicated, everyone can get aligned, get adjusted and execute the call.”

On the play of sophomore linebacker Trent Harris…


“It’s amazing. You watch the film and you say, ‘Huh? He was just the SAM, now he’s the MIKE, now he’s the rush. It’s a testament to him and the way he prepares, the way he works, the way he applies himself in every meeting, in every walkthrough and in every rep that he gets. He’s a coach on the field. He’s competitive, he’s smart and he’s a leader in the way that you want guys to lead – through his play and through the way he works.  He’s everything you want when you’re out recruiting and trying to build a program - you want kids that are like that. That’s what you want.”