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What They Said: Wake Forest vs. Syracuse

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Quotes from the Wake Forest-Syracuse postgame press conference on Saturday, October 18.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Dave Clawson

"Today is as disappointed as I have been. Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and say, 'Did I prepare this team?' Obviously I as the head coach did not have our team especially on offense ready to go today. It was disappointing all around. We gave up another two touchdowns on offense today. Again, I did not have our team ready. Sometimes you don't execute, sometimes you don't win match ups. Coach did not have the team ready and I can certainly accept that responsibility. It will get better. We are in the first step in the long process of building the program. We will win, and we will win at a high level, but right now I want to thank all of the fans and students that came out today. Again, I want to apologize because I did not have them ready."

"John [Wolford] got hit in the head. On the sidelines he did not have any concussive symptoms, but our head trainer suggested we not take any chances. He was unhappy and felt he could play. I think it is one of those issues you have to play extremely safe. Then Tyler [Cameron] got in there and struggled, then you have your third string quarterback Kevin [Sousa] in there and he is running scout team all week. There are about half a dozen plays in the offense that he knows how to run. It is not fair to him but it was who we had and we did not have him prepared to play and that's on us."

"We get zero explosive plays. We are seven games into the season and our longest play is 36 yards. Usually by accidnet you'll make a big play. We do not have skilled players to make explosive plays to take the pressure of the offense to execute perfectly. We have very little margin for error. We have to stay positive and continue to coach these guys.  We have a good defense, but our offense is not there. There is always a low point and my hope is that this is the low point. We play some good football teams ahead of us. There are no easy answers. We just can't turn the football over the way we do. We have a good defense but the turnovers on offense take us out of the game."

"It killed us, that one drive. We have a great punt and pin them inside the 10-yard, 5-yard line and we give up four fourth-down conversions. We have a good defense and we're usually good at getting them off the field in third-down situations. But that's really the only drive of the day that we gave up. They got some yardage but they got off the field. Again, coming off a bye week, there's no excuse to play as poorly as we did today. I"m disappointed but we're going to stay positive with these guys. We have another game next week and we need to turn the page and get better. Our players play hard, they do. We have to do a better job of putting them in a better position to win."

"For Budd [Noel] to make the effort play that he did, I mean what heart. You would think that when you are losing a game like that, guys would take their foot off the gas, and I am so proud that he ran and made that play and then our defense held him to a field goal. Those guys are playing their heart out. In a year like this with great defense, it is disappointing to not have a little bit more offense."

Linebacker Brandon Chubb

"The third downs weren't that good this week. It was mainly just missing tackles. I remember that line drive, that third down on the sideline, that should have been an easy two-yard gain and they went for 8 or 9 and converted on the first."

"It wasn't that big of an issue [Syracuse QB AJ Long's ability to scramble] but that's just something you can't really stop. They were in heavy formation with three backs and we were expecting a run. We had him tackled and our defender just slipped off. He does have speed, he's a fast back and when he's getting chased by linebackers and linesmen he's probably going to win that nine out of 10 times."

"I don't want to say mentally but it just negatively affects you [coming off a bye week.] You haven't been physical for two weeks now. It's just shaking that rust off. They had something we didn't have - they played five days ago, we didn't."

Running Back Dezmond Wortham

"We know that it's obvious right now that offense is struggling. You just have to keep coming to work every day and create new points for turnovers. I think today we balanced out the ball a little more, we had good runs, and of course John did well. We have to generate more drives like that, running and catching the ball. Obviously not the points you want to have, having turnovers result in Syracuse touchdowns. We just have to keep on working every day and hope for the best."

"I can't really say. Their defense changed and things. They were squeezing in the end a lot and being fast. We were chopped down on some other runs that should have been bigger. We did a much better job protecting John for the most part, but still we could've worked harder. We still need to keep on working on the little things and I think that will make a big play happen."

"We had a miscommunication on the slide. But, it's not John's fault and I don't think it's my fault either. Next time, we have to be on the same page and be aware that the defense is coming. It's the same look in practice. They brought out some amazing changes and did some things that we haven't seen before."

"It's frustrating. No one wants to lose; it's not on anyone's menu. Especially looking at our offseason and looking at how hard we work, especially during the week and Sundays. We came in with the same record; it was a good game for both. We are just coming off from two loses on the road; we were excited to get back home. But, we didn't finish the job. We have to finish the job."

Safety Ryan Janvion

"It's definitely frustrating but we can't point fingers. We gave up a 90-yard drive that shouldn't have happened. We gave up four third downs, we were horrible on third downs this game. So we are not pointing fingers. We just worry about one side of the ball. We don't focus on what the offense is doing. We focus on what we need to do get better. We are just going to continue to go back and continue to improve on those things that we need to improve. But we are going to stick together because that's all we can do is stick together to get this thing better."


"That's just how we play. We always say on the sideline we only know how to do one thing and that's play. When we play, we are going to give it 100 percent we are not going to give up. We are not going to back down. That's what we do. That's the character of our defense. We just play ball no matter what situation or circumstance, we are just going to play."

"We just didn't make plays when we needed to. We can't point fingers at anybody. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we can do better. We are great on third down and today we didn't show that. Defense needs to get better; offense needs to get better. Individually, each and every one of us needs to get better. The only thing we can do is work. We have no choice, we can't give up. In order for this to get better and this program to get better we have to continue to work and continue to get things were they need to be. The only way to do that is to keep grinding through and respond to adversity."