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What They Said - Wake Forest v. Gardner-Webb

Quotes from the Wake Forest-Gardner-Webb postgame press conference on Saturday, Sept. 6.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Dave Clawson

"They need to enjoy the win. It’s hard to win football games. I think to a man in that locker room, we do know we need to play better with some of the teams ahead in our schedule. We have a lot of work to do. I thought our defense played well. I wish for their sake that the twos could have kept them out of the end zone. That was a bad roughing the passer penalty – bad on our part, it was a good call by the officials. It was disappointing to let them score late. Offensively, we moved the ball and we were efficient, we just didn’t make big plays and we were awful in the red zone. We were in the red zone five times and we had two turnovers, three dropped balls and then two penalties. Fortunately we hit our kicks. I think it was a little bit like last week in that our defense played extremely well. We held a team to under 100 yards through 58 minutes. I don’t care who you play, that’s playing good defense. Our kicking game, again, was solid. Alex [Kinal] didn’t punt the ball as well, but we hit all of our kicks and I thought Adam Centers kicked the ball extremely well. Offensively, we improved. We moved the football and had close to 400 yards of offense. We just aren’t making big plays. You just hope that we hit a slant that splits the safeties or you run a zone play with Orville and he gets to the linebackers and it becomes a 26- or 28-yard play. Those were very workman-like drives. But again, we’ve got to get better and we’ll watch the film and go from there."

"Well we protected him. At all our practices, all camp, if you watch passes where there’s not a pass rush and we did protect him, or maybe even the defensive lineman run by him and let him throw the ball, he’s been accurate since the day he got here. Last week we didn’t protect him; this week we protected him better. Part of that is the level of competition. I think part of that is that the offensive line did play better. Last week we cut people loose and this week we didn’t. We played better up front. I was disappointed we didn’t get a little more push in the run game and I thought at times, early in the game, things bottled them up. And then in the second half, as you probably saw, we played faster. At the end of the first half we had that really long drive that ended in a field goal. That’s when I thought we started wearing them down a little bit, and we made the decision for the third quarter to play with a little bit more tempo and I thought that really eliminated a lot of their pass rush."

"Yes – again, some of the picks were tipped balls and I’d have a hard time saying that any of the picks were poor throws and poor decisions. He’s six feet, and concerning the tipped balls, we’ve got to find a way to find those throwing lanes and maybe get people down on the ground in protection a little more and that’s one of the functions of playing with a smaller quarterback. You’re going to have those balls tipped, but they were just costly. We had great field position in the first quarter and we couldn’t capitalize. We turned it over twice inside the ten. When you play a team of similar ability levels, if you turn it over twice inside the 20-yard line that’s hard to overcome."

Matt James, Senior Wide Receiver

"He's a professional. He holds himself like an upperclassman. He faced a lot of adversity early in the game and nothing on him that's just us. Whether it's missing a touchdown or dropping a ball or holding that got his touchdown called back. It didn't faze him. He kept us in the game and drove us down the field. He had a phenomenal game. The stats don't really show how well he played."

"You know, I think there’s a lot of things that we can see from Week 1. The offensive line did so much better and a lot of things that they got us coached up on in practice really transferred over to the game. John’s been balling since he got here. I think if he had had more time at ULM, we would have seen that and we got a glimpse of it tonight. We’re going to see a lot more of that this season."

"I think a lot of the guys were just a little jittery for our first home game. Once we got in a rhythm and started getting first downs and moving the chains, it was just like it was in practice."

"I think the coaches did a good job reminding us about last week going into the half with a lead, and coming out and kind of blowing it. I think the strength staff did a really good job making sure we were stretched out and not messing around. Everyone was really focused and we wanted this first win at home."

"Every catch helps and just being out on the field helps with your confidence. There's one I left out there in the first quarter that I wish I could have gotten back but that's just something we rep in practice every day. As the season goes on, that will just be automatic."

Cam Serigne, RS-Freshman Tight End

"I feel that all of us were looking for that reward for working hard. We finally found that and we finally found that win to get over that hump and we’ll keep getting better each time."

"Coach Clawson prepared us for just about everything. We were focused, he kept us focused and made sure we were prepared the whole time."

Ryan Janvion, Sophomore Safety

"Definitely think we did well; improved from last week as far as assignments and getting things right and being sound on all of our adjustments. It was definitely tough giving up that touchdown at the end. We've just got to do a better job of bringing along our backups so there's not a big drop off in the way we play when we sub in our backups. At the end of the day, they're a play away from being starters so we've just got to do a better job at developing our young players and a better job at developing our starters."

"We were a lot more fresh in the fourth quarter. I'm glad the offense moved the ball and we need to continue to improve every week."

"We definitely knew the moment he stepped foot on to campus that he was good. He definitely showed what he can do today. We have absolute faith in him. He doesn't play like a freshman; he is so far advanced to where he is. He is so calm and poised in the pocket. It's just great to have a quarterback like that. We're excited about the future with him."