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November 2, 2011Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe spoke to reporters Wednesday in the Atlantic Coast Conference weekly teleconference. Grobe's Demon Deacons look to get back on track this weekend after last week's loss at North Carolina with a home game at BB&T Field against Notre Dame. Kickoff is approximately 8:00 pm on ABC.
COACH GROBE: We're disappointed that we lost this past Saturday in Chapel Hill. Didn't play particularly well. Turned the ball over five times. Got to give North Carolina a lot of credit. I thought their kids played good. They had a good plan for us. Very disappointed. Now we got another great challenge coming up this weekend in Notre Dame and hopefully we'll play better.
When you look at Notre Dame on film, certain things that jump out at you......
COACH GROBE: I think that's the issue when you look at these guys. They're so balanced. They've got big linemen on both sides of the ball and really good skill guys. They're going to be a heck of a challenge. They're one of the teams that you look at. They very well could be undefeated right now. Three games they lost were really close games. This is just a well-balanced, well-coached Notre Dame football team.
Notre Dame is Notre Dame. You're on national TV. Can you address the opportunity to showcase the program more than an ordinary Saturday afternoon?
COACH GROBE: Well, that's why we took the game. We had an opportunity to have the Fighting Irish come to our stadium in Winston-Salem. I think it's a great thing not only for our fans but for our city and for our football team.
It's certainly a challenge that as a coach, as you're picking up games throughout the years, you selfishly would like to pick somebody that you think you got a pretty good chance of beating if you play good. With Notre Dame, we're going to have to play above our heads to have a chance to beat these guys.
I think it's great for a program to have those guys come into town. Hopefully we'll play well. We didn't play well last week. But I think we know as a football team and as a coaching staff we've got a great football team coming to town Saturday night.
I don't know how much you followed them the last couple years. They seem to have made a good jump this year in quality from where they played the last couple years. Can you address that........
COACH GROBE: Well, I think it's always tough when a new staff comes in. You'd expect a year later for them to be better. But they're full of four- and five-star recruits. They've got great talent. You can't help but be impressed with how well they're coached. Brian Kelly and his staff do a great job with them.
I know they have three losses right now. But if you watch them on video against those teams, they could have very well won those three. It's a team that legitimately could easily be undefeated right now. They're the real deal.
You say you have to play over your heads to beat them, they're the real deal. They lost to South Florida, they beat Pittsburgh by three points. Are they that much more of a challenge than teams you face in ACC play?
COACH GROBE: I think the thing we look at, if you look at the talent that they brought in there, I think early in the year, if I'm not mistaken against South Florida, they turned the ball over a bunch in the opening game. We're watching them play against teams like Michigan State, Southern Cal. They're just big, physical, fast, all the things you look for in a good football team these guys have got.
They really look like they're starting to hit their stride right now and playing great football. I think from a talent perspective is more what I'm talking about. We always feel like we can win. We had to play above our heads to beat Florida State. That's not something that our kids are not familiar with. We play really, really good teams.
For us to have a chance to win, we've got to play good, good football. The disappointing thing for us is I think we had to do it last week and didn't do it against Carolina. This is just another one of those teams that's got enough talent that if you don't play well, you're not going to have a chance.
Wonder what your overall impressions were of Giovani Bernard for North Carolina last week?
COACH GROBE: Great player. Great player. We knew going in he was going to be tough to handle. The thing that he does such a nice job of, he's got the great foot speed. Had two long runs against us that really hurt us. He's really tough and will run between the tackles. That's what's unusual to find.
Running back, you have power runners that will hit it in between the tackles pretty good, but they don't have the speed out on the perimeter. Then some kids have the foot speed but they can't get inside. This is a kid that does both. We were very, very impressed with him.
Kind of scary to think you're going to face him three more years?
COACH GROBE: Absolutely. Absolutely. We have a chance to go against a lot of good running backs, David Wilson of Virginia Tech is special. I think Gio is special. We're going to see some more special ones this week. Notre Dame has a couple kids. Their backup tailback is averaging eight yards a carry. We're always going to face teams with good running backs. But he (Bernard) is a cut above. Not a lot of fun looking forward to having to go against this guy next year.