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WFU's Jim Grobe Orange Bowl post-game press conference quotes

Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2007

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Miami, Fl - Wake Forest's head football coach Jim Grobe held a press conference after the 2006 FedEx Orange Bowl.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, if you could just open up with a comment about your team's performance and playing in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Jim Grobe: Well, I have to give Louisville a lot of credit. That's a heck of a football team. I thought they really played well down the stretch. I thought we had a great opportunity to win, but just didn't make the plays tonight that we needed to to beat a really good football team.

Q. They announced in the press box that Brohm's passing totals were the third most in Orange Bowl history behind Tom Brady and Matt Leinart's; that's pretty good company. Would you comment on that.

Jim Grobe: I think most people expected him to have a good performance. I wish we would have played a little bit better red zone defense. I thought that hurt us as much as anything. He's a really great player, he's got a nice group of receivers. We knew he would have some yards. I think the thing that hurt us a little bit is they had some nice runs, especially down in the red zone that hurt us.

I think we had to do a little better job of stopping the run, but he's a really good player obviously.

Q. You talked during the week about two things: No. 1, not letting them explode and get away from you, and No.2, being able to get this game to the fourth quarter. It looked like you got both of those things accomplished, but when you got to the fourth quarter, it was just not to be?

Jim Grobe: I think getting into the fourth quarter and having a chance was important for us. I think that the thing that hurt us the most is we blew two scoring opportunities in the red zone with turnovers, and we haven't done that in the past. We've really been a pretty good football team in the red zone both offensively and defensively, and tonight we turned the ball over twice in the red zone, and then I thought we didn't play real solid in the red zone a couple times on defense, and I really thought that was the difference.

We wanted to be really close in the fourth quarter, but I think we blew the opportunity to have more points before we got into the fourth quarter, and that really hurts you against a team that's as explosive a team as Louisville.

Q. Do you have an opinion on Kenneth Moore's fumble and/or Richard Belton's fumble? Did you see either replay on the board?

Jim Grobe: You know, we looked at them on the board. It looked like Kenny was down and the ball popped loose. Looked like his knees were on the ground when the ball came out. And with Richard we really couldn't tell. It looked like it could have been caused when he hit the ground. But he may have rolled over a player. It just was so hard to tell from the video board.

But I think the bottom line for us is if the kids if they don't put that ball on the ground, we don't put the officials in a bad position. You know, there may have been some discussion about whether they were fumbles or not, but the bottom line is we've got to take care of the football.

Q. Riley Skinner has given you a chance to win in every game this year, and he certainly did tonight. Can you comment on Riley's performance in front of this great atmosphere and this incredible crowd.

Jim Grobe: Well, I thought Riley played well tonight, made some plays like most young guys do, made some mistakes, also. But did some really good things for us tonight and really was just real, real close a couple of times to hitting home runs tonight that would have been huge. I thought he played well overall, had a chance to do a few more things tonight, but for a freshman quarterback I couldn't be happier.

Q. I know it's early, right after the defeat, but could you just talk about the season and what you were able to accomplish. I saw the team walking off the field with their helmets held high. Would you just assess the season.

Jim Grobe: Well, I told the kids in the locker room after the game to be really proud of what we've accomplished the ACC Championship is a pretty good accomplishment. I'm really disappointed we didn't play better tonight. I think all of our players are.

It's funny, you get to the Orange Bowl, and being in the Orange Bowl feels really, really good, but when you lose, it doesn't feel any different than if you lose any other time. It's still the same. So our kids are down a little bit right now.

But I really have a lot of admiration for our seniors this year. They did more than any other senior class ever in the history of Wake Forest football. They've got a lot to be proud of. I know they don't feel good going out with a loss, but I'm proud of our seniors, and I think we've got the potential to be a good football team next year. So I try to let the kids know that even though we lost the football team tonight to a really good football team in Louisville, we've done some pretty good stuff this year.

Q. Your future personally and maybe as it pertains to the open head job at the University of Alabama? Have they contacted you and do you have any interest there in your personal future?

Jim Grobe: The only thing that I can tell you is I'm happy as I can be at Wake Forest, and I think the best thing about Wake Forest right now is we'll be really, really good again next year, and I think we've kind of paid a lot of dues to lay a foundation, and right now all my focus is on Wake Forest and I couldn't be happier.

Q. The impact of Rich Belton's fumble when he's going in, 10 10 game?

Jim Grobe: I think at the time it was huge, and Louisville I think hit the big throw on the first play and then they got down and fumbled the football, and then we took it right back down again. So initially it was bad, but then we turned right around and ended up taking the lead at 13 10. Nobody felt worse on our football team than Richard Belton. It's one of those things where the team didn't blink. I think Richard felt really bad but the team just went back to work.

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WFU's Jim Grobe Orange Bowl post-game press conference quotes
Wake Forest's head football coach Jim Grobe.
photo by Gene Galin
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