Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Skip navigation

Coach Herman Clemson Presser Notes - September 11th, 2023

Coming out of their opening pair of home games with a 1-1 record after a disappointing 17-10 defeat to Ohio, the Florida Atlantic football team now focus their preparation on preseason ACC favorites, the Clemson Tigers. The Owls will head up to South Carolina for their first road game of the season, taking place on Saturday at 8:00 PM at the Death Valley of Memorial Stadium.

Head coach Tom Herman (pictured via Bob Markey II) met with media on Monday to go over the current state of the team and their approaches against Clemson.

Below are some of the highlights from the session.

Reflection on how the team played against Ohio

"Obviously disappointed in the loss and maybe not so much the fact that we lost but the way that we did and a couple of positives that can be taken. One, having been in this conference and at this level, that's a really good Ohio team. Let's make no mistake about it. I think that's a team that played for their conference championship last year and had pretty much everybody back. They've got a staff that's been around for 15 years so there's continuity in the system. We got a master class in how to play discipline, assignment sound, fast, physical football, and we didn't respond really well. I told the guys yesterday that when you lose a game, especially that way where you know, we just played unbelievably undisciplined and outside of the things that we coach, and this is all sides of the ball. I think it needs to be stated that although our defense certainly kept us in the game and held a very good offense to some below average numbers, the same problem persisted on defense that did on offense, they just didn't get as exposed and those problems were that in a big, tight game where we get hit in the mouth. We reverted back to some really bad habits and it's exactly the opposite of what you need to do in times of adversity, which is take a deep breath and go exactly back to your training and exactly what your coached to do."

"That was a good barometer to judge where we're at because I do believe if you defeat a team in the American Conference, they would certainly be competing for a conference championship. So there is solace in knowing that, although we played a bad game offensively and not a very good one defensively, that the score was what it was. And also understanding that when you lose, especially a non-conference game, the only failure in that is failing to learn. If we learn and grow and realize that the things we've been coaching, teaching, preaching for the last nine months is the only way to achieve the things that Ohio has achieved in the last few years. That is hopefully a huge wake up call and an opportunity to learn and grow and be better when we do hit our conference. It'd be better this week obviously, but certainly continuing to grow as we make our way towards conference play."

Status updates on Je'Quan Burton and Armani Eli-Adams

"Armani Eli-Adams is going to be out a significant period of time. He did fracture his fibula, which will require surgery at some point when the swelling goes down. So we're looking at least eight weeks, I would think there. Then Je'Quan is in concussion protocol. He is alert and kind of going through the procedures. As far as that's concerned, he did have a couple of teeth either knocked out or dislodged that we've got to get him to a dentist, but he's in concussion protocol and as I've told you guys before, that things are day-by-day thing because the clock starts on the five-day protocol and once you're symptom free, then it's kind of like the lightning delay. Once you've become symptomatic again, then the clock starts over. So today is day one of no symptoms so we'll see where he's at at the end of the week."

Preparation against Clemson

"Obviously their offense, I love Cade Klubnik. He's a kid that I had a chance to watch quite a bit in high school and really fell in love with him and his game. My son went to the same high school for four years, Cade so a really good player that is you know, you can almost chart the growth that every rep, every series, every game that the young man is getting better and better. They've got arguably the best all-around dynamic weapon in the ACC in Will Shipley, who's a do everything guy. He's very similar to Christian McCaffrey in his time at Stanford, and then the sophomore receiver [Antonio Williams], he's a heck of a player too. So offensively, they're really explosive. And I think I read somewhere four out of five returning starters on the offensive line made 600 combined snaps between those guys in their careers, which says a lot when you got an experience offensive line. Then defensively, very multiple and very athletic. When Coach Venables left, you don't sense a whole lot of deviation from his stamp and time there. So we know we're gonna have our work cut out for us."

On utilizing the run game more frequently, and updates on the running back trio

"It was very disappointing to have to feel like we needed to kind of abandon the run game a little bit because of our inability to do it with any kind of consistency and efficiency. That certainly wasn't by design. Our plan, we're going to run the football and we've got to do a better job of making our players both up front and in the backfield understand exactly where the runs are supposed to hit versus each front and blitz and the whole nine. Is it disappointing? Certainly, but I don't think there's anything to read into that other than we stunk running the football. We're not going to sit there and play a whole game doing something you're stinking at the whole night. So we weren't going to beat our head against that wall for much longer and hopefully we can get the things that ailed us in that department cleaned up."

"Kobe's rib is fine, but you can tell there was quite a bit of rust for him in his vision and patience. Zuberi and Larry had both been dealing with with some ankle issues that shouldn't keep them out of the game, but at times, they don't look like themselves as well. And I wouldn't be the first to say that."

Herman on his experience against ACC teams

"I've been faced and beaten some Power Five teams in my time in Houston. It's something different when you go into these games, and I will tell you, I think it's probably the maybe the funnest games that we have because there is no pressure. There is no conference title, a date, we're not going to fall in some kind of ranking of any kind; It's go out and have fun and let's go out and show to ourselves that regardless of what the world thinks of us, the only people's opinions that our players should read about or is the guy to the left and the right one, and their coaches. So as long as we believe if we play our best, we have an opportunity to win. We don't think that anybody has abandoned that belief because they know we played the opposite of our best on Saturday, we were seven points and one drive away from tying the game up. So I don't think that belief has waned in any way, shape, or form. So throw caution to the wind, go have fun, and don't worry about the outcome. You worry about the improvement process of getting better and usually the outcome kind of takes care of itself."

How the non-conference games help the team prepare for conference play

"We're gonna do everything we can in the immediacy in the moment to go 1-0 every week going into every day. But when you do take a step back and look at the big picture, which we do from time to time, they're a time to be in a laser, singularly focused, and every now and again, you've got to make the big picture for a team full of 18-to-22 year olds, and the big picture is yeah, if we use this as a learning opportunity, and we continue to shed some of the bad habits and use the example that was set for us by Ohio and we continue to do that for these next three weeks, regardless of the outcomes of these games, we're going to be better off heading into conference play."

The Owls will be stepping onto the Schmidt Complex practice field on Tuesday morning with offensive coordinator Charlie Frye and requested offensive players being available for interviews.

Related content