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October 27, 2011

Twenty questions with Tanner Price

Winston-Salem, N.C. - Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price has been an integral part to the Demon Deacons 5-2 (4-1 ACC) start.

The sophomore from Austin, Texas has emerged as one of the ACC's top tier quarterbacks, placing second in the conference in passing yards per game (260.1), third in passing yards (1,821), fourth in touchdowns (14) and fifth in pass efficiency (149.2).

1) You guys have a lot of big games on the schedule for the fans, but do you sense this week is more special than others? "This is definitely an important week. I mean all of the games are really important, but this one is important just because we have one more win to make it to be a bowl eligible team, and it's also a conference game which makes it big. It's also kind of the state championship game. There's a lot on this game, but we're going to play within ourselves and just take it as any other game."

2) On how not playing North Carolina every year makes this game more special: "It's definitely a rivalry game, and this state is really kind of split up between, Wake, Duke, N.C. State and North Carolina, so anytime you play the in-state schools there's a little rivalry within it."

3) Who brought up the words "state championship game?" Has that been discussed in practice, and in meetings? "Yeah, we've talked about it. The coaches brought it up, and it's something that we haven't won often in school history. I think the last time we won it was in '07, so it would be great and exciting to be able to win that state championship. North Carolina is a great team, and we're going to have to play really good football."

4) What happened in the second half last week? "Offensively we just kind of stalled. I don't think I played very well in the second half. I had a lot of missed passes that I can easily make, and I think it hurt us at times. It's kind of something we've done all year. We've stalled, and it's something we've been working on in practice, and just keeping that intensity every day in practice to try and counter that."

5) Tanner we finally saw a little bit of that read option Saturday. Is that just the offense opening up more, or did you all see something in Duke's defense? "It was a little bit of both. It was something in Duke's defense that we saw that we could potentially capitalize off of, and it's something we've had in our offense, but we haven't really shown."

6) Their [Tar Heels] front four tends to get pretty good pressure on the quarterback. How important is it for you to make your quick reads? "Yeah, I think that'll be important this week this week is just getting rid of the ball quickly, and knowing where I need to go with the football."

7) Was that your dream (to play for Texas)? I mean you grew up in Austin. Did you dream of playing for the Horns? "I didn't necessarily dream of playing for the Horns. I just dreamed of playing Division I Football, and so wherever I had the opportunity to do that I was going to take it. It would have been really fun to have played at UT, because it's so close to home, and a lot of my friends go there, so it would have been fun, but I'm so happy at Wake. I couldn't be at a better spot."

8) Was your father, because he played football at a small school in Oklahoma was he a big UT fan? "No, they grew up in Oklahoma, and so my mom actually went to Oklahoma State, so she's a Cowboy fan, and then my dad doesn't really have ties to either one of them, but my mom is a huge Oklahoma State fan. I mean she's die-hard."

9) How much analysis does he [your dad] give you still, because I know he was influential? "Yeah, he's always coaching me still. He's really good about looking at my fundamentals and seeing where during games where I maybe broke down a little bit and struggled. After the game he'll always coach me and point to where this is what was happening, this is why you weren't throwing good passes."

10) Is your relationship as such to where that's welcome, and you're okay with that? "Yeah, I mean he's never been the type of dad that was just pushing football. It was always you play, because you want to play; not because I'm making you play. We've always had a great relationship."

11) What else is going on with you as a student here? What's changed in terms of Tanner Price [the] student? "It's stayed pretty much the same. It's tough to go out during the season, and have much of a social life just because it's so busy. It's so demanding on our bodies that I have a tough time going out, but during the second semester it's much different. You get a chance to socialize a little bit, and hang out with people."

12) When you were coming back from Duke the other day did you ever have a quiet moment where you were thinking of the play with Chris Givens, or were you thinking of all those other things in the second half? "For me I was kind of disappointed, and so I was kind of thinking about some of the things I did wrong, and where I need to work on, but I'm always happy to win. It's always great to get a win like that. There are definitely things after the game where I'm a little disappointed mainly with myself, but extremely happy for the team, and the fact we were able to pull off the win."

13) What does it mean for you to be a part of Coach Jim Grobe's 100th win? "It's exciting. Coach Grobe is really deserving of the 100th win. He's just a great coach. It's really exciting to be a part of that, to be a player under him."

14) Tanner, Carolina is very multiple in their schemes defensively. Out of all the teams you've faced this season who are they most similar to? "That's kind of tough to say. Each team has their own identity. I don't who I'd compare them to. They run a lot of quarters and cover one and cover zero, so they mix it up a little bit. It's tough to really compare to one team."

15) You're really demanding of yourself, which all really good players are, but have you ever walked off the field, going off the field saying I was good today, I was really good? "There's definitely times where I'm really pleased in my performance, and feel like I played a great game."

16) When was the last one? "I felt really good about my play against Florida State, and then some other games. For the most part I felt good about it, but there's always room for improvement in that area where you feel like you can play a little bit better."

17) Fundamentally, not talking about learning the game, but just fundamentally your biggest improvement this year has been just setting your feet more, because you've talked about that. Has that been you think the biggest improvement? "I think that has, and I think that's really improved my accuracy, just being able to get your feet set, and hitting your target."

18) Part of that's probably because you're more comfortable. You know what you're supposed to do, and you can get into that position quickly. "Yeah, exactly. When you know where to go with the ball, and you know your progressions, like a lot of times last year I didn't always know my full progressions, so as I would look at one of my receivers and see that he was covered I would kind of I guess you could say freak out a little bit. As a result my feet would get all wacked up, happy feet."

19) Tanner, I know it's one game at a time, but they announced that Notre Dame would be a night game here. Does Notre Dame have any special connection for you? Did you grow up watching them at all? "No, just besides the tradition of Notre Dame I don't really have a connection. I saw "Rudy." That's about it."

20) Cowboys or Texans? "I got to go with the Texans. I'm more of a Texans fan. I haven't become a [Tony] Romo fan yet."


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