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Hornytown, N.C.

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2023 6:15 pm

Hornytown, N.C.

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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December 15, 2023 6:15 pm

On a Friday Drive, Josh tells the one guarantee he has for Panthers-Falcons, previews the incredible Saturday sport slate, tells why UNC-Kentucky should be the best game of the weekend, App State head football coach, Shawn Clark, joins the show to preview the Cure Bowl and tell why bowl games still matter, and voice of ECU Basketball and USA Baseball, Daron Vaught, joins the show to discuss listening to music while working and school spirit days, in Unusual Questions.


This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast.

We're internet sensations, guys! Tune into The Drive weekday afternoons, 3 to 7 on WSJS. We've made it to a football Friday drive, or basketball Friday alliteration, notwithstanding there. WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad.

In a half hour, App State Coach Sean Clark will be joining the show from Orlando. The Mountaineers will meet Miami of Ohio in the Cure Bowl tomorrow. Weather is expected to be a factor in that bowl game, as it's supposed to be a factor in Sunday's game. At Bank of America Stadium, there is one thing that is guaranteed when the Carolina Panthers meet the Atlanta Falcons this weekend.

Ugly football. That is a 100% guarantee, which is partly why the get-in price for this game is somewhere around $5. Here's what we know. I want to make sure I get it straight from the weather app. Temperatures likely are going to be in the 40s during this game. There's over a 50% chance of rain all day, certainly during the 1 o'clock window for Panthers Falcons.

Nobody's going to be there. Winds are expected to be at speeds between 8 to 15 miles per hour. And sometimes can go even quicker than that, depending on what time of day you look at. Chris Tabor, Panthers interim coach, was talking about the weather and this is what he had to say.

The weather is coming in. That's what they're saying. I'm going to kind of rely back on my years in the AFC North and NFC North. And hopefully that comes into play there. We're looking forward to it. We're going to embrace it with regards to the passing game and all those things.

I think those are things that you just have to evaluate when you get out there. I mean, I don't want to misquote here, but sometimes the weather can be projected for one thing and not be the other or vice versa. So we'll play it as we see it. Meteorologists can be wrong?

No. This is weather. Assuming there is a lot of wind and a lot of rain and it's cold. This is weather that suits running the football. And even though Carolina has been better at that the last couple of weeks with Tabor as the coach, this is weather that better suits the number six rush offense in the NFL, which belongs to the Atlanta Falcons.

Al Gier, Bijan Robinson, heck even Desmond Ritter to a degree. And as good as the Panthers defense has been this year, not very good against the run. They certainly weren't that great against Alvin Kamara last week.

So that's a problem as well. The Panthers offense, they haven't hit 20 points in a game in over two months. Seven straight games. Carolina has not hit 20 points, five of those seven. They were held to fewer than 14, fewer than two touchdowns. It's hard to imagine Sunday is going to be any different than that.

Bryce Young throwing the ball in the rain, probably not a good recipe for him. But this is the big difference in the game. At this point in the year, it kind of is similar to bowl games. When you're trying to forecast what happens in bowl games and what happens in December in the NFL, ask yourself, who's the game matter more to?

Who has more at stake? And obviously, the Carolina Panthers do not have as much at stake as Atlanta does. Carolina has been completely demoralized.

Don't know what they had to play for. Atlanta is tied for first place in the NFC South. So Atlanta is a better football team than Carolina. Already beaten the Panthers by two touchdowns earlier this year.

Granted, that was the opener. Carolina, a lot of new parts, but throughout the year, it's bare true. Atlanta, better than Carolina is. And I think the weather suits them and the motivation factor favors them, too.

Give me Atlanta by double digits, 23 to 13. Send me that cash out, fam. On X at WSJS radio, you can chime in. W.D., would you prefer if people were to write in contributions to the show, would you prefer that happens on X at WSJS radio or on our YouTube feed where people can write on our feed during the show?

I mean, they can do it either place. I mean, we tend to check our comments, though, more on the YouTube channel. Do that, yes, on YouTube. And make sure you subscribe there. We are streaming video on X, on YouTube, and on Twitch as well.

Will Dalton is the executive producer of this show. W.D., if someone were to ask you what the best days on the sports calendar in a given year are, what do you generally say? I would say Christmas Day. NBA games from the start of the day till the end. And now NFL. NFL. I hear people say Thursday and Friday, round one of the NCAA tournament. And the Super Bowl. Super Bowl divisional weekend in the NFL where you have the best teams playing in meaningful games, maybe opening day in baseball, opening day for college football. Nobody ever says the Saturday before Christmas weekend. But over the last few years, that's become a data circle, and tomorrow is no exception to that. Tomorrow is the best day of the non-conference schedule in college basketball.

Hands down. This weekend, we'll say as a whole, it starts tonight in Seattle, number 10, Gonzaga facing number five, UConn, a top 10 matchup. That's going to be awesome. Tomorrow, North Carolina faces Kentucky, a game we'll get to in just a bit. NC State at 10 o'clock in San Antonio faces the Tennessee Volunteers. You have a top three matchup in Indianapolis between Purdue and Arizona to circle.

And then you have games on campus, W.D. Kansas is playing in Assembly Hall at Indiana. You have Clemson playing at Memphis. A&M playing at Houston, albeit I think they're playing that in the Rockets Arena. Baylor facing Michigan State in Detroit. LSU facing Texas. Awesome games in college hoops across the board. The best day on the college hoops non-conference slate.

Then you get to football. Full season begins tomorrow. That includes App State, Miami of Ohio. Sean Clark joining us later this hour. There's a game that starts at 11 a.m. tomorrow. There's a game that kicks off at 9 p.m. tomorrow. And games in between that, including the Cure Bowl.

So football all day in college, if that is your cup of tea. And then, just for good measure, there's an NFL tripleheader. And the games matter.

All of them matter, W.D. Minnesota at Cincinnati. Pittsburgh at Indianapolis. The Broncos at the Lions. You might po-poo the Minnesota-Cincinnati game saying, Jake Browning versus Nick Mullins?

Why do I care about that? One of those two teams is going to have eight wins tomorrow. They're both seven-win football teams. You might say the same thing about Steelers-Colts. Mitch Trubisky against Gardner Minshew?

Same deal. Both are seven and six. One of those teams is going to have eight wins and be in the playoff picture in a really good spot. We're talking about four weeks left to go in the season. And meaningful games. And Denver sits at seven wins too.

Russell Wilson going to Detroit to face the Lions. These are all really good games. They are meaningful games across the board. Tomorrow, you also get NBA, NHL.

That probably sits on the wayside, if we're being honest about it. I don't know how many people are saying, Hornets! Fire it up! That's what I'm watching, even though you've got the Hornets. I'll say it! Fire it up! You're going to watch the Hornets over the NFL, bowl games, and three matchups between ranked teams this weekend.

I'll have it on a side screen there. But just remember that. When people ask you the question, Hey, what's your favorite day on the sports calendar?

I don't know how many days can be. College football bowl games, NFL regular season games, of consequence. The best non-conference day for college basketball.

Oh yeah, and you got NBA and NHL. I don't know how many days can beat that. It's an underrated day, and for the last few years now, it's been that.

The Saturday, the weekend before Christmas. Right now, we have tickets to go see Hank Williams Jr. in Raleigh. The first two to call in get tickets to go see Hank.

Still in the league. Hank Williams Jr. about it. Go see Hank in the capital city. That voice you heard belongs to Darren Vaught, fresh off calling ECU Florida last night. Tight loss for the Pirates in the Sunshine State. Darren does a myriad of different things.

We'll get to some of those things a little bit later on. But I was particularly fascinated in watching my alma mater last night, because given this two week window that exists for players who did not receive their waiver, multi-time transfers like Greensboro's Cam Hays, they can play with impunity. They can play without being punished. If on the 27th, the ruling from a court favors the NCAA, and once again, Cam Hays is having to have that waiver in order to play for the remainder of the season. I just don't know how that affects eligibility. Let's say hypothetically, the NCAA does decide, hey, you have to go back to sitting again. Those stats he put up last night, the stats he would assumedly put up over the next week or so, what does that mean for eligibility?

Did he just lose a year? What's your understanding of it with Cam? Yeah, potentially there is the chance now that he and others for whom at this 14 day grace period, for lack of a better way to put it, applies. There's a chance that on December 27th, the next hearing, if it is reversed in favor of the NCAA, there's a chance that they could lose eligibility for the entire season.

So there's risk associated with it. I mean, dude, it was a fascinating 24 hours. Cam was on the trip. I know a lot of ECU fans were wondering whether he was in Florida or not, because we left before that decision came down. So he was on the trip. I mean, he's been ready to go. In some practices, he's been going with the first team, like with starters. Because a ruling could come any day, they've been preparing as if he could play any day. So it wasn't a question of whether or not he was ready. But then it becomes this calculus where John Gilbert, ECU's athletic director, Michael Schwartz, their head coach, and others in the athletic department are seeking legal counsel, as they have throughout this entire process, when or since Cam filed for his waiver back on August 14th. So we're four-plus months in now, as you and I speak.

And there's a lot of moving parts, right? And they're leaning on their legal advice and expertise that they're getting from others, but also you want to do right by Cam. And the way Coach Schwartz put it to us in the postgame show on the radio last night was, we just gathered all the information we could in terms of the risk. We presented Cam with all the information. And we said, Cam, do you want to play? And it was 100% Cam's decision. He wanted to play. And again, they insisted.

They were like, if you feel any uneas- I actually eavesdropped on a conversation that I was not really intended to be on or in, because I walked around a corner in our team hotel, and Schwartz was talking to Cam there. And Mike just sort of insisted, no, you're good. You're fine.

Don't worry about it. And so I was there. There was food there.

So I was grabbing a water and stuff. And I just overheard this conversation where Mike was- time and time again, he was like, Cam, if you feel any uneasiness about this at all, we're comfortable not playing you tonight and waiting until the 27th. But Cam wanted to go. Cam went. He was the first player off the bench. He played like 20 minutes, 25 minutes. He was in the game down the stretch in a one-possession game at a air quotes neutral site game against a really, really good Florida team that entered the night 30th in the country in the Kim-Pom rankings. And ECU had a chance to win. I mean, it's a huge gain for them.

If indeed he's allowed to stay in the lineup, it gives them a lot more depth. Darren Vaught called a game in Florida last night. Tonight he's got women's basketball in Chapel Hill, Western Carolina facing 25th ranked North Carolina. And then you got the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, which is in Spartanburg. That's going to be- you can actually watch that in the Triad on Channel 48. I think it is right. I think you have that somewhere.

My 48, I think is the name. That's a one o'clock start. Tomorrow or a one o'clock game broadcast starts at noon. That's three games in three states, Darren.

In three days. Yes, it is. Sheesh. It helps to travel with a team. Like we chartered back right after the game last night.

So that helps. I got to sleep in my own bed. I won't tonight. I'm going to drive to Spartanburg after our game in Chapel Hill.

And I'll wake up in Spartanburg tomorrow to do that game. It's North Carolina Kirk Herbstreet. Kirk Herbstreet that's with us here.

Darren Vaught also in the ACES and baseball, et cetera, podcast. Now let's get to unusual questions. Last week, guys, everybody made it out that I got mad at Josh and I left the press conference.

That's not right. I thought it was an unusual question and it's okay. It's time for unusual questions with Josh Gray. While I was on vacation for a few days in Florida last week. Florida vacation. Thought up. We. Florida. You and I both.

How about that? I watched, and Sean Clark, too, who was with us earlier. Darren Orlando passing like, you know, ships in the night. I watched the new Michael Fassbender David Fincher movie, The Killer, on Netflix, which is really good. I don't want to spoil any of it for you, because I know you haven't seen this movie yet. It's on the list, though.

So it will happen. Right. But obviously, this movie is about a killer, a paid killer, an assassin. And there is only one artist that's featured throughout the movie that I won't spoil here, but he's listening to it as he's in the act while he's working.

Okay. So it's a American Psycho Huey Lewis in the News situation with Patrick Bateman. Minus Whitney Houston.

Minus Do You Like Phil Collins? It's just one man slash artist. Got it. Okay.

Right. Which has me wondering, what do you listen to while you're working? That's a fun spin on that plot. What do you listen to while you're working? I need to spin it. So much of what I do involves words.

Like if I'm working on spot charts for games. So you can't listen to... Yeah, it's tough for me to have words, especially words that I know, because I'm just going to like sing along while I'm trying to type other words that are not included. What about podcasts? That's also tough for me to do. So I knock out... I drive so much. Music and podcasts are...

I'm good. I can listen to as much of anything I want music or podcast-wise, because I can use road time for that. So no, typically I'm not listening to either of those while I'm working. Silence. Sometimes. Yeah.

Sometimes there's just like background noise. I'll throw like a nonsensical television show. Okay.

So like, you know, Bob's Burgers or whatever. W.D., what are you listening to while you're working? Stand-up comedy. Okay.

Give me an example. Like all day today while I was working, I was listening to Matt Rife. Yeah, all day. Still in on him, huh? Still in. Still in on him after the past couple of weeks, huh? There's something with Matt Rife? I didn't watch the special, Darren, so... He got cancer. First joke in his special.

He got cancer. Yeah. I had no idea. I haven't watched the special yet. The misogynists.

Some real like, get into the kitchen and make me a sandwich woman stuff. Oh, I didn't hear you. Well, so the push with him is like, he's a handsome dude. He got famous via TikTok. So like young women is the majority of his fan base. And so I think he got some advice, some bad advice that he needed to push against that.

So he made this like overly macho joke to begin his special. So we've canceled Matt Rife. Not great. I'm listening to a movie podcast. That's what I listen to. I don't listen to sports during the day because I don't want it to influence the opinions I have on my own show. I listen to sports podcasts when I'm driving around the games after I'm off the air. But I listen to movie podcasts while I do stuff and I watch movies late at night while I'm doing stuff. Like last night, I watched Cop Land. That was fun.

Nice. But the list is we were talking before we came on. Like the list for me is so long. I've got to watch like so much.

Well, move the killer up at the top of the list for by virtue of this conversation. What's your next what's your the next unusual question? So one of my favorite or some of my favorite memories of school growing up were field trips, but also spirit days, school spirit days.

Yeah. And my favorite spirit day was typically like beach day. When you like dressed like you're going to the beach, that type of deal, everything around the school's beach theme. So what was you guys's favorite spirit day that you really like to partake in? Dynamic Duo Day was fun where you find a friend and I was Ron Weasley once and a friend of mine was Harry Potter.

And we also did another year it was Dynamic Duo and I was Ron Burgundy and three of my other friends did the entire Channel 4 news team. That was good. That's good. I don't. Dynamic Duo Day would have been too easy for me. I'm a twin. It's cool. Too easy.

Low hanging fruit. I'm trying to remember there was a theme one homecoming week, which is typically when we did the spirit days in high school, there was a theme because the opposing team's mascot was some sort of, of maybe the bulls or something. And we did this thing where we had big cart. We did.

I did not. I was not involved in this, but there was a spirit group that decorated the halls and they had like giant cardboard meat slabs hanging around one particular hallway. And so like we would jokingly walk through and punch the cardboard meat slabs like we were Rocky. And I just, this is not an answer to a spirit day question, but as part of this for the pep rally that week, we ripped all of those off the wall and we were like carrying them over our heads during the pep rally.

Like we were a bunch of barbarians or something. It was like my favorite. We always did our like class elections during spirit week as well at our school. And my favorite thing that ever happened with that was my buddy who was also part of the channel for news team was running for student body president. And it was between him and a girl that went way over the top, like, and like putting up flyers all over the place and vote for me, vote for me, vote for me, all this stuff. And she packed an entire hall with like things that said, vote for me, vote for me, vote for me. And on the other side, which was reserved for his ads that he put up things very once Ron Swanson ask, he puts up one flyer, one like legal sheet of paper that says his name loves the environment. He got my vote now. Did he, did he like give a speech?

As his channel for news team. No, I don't think we had speeches. What's your unusual question.

All right. So I spent yesterday as the, the pirates did playing basketball in Lakeland, Florida. I told a friend that I was visiting Lakeland, Florida.

This friend is not from Florida. And they said Lakeland, Florida. Sounds like a fake place.

Huh? What is the most fake sounding town or city you've ever visited? Puff town.

You can't make up. You can't make up the way that's spelled, right? Like shout out to Hayes per Mar, just because I remember I referenced pop town in a read one time and he's like, that's not a real place. Pop town. What pop down?

You're being serious. Pop down. I think welcome North Carolina. Welcome.

Welcome sounds kind of fake. Kernersville. Hornetown. Where's that?

It's it's like in the high point area. Hornetown. Hornetown? Yeah.

So serious. Hornetown. Or maybe I'm thinking about Hornetown road. I was about to say, I don't know. I feel like I'd heard more. I would have heard.

Yeah, we would. We would all know about Hornetown, North Carolina. Within 30 minutes of a Hornetown, North Carolina.

I would like to say, I know what it was. Yeah. I'm probably thinking about Hornetown road.

There it is. There's a, there was a, I did see when I pulled up the maps app. In Lakeland nearby. There was a place that was labeled on maps called town and country like the van.

It was town and country, Florida. That's pretty unusual to me. But sounds, sounds fake. And that's. And that's been unusual questions. Watch Darren bought tonight on. UNC basketball, women's basketball. Basically Western Carolina ACC network extra.

And watch on my TV. 48. Tomorrow. As.

It's the shrine bowl. One o'clock busy guy, Darren. Appreciate you spending the time. We'll talk next week, buddy.

Sounds good. See you guys. With the show. Back to the drive with Josh Graham.

Yes, sir. Got my Carolina hurricanes gear on. Let's put a pin in that for a second though. We'll get to the canes momentarily app state coach Sean Clark will be here in 15 minutes. But before we shift gears to college football, let's hit on college hoops a little bit deeper. North Carolina, Kentucky might not be a matchup between top 10 teams like Yukon and Gonzaga tonight in Seattle.

And they're certainly not ranked in the top five like Purdue and Arizona are both. Those teams are going to meet in Indianapolis tomorrow. But in terms of sheer entertainment value, UNC UK should be the game of the weekend. And there are plenty of reasons why you're talking about matchup between two ranked teams. The other two are the only other ones that check that box among the minigames that we have Clemson and Memphis. NC State facing Tennessee tomorrow night.

A&M at Houston. Fantastic games across the board, but both are ranked. Both are blue bloods.

Can't really say that about those other two games. And you have a matchup between two final four or national championship winning coaches. John Calipari going up against Hubert Davis. The only thing that would make this game even better is if it were played on campus. Hubert was asked about that yesterday and said he would love for this to be played on campus. Same guy.

And I believe him. That is scheduled a home and home this past offseason with Kansas. That's going to start either next year or the year after that. The style of play is really what's going to stand out in this game, though. Arizona in Purdue, as highly ranked as they are. Don't play the most fun brand of basketball, particularly Purdue.

North Carolina and Kentucky is going to be electric. Take the over. Both these teams.

Send me that cash out, fam. They're almost the same team. Top ten or top twenty five nationally in scoring offense. They are in the two hundreds defensively. Almost the same basketball team.

Almost the same story. As Hubert talked about that, they know that Kentucky has speed and they can run. But Hubert also knows that North Carolina has that in their bag, too. Tennessee's pretty good in transition. Arkansas is pretty good in transition. So we're pretty good also. So we get to practice against each other every day. And so it's something that I think we do really well.

And we're just going to have to do it in that particular area better than them. This is the game that you should think of. What North Carolina, Kentucky might be like tomorrow afternoon in Atlanta. In twenty seventeen, these two teams met. And a hundred two hundred and three points were scored in the game. One hundred and three to one hundred.

And with 20 seconds left to go, some guy named Malik Monk hit a three to win the game for the Kentucky Wildcats. I feel pretty comfortable saying right now that 90 points will be required to win this game. You might even get to one hundred.

Ninety might not be enough. You might be talking about in regulation, that type of number put forth. I don't even know if they have odds put up W.D. for this game yet, but if they do, let me know.

And if they have a total attached to it, if it's anything less than one hundred and seventy five, I feel like it's stealing money. The Tar Heels, I think, should win the game. Carolina, their loss, one of their two losses were to UConn at MSG.

That's the last time we saw them. Kentucky lost it home to UNCW. The total for this thing is one hundred and sixty five point five. You know what to do on that one, chief. Send me that cash out, fam.

It's like stealing money. Cormac Ryan once upon a time beat Kentucky when he was with Notre Dame. He's been in a bit of a slump since that's being talked about more and more. Maybe you get a good Cormac Ryan game. I do think North Carolina has a little bit more talent than Kentucky does. But on paper, Kentucky has been better than North Carolina has. This is just a compelling basketball game and I think it's going to end up being the game of the weekend. I think the Tar Heels win it. Kentucky, North Carolina must watch TV.

Three three six seven seven seven one six hundred if you want it. Let's go to Ed and Winston Salem before we go to Orlando and check in on Sean Clark and Hap State. Ed, what do you have on your Tar Heels?

You covered a lot of what I was going to say, Josh. Their offense and defense is pretty well the same. Kentucky's a little better shooting from the, you know, field goals and three point. North Carolina's maybe two or three more percentage points higher on the field goal. My big concern is Kentucky's big guards.

Reece, you see Sartre six six, Wagner six four, and the two guys that come off the bench, Dillingham and Sheppard, are both six three. And that's something what the fans have made a look for and hopefully Carolina will do a much better job on these big guards, you know, letting them switch and getting wide open for, you know, jump shots. But I saw an early line and I don't know how much faith he's put in this, but Carolina's favorite and we're from one point to two point. Hold on a second. Hold on a second. W.D., what did you see as the point spread for the game?

Minus one. OK. So, yeah, that's that's seems to be popular sentiment. And like you said, there is going to be a ton of excellent games on tomorrow.

But like you say, I think this could be the best one of all. And thank you for taking the call. Have a good week.

And Merry Christmas to you, Ed. It's a fantastic matchup. You're right about, you know, Dillingham, who was once upon a time at NC State commit.

You're you're right about Reeves, who I remember watching up close in Greensboro for the NCAA tournament. Bradshaw's a guy who I mean, when Kentucky's right and he's playing well, they're a tough team to beat. This is ultimately a game when you're talking about two similar teams and two big programs in a game that they're both going to be excited to play. You ask yourself the question, who's good is better? And I think North Carolina's good is just a little bit better than Kentucky's.

But it should be a great basketball game. Now, let's get to those Carolina hurricanes. The canes are better. Canes are back.

Back in more ways than one. They're back home literally after a six game road trip. Four out west. A game in Ottawa. Then last night in Detroit.

Kind of harsh on the NHL's part. Hey, you just got done with the six game road trip. You're going to return home. When? The day after you play your last road game of that stretch, because they are in action tonight.

PNC Arena. They're back in the literal sense. They're also back in the hockey sense. They won the last two games of the road trip in convincing fashion against Ottawa.

Last night. Didn't look like they had goaltending problems against the Red Wings. Red Wings are better than they've been in past years. And W.D.

The odor Co checkoff. Stopped 26 of 27 shots. Carolina able to hold on to a close win. And tonight it's the Nashville Predators who are in town. We'll see who's in net.

I haven't checked who's in net, but that's what we got in store later on tonight. Make sure if you haven't already yet that you're subscribed to our podcast. Search the drive with Josh Graham, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Anchor. We get it. It's tough sometimes to listen to a three hour show in its entirety. If you're just in for a 10 minute car ride and you're not going to be able to catch Sean Clark in just a few minutes. We get it.

Understand it. You can find it on our YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe there. That's where we're streaming video in addition to Twitch and on X.

All of it free. Subscribe to our pond as well. While we have a moment before we welcome Sean Clark to the show. That's the one bowl game I feel good about.

I'm not worried about the fact that the weather isn't great. Send me that cash out fam. In Orlando.

App State lay the points. And I think Vegas is starting to get wind of this where this line opened up three and a half, four. And now it's at six and a half. That might be due to us not knowing who Miami of Ohio is going to play at quarterback tomorrow. Their starters not going to play. What are they going to do?

Is it going to be some Wildcat with the rain and stuff? I just know that. In college football, there are tiers in terms of talent level. The SEC has a different level of talent than, say, the Pac-12 did.

All due respect. The Pac-12 and the ACC has a different level of talent than the Sunbelt does. Than the American does with Charlotte and East Carolina. Those conferences have different talent level than the Mac. And then if you look at the top tier of the Mac versus the top tier of FCS, there isn't all that much difference. Aside from the top tier, the Mac is a different talent level than most FCS schools.

That's the way that I see the rundown of things. So as long as App State's motivated to play, and I have a feeling they are. We'll see if you get that sense too when Sean Clark joins us. I think the Mountaineers are going to be fine.

And I don't have a problem laying that number either. One of the four picks we're handing out this weekend. Because other than the loss to Troy and winning tight at JMU, App's been blowing people out. Double-digit win against Southern Miss. 22-point win against Marshall. 28-point win at Georgia State.

28-point win against Georgia Southern in Boone. These games aren't close that App State is playing in. So I think there is a possibility on ABC, first time App State has played on that type of stage, that they win this game and win this game convincingly. But on that note, as a prelude, from Orlando, 24 hours from playing in the Cure Bowl, App State Coach Sean Clark joins us next on The Drive. You're a head coach in major college football. There is usually tunnel vision that comes along with it during the season, meaning that maybe some pop culture item slips through the cracks.

And as we welcome in App State Head Coach Sean Clark, whose Mountaineers will be playing in the Cure Bowl on ABC tomorrow afternoon, I want to put that to the test. Sean, are you or are you not aware of an announcement that was made yesterday of a new Beverly Hills Cop movie starring Eddie Murphy coming out next year? I am not aware of any movie coming out right now, to be honest with you. It's been a crazy week, a crazy last two weeks. So I haven't had time to look on social media much with recruiting and bowl practice and trying to spend an afternoon with my own kids at Universal. So I'm ready to play this game and get back to Boone and take a nap. Yes, next summer when it comes out, you'll be a lot more primed to watch Beverly Hills Cop.

Axle AF is what the title of this movie is, Axle F on Netflix next year. But kind of on that note, Sean, it's been a couple of weeks since the Troy game. So with the quick turnaround of having to play this Saturday, the first day of bowl games and the portal opening up since that Troy game and signing day being next week, how much has the challenge with this particular bowl prep been time management?

It's a big challenge. So you mentioned we played the bowl game and we had to play the championship game, then went out recruiting for three days, and you're trying to see who's going to go on the portal from your own team. So you're really recruiting your own team for the first three or four days.

And then we have a senior banquet. We had official visits in that weekend, and now we left on Tuesday. So we finally got down here and it got back a little bit normalcy to come back and just practice and really get your team back together.

So been very busy. We're excited this game played tomorrow and this torrential downpour we're supposed to get. But we're going to play the game and then we'll get back to Boone and have signing day on Wednesday, then try to catch your breath, take a little break, and rejuvenate a little bit. It was my favorite question you were asked at the press conference.

How are you going to deal with weather? Have you ever been to Boone, North Carolina? I know. That was one of the questions they asked. I said, have you ever been to Boone?

I said it can be sunshine in the 40s, start the rain, sleep, and snow all within three hours. So we're prepared for it. We don't go to the indoor that much back in Boone for these kind of situations.

I know our players are not afraid of the weather, and I think that gives us an advantage tomorrow. App State Coach Sean Clark's with us here. So when during this two-week stretch did you start to actually look at Miami of Ohio? I had a chance to start watching them last Friday morning.

I got an obvious early Friday morning and watched a little bit before the recruits came on campus. And then it was different for us now. We're down here.

We are enjoying ourselves in Orlando. But for us, we practiced in the morning, the morning session of practice. So we were up at six meetings in the morning in practice, and I would come back in the afternoon and really start the game plan from my standpoint. Coach Ponce and Coach Sloan did a great job of getting the base stuff done, and we wrapped our game plan up last night.

So it's all in, but it was quick. Everyone talks about a bowl game. It's great, but we didn't really have much time to practice, to really get a bunch of young guys ready to play. So it was a normal bowl week for us, and really a normal game week.

And it's here. So it's a quick turnaround, but I know our guys are excited to play. A win would be the program's first bowl win in three years.

A loss would close the season with consecutive losses on a national stage, and each of them first-time App States ever playing on ABC tomorrow afternoon. Despite that, we hear people say, you know, oh, how little these games matter. How far are you willing to go in stating the importance of this game for your group? Well, these games do matter. And again, we're playing the Cure Bowl, and this game is different. Every dollar that's made goes to research of cancer, and this game is bigger than both programs. But this is a reward for the players that this has been 20 straight weeks since we reported a camp, and we haven't had a weekend off. So this is a way to really celebrate the season. But again, we keep the main thing the main thing, and that's to win a football game.

And eight and nine and five sounds a lot better than eight and six. So we know the importance of it. And again, like you mentioned earlier, we're on national stage, ABC for the first time ever in the history of our program. And we play a lot of big-time TV games, so this is huge for us.

Again, everyone, the brand of the A is nationally known, so we want to make sure we put a good product on the field. Take me behind the scenes on conversations coaches have when it comes to the calendar, because I ask you about prep and things of that nature because I think that's something fans don't really appreciate behind the scenes. It's just, hey, when's the game, all that, and they don't appreciate the amount of work that goes into things.

I don't think there's another sport, Sean, where the offseason is playing out during the postseason, and that's what you see with college football, and you have the signing day next week. What is discussed among coaches in terms of common sense fixes to the amount of madness that we're seeing? Well, we try to schedule out at least eight to ten months. I'm very fortunate to have Nolan Jones as my director of football operations who helps me with that and how we do things. We try to work around our own kids, so throughout practice, if we know that one of our coaches has an event with their family, we try to schedule around that.

But it's never perfect. Things change, so again, you always try to schedule out. You go back to this past week, we had three or four schedules because we weren't sure who we were playing and what day we were playing in the bowl game. So we had the Myrtle Beach Bowl schedule. We had the Cure Bowl schedule. We had the Armed Forces schedule. We had the Independence Bowl schedule.

So he spent a lot of time and effort to have that planned out. But to get back to your original question, we try to get eight to ten months out as far as our schedule because everything changes, but at least you have some kind of base of what you can go off of. Are there any changes you'd like to see to the college football calendar? There's a lot of changes, but I don't make enough money to have my opinion. You know, the transfer portal has really changed the landscape of college football.

The new at NIL deals, collectives, those things change everything. And you don't know who your team is going to be in January, and then you go through spring practice. You think of it figured out, but there's another window that opens up. So those are big challenges. I spend at least an hour a day on just roster management and recruit my own players because you never know when someone can walk in the door and say, I want to go somewhere else. So you do the best you can. If this was last year, I would have been upset with a lot of issues with the transfer portal, but that's the world we live in right now.

So you might as well adjust to it or else you're going to be left behind. Sean Clark with us here on the way out. You don't know this, but I was at an amusement park in Orlando. I was at Hollywood Studios last weekend, and I left like ships in the night as you guys were arriving earlier this week. What was the highlight of the trip at Universal Studios? Was there a ride? Was there a restaurant? Yeah, there was two. The restaurant was The Palm. That was at the Hard Rock Hotel there.

That was excellent. And then for me personally, I don't do roller coasters. I'm not good at going upside down, but I did ride the Harry Potter ride, which I thought was going to be goofy. But when I got on it, I was holding for dear life, and that was a lot of fun to ride with my son and have a lot of fun with that. So I know our players enjoyed it. I think the coaches enjoyed it.

Kind of just get away and let your guard down and be a kid again. And that's what you can do here in Orlando. What was on the menu at The Palm? We had the bone-in ribeye and the lobster. My wife and I had a six-pound lobster, so that's a go-to right there. Wow. See, I had a big old steak at Melrose's.

That's what I got. And then we got a chicken parm dish, and then we had like a shrimp dish, too. We were dining like kings, as you should, when you're at amusement parks, such as Universal. Sean Clark, I hope you're dining like a king tomorrow night, celebrating an App State football win. Thanks for everything you've done for us throughout the season, and we look forward to catching up sometime soon. No, thank you for having me on your show. It's always good to see you guys. And, again, if I don't talk to you, man, Merry Christmas and have a great New Year. And, again, thanks again for your friendship.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-15 20:50:35 / 2023-12-15 21:08:48 / 18

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