Golden: The Day After UNC

Read on to see everything Al Golden had to say about last night's game.

On Stephen's health:
There has been nothing consistent in his routine over the last month. Giving him that time off before didn't help with timing with his receivers. He's never in a live situation until he gets into a game. He got sacked one time when he was rolling out of the pocket. He generally doesn't get sacked like that. There's no question, we have to continue getting him healed. We will use all of the next three days to get him healed. I just talked to him and there's no pain or setback from last night. Hopefully we can get past this chapter and get him back to playing. I'm proud of how he's fought through it but we have to make sure we get the turnovers cleaned up.

On the O-Line performance:
We gained almost 260 yards on the ground. That's a good output. With four turnovers, lose that many possessions, that's hard to do. The tight ends blocked the best they've ever blocked. Asante, Clive, and Beau, Mo Hagens, and obviously Dallas ran hard. Randy was on his way to having a prolific night in the beginning. Then Eduardo did a great job when he came in the 4th quarter. The offensive line has continuity and confidence. We have to keep getting better down the stretch.

On the physical condition of the team:
They're in great condition and they believe in each other. I'm sure Coach Fedora believes that about his group. I've said it a million times. It's not us against them. It's us against us. That's our foundation. It's important to us that we're in good condition, mentally tough, and that we finish. I was proud of how they finished the game.

On the adjustments Coach D and his staff made:
I think we were 3-and out on four of the first five series of the game. We were 33-percent on third downs. We held them to 2.9 yards per carry. And they were 1-of-5 in the redzone. And we held them to six points in the second half. The devastating thing to Coach D'Onofrio is we spent the whole week focusing on 85. And we acted like we didn't know who he was. There's no excuse. It starts with me. Too many times we let that kid run free. He's an excellent player but we certainly made some changes and came up with some big redzone stops.

On losing the safeties:
Kacy has been sharp and has been playing very well for us. There's no question that had a repercussion. They were felt all the way through our system. Deon and Jenkins were dinged up. We were making changes on special teams, all the way down the line. I thought guys did a great job maintaining poise and getting off the field on third downs. They had a lot of plays to defend.

On James Coley's performance:
I thought James did a tremendous job with the personnel groups and play calls. On that last drive, we used five personnel groupings. We changed up our tempo. There was no panic with James. He executed it like he saw it in his mind. Under pressure, Stephen had the best drive of the game. Hopefully we'll look back and say what a great drive to win that game in a hostile environment.

On the defense not wearing down:
They got lined up every play. They were not caught off by the tempo. It's a credit to the unit and the leadership by Coach D and his staff. We are in good shape. We would have liked to have substituted more on defense. The numbers got high but we were in so many sudden change situations and that's when we go with our first unit. Our numbers got high but it speaks to the conditioning on Denzel and Shayon and those guys.

On Dallas Crawford's performance:
Everyone here has a lot of respect for Dallas. He quietly goes about his craft. He lost weight. His body looks different than when he first got here. He's quicker, smarter, and comfortable playing running back. You ask them to go block a punt, and he leads the way all week. How about the tackles he's made on kickoff coverage. It's a testament to our system. If you want more chances, master your role. He has embraced it. He's executed it. He positions himself to have the type of night he had last night. He has two and a half more years and we're excited about him. All the things you see on tape can be bolstered by how he's a great leader, he's a competitor, and just figures things out. He fills a lot of roles for us. Sometimes guys get big headed. Sometimes running down on kickoffs is beneath them. Not this guy. He blocks kicks, tackles guys inside the 15 yard line. I'm glad he's scoring touchdowns now.

On Tracy Howard:
Those guys on the back end, they have to have thick skin. You have to coach them hard because of what's at risk every play. When Tracy misses a tackle and the guy scores on a 70 yard touchdown, that's a big play. We have to consistently train good habits. If you're a defensive tackle, he can be reckless because linebackers and safeties clean it up. Corners have to be masters of technique. There are things he can recognize and improve but you see his ball skills and his ability to make plays. We have to get him doing all the little things right and then we'll have the total package.

On the blocked punt:
Just the buy in. It was Artie, Jenkins, and Fig giving great effort and perfectly executing what we teach them to do. Artie gave great effort. Ladarius was exactly where he needed to be so it was no accident that he was where he needed to be. His position and his ability to catch the ball was a function of good habits. It's good to see these guys and blocking punts.

On Gray Crow not traveling:
Him and Kevin have been trading off. Kevin had a better bye week than Gray so it continued into this week and ended up traveling.

On Eduardo Clements' runs:
They were huge. He ran them perfectly, made good decisions, and followed his track. We're real proud of him. He gave a lot of energy when we needed it. We have the confidence to put him in at anytime.

On Clive Walford:
I think he's been playing well. I'm pleased at the direction he's going. He's running routes better than he ever has. Sometimes it's us not getting him the ball. Sometimes their coverage dictates where the ball goes. He's blocking better than he ever has. He's still growing. I'm pleased with where he's going.

On Rashawn Scott's return:
I think he'll give us a big lift. He'll be fresh, strong. He's done a good job in the weightroom and staying on top of the mental aspect. We conditioned him hard today to get him ready. I'm excited about what he can give us. He had a great spring for us.

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