Coach D talks top freshmen, UNC, & more

Read on to see what defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio is saying a few days before the North Carolina game.

On fixing the substitution issues last week:
You have to be smart with that and practice it well. Whether it's the coach in charge of the sub or the players, we have to execute. A couple times we didn't execute and we have to do a better job of that and be prepared for it. We've played these guys the last three years so guys know the tempo of their offense.

On UNC's deep passing attack:
No doubt. You have to be disciplined on the back end. He can throw a great deep ball and they have guys who can go get it. You have to be disciplined on the front end because of his ability to scramble. You have to understand who you're playing and what their strengths are.

On UNC scoring so much:
They've always had these elements, scoring all kinds of points. They have a lot of good players. Their running back has helped them quite a bit. It seems like a lot of the same receivers have been around for awhile. They have a bunch of guys who can catch it.

On Gerald Willis:
I'd have to ask but I've heard he's doing well.

On the true freshmen playing well:
Those two (Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine) right off the bat. They've been really good. Kendrick Norton has stood out. Mike Smith has quietly gotten better as the season has gone along. Shirreffs has done a really nice job on the scout team (offense) all year. It's not necessarily freshmen. Bar Milo has done a nice job. Our scout team has been the best it's been since I've been here.

On what Bar Milo does well:
It's just his effort every day. Our practices are balanced. Half may be against each other and half may be against the scout team. When you can do both, it helps preparation because you see what North Carolina can do.

On Artie Burns:
He's in. Yes. He's ready to go. It was his decision to sit out and we supported him. We'd be there for him. We had his back. Guys stepped up and now he'll be back and we're excited to have him back.

On Trent Harris:
Awesome. At one point he played three positions in one series. He's phenomenal in what he does and he's fun to coach. He's coachable. That's the best way to explain it. He takes a lot of pride in what he does.

On the pass rush:
They've continued to improve. Chad didn't practice much. With them trying to run the ball the way they do, we felt the best way he could help us was on third down so he was limited. He's back. Now we can rotate guys. I've been pleased with him.

On Juwon Young:
He's played a lot of ball. With teams running so many plays it's hard to say one guy will play that position. We've played Jamal Carter there on third down and nickel there. A lot of guys have stepped up. Trent and Jamal have been unselfish. Mike Smith has done some. Dallas Crawford has played some will on third down. That says a lot about those guys.

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