Locker Room Report -- Amato Meets the Media

<B>RALEIGH, NC -- </b>Head Coach Chuck Amato met with the media following the 45-31 loss to Miami, and here is a sampler of what they had to say.

Opening Statement:
We talk about it all the time. You can't play a team of that magnitude and turn the ball over. You can't do that. We did... and the kicking game. Who would have thought, the opening kickoff that had phenominal hangtime and was about five or six yards deep in the endzone, and he would bring it out. Some people over-ran it, and it was just downtown.

Four turnovers in the first half, and we were only 11 points down. I was surprised that we had close to 300 yards of total offense.

To show you the kicking game, they ran a kickoff back for a touchdown, we fumble a kickoff that gives them a short field for a touchdown, and they had a fake punt on fourth down that was directly responsible for a touchdown. That's 21 of their points.

Conversely, we partially block a punt and get nothing out of it. We have an onside kick and only get a field goal out of it. That shows you that hidden yardage.

Third downs were huge. They made third down plays and we couldn't. They made them and we didn't.

The third quarter we probably laid an egg. I think we made one or two first downs in the third quarter. We lost the momentum we had in that first half, and we came back in the end of the third quarter and fourth quarter and got things rolling again. The game was probably over at that point.

Great football team you saw out there tonight.

Do you think your team was surprised at how fast Miami was?
No we knew how fast they were. We really did. Our kids knew that. It's hard to simulate that.

Was that opening kickoff an indication that Miami was ready?
Yea, and then we came right back. The score was 7-7. It kind of bounced around a little bit... 14-10 and I think we went up 17-14 in the second period.

Adversity hit our kids right off the bat and our kids came right back at them. The fumble going in may have been the biggest. That really turned some things around. Being an optomist, if we score seven there it could be an awful lot different.

Did you think T.A. would get as loose as he did?
How much did he end up with? 145 yards rushing? T.A.'s good. We felt we had some things that we could take advantage of in both the running and passing game. You can't shoot yourself in the foot. You just can't do it.

T.A. fumbled that one going in. What a huge difference that was. It really was. The fans were into it, the people were into it, and the players were into it, not that they ever got out of it.

They came out in the third quarter and put their foot down. It got a little too far out of hand. They were very gracious probably with the way they played in the fourth quarter to allow us back into it.

But, T.A.'s awfully good when he can play.

How correctable are your mistakes?
Well, we felt we had been correcting the turnovers. Last week the only turnover we had was on a late punt. There was two in the Carolina game.

If we don't correct turnovers and foolish penalties, it's going to be a long season. You can print that the way you want to. You can't do those things and win. You can't do it. It's absolutely impossible. Not many teams can come back from that.


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