Teleconference: Amato - 'We Can All Improve'

Wolfpack head coach Chuck Amato talked with the media today via teleconference and here is a sampler of what he had to say.

Can you talk a little about the special teams play yesterday?
Yea, some of it was sloppy and some of it was good. We had our first bad snap in quite some time. After you look at the game, you wish the snap was two inches higher, and they get two points off of that instead of seven.

We had an opportunity to probably block three punts. That disappointed me... it was there. We were just a fuzz away from it... people were turned loose.

The kickoff return was huge to start the second half. It was good and bad on everything. It was kind of a push in that area.

What area do you want to see the biggest improvement?

Oliver Hoyte mentioned the penalties continue to be a problem. Do you think this is becoming a mental thing with the team?
Yes, it could be. Everything is psychological. We had ten penalties and a lot of them were costly. They had nine penalties and a lot of those were costly.

I think we had six in the first half. I really do think both teams were so cranked up about playing in this game. Because of the obvious things... the rivalry and the fact that the head coaches of both schools are graduates of these universities.

I think that may have sparked some of the reason why the game was so sloppy in the first half. There was a point when nobody wanted to win the game.

There's nothing that we have that is terminal. Everything that we have can be fixed, and it will be. Everybody has got to concentrate on what they are doing, and that goes for missed assignments as well.

Do you think it's going to seem even longer before you can get North Carolina again?
It will be at least 365 days, it might be less. I don't know what the schedule is like next year.

I know this team was very down... it was a deep loss. It was a tremendous loss for the team, but there is a lot of football left in front of us. People don't want to realize that. When is the last time the University of Michigan lost two games in the month of September?

There are two teams out there yesterday that are probably two snaps, two plays away from being undefeated. Both of us, and we're both 1-2. That's the way college football is right now, and we've all got to correct those things.

Do you plan on keeping Manny Lawson and Mario Williams as options on offense?
As options? Yea, why not? They were only over there on one play.

Do you anticipate any personnel changes this week? I figure your best guys won't be out there unless they are your best guys.
You've got that right. You answered your own question.

Stephen Tulloch had a big game statistically. Can you rate his performance?
Stephen is always going to be around the football because he's got great vision and he's got great instincts. All of his games are always pretty daggone good.

He had a good game. He made a couple too many mistakes, but other than that he had a good game.

After watching the tape did anything else jump out at you that you maybe didn't notice in the heat of the moment?
We noticed that there was a lot of missed opportunities. There were missed opportunities in blocking kicks. How about if you just block one of them? If you block two of them....

Missed tackles, that's a missed opportunity. I can go on and on. Putting the ball on the ground, even though we get it back.

We talked about a lot of things in the meetings today. It's a game that the opportunities we missed and the mistakes we are making penalty-wise seem to come at the most opportune time for the opponents.

That thing has to be corrected. We as coaches have to get out there and coach better. We can all improve.

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