Wednesday Everett Withers Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina head coach Everett Withers spoke with reporters Wednesday for his weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening comments:
"We're looking forward to a ballgame that's obviously a Thursday night ballgame up in Lane Stadium, one of the better venues in the country to play at. Fans are very excited about the game, I'm sure, and ours are also that we'll travel.

"But we're looking forward to the ballgame. We think it will be a tough, physical ballgame. Usually the team that doesn't turn it over has the opportunity to win the game. The team that plays good on special teams. So we're looking forward to the ballgame and looking for a tough match-up."

You guys have a chance to play spoiler for the Hokies in the Coastal Division race. Is that at all motivation for your players?
"I think our motivation is to try to win the ballgame. We don't look at ourselves in the role of spoiler. We look at ourselves to try to get better and play to the best of our ability each week and play up to our capabilities. If we do that, we feel like we have an opportunity to win the game."

What exactly happened against N.C. State, and how much better do you feel like you guys have gotten over the bye week?
"Well, I think it's just a lack of rhythm on offense. We weren't able to sustain any drives. We had breakdowns up front in protection. We had drops. We had a lot of things that didn't go right in the ballgame. When those things happen, you're not going to win versus good football teams.

"We spent a lot of time during the bye week, and a lot of time this week trying to be what we can be and correct the mistakes that we've made and try to improve on them. I think we'll be a better ball team this week."

Coach, let's talk about the problems with, I don't know if he's 250 pounds or not, the quarterback Logan presents, especially even in short yardage. It seems when he quarterback sneaks, he doesn't get one or two yards, he gets six or seven yards. What kind of problems does that present?
"Well, obviously in 3rd and 1 or 3rd and 2 situations, when you know they have the capability of using the quarterback as one of their options it presents a problem. You have to make sure you handle all the other options in that situation too. So when you add the quarterback as a possibility into the short yardage offense obviously it becomes an issue.

"What we've got to do is try to keep them in 3rd and 3 plus preferably 3rd and 6 plus, so the quarterback sneak option isn't there for them. They have to pick it up in more conventional ways. So I think it's a challenge for our defense to keep them in a third and longer situation so we don't get into those short yardage situations."

One of the strengths of your team is that defensive front. Is that something you can challenge them to do in the short yardage to win the battle up front and not give him that push?
"Well, that is the challenge throughout the ballgame. I think one of the challenges this week is both offensively and defensively we have to control the line of scrimmage and play physical and play smart and be able to control it with your players up front. I think that's on both sides of the ball. That's not just challenging short yardage. It's challenging throughout the ballgame."

Butch Davis came out yesterday with a YouTube video defending his character, and wrote an editorial here yesterday or two days ago. I was wondering if you had any kind of reaction to what he said?
"I didn't read or look at either one of them, so I couldn't comment on either one of them. Trying to prepare for Virginia Tech."

Coach, I'd be interested in your comments about the Virginia Tech offense. They have veteran receivers, a quarterback who is playing well, veteran line, then specifically your thoughts on their tailback David Wilson who it seems like every game out he's doing something more impressive. He was running backwards for yards against Georgia Tech. Your comments, please?
"Well, I think it starts up front. Any time you have a veteran offensive line that's been together and played in the system. For a while it gives you an opportunity to be able to establish the run. I think the quarterback's a unique talent with size, speed, and ability to throw and run it.

"The two receivers, I think, are two of the best in the conference. I've always felt that Coale was one of the guys even throughout all the years. Seems like he's been there for 15 years. I always thought he was one of the better receivers in this conference for what he does. He's always been a factor in our ballgame, so we know a lot about him and Boykins.

"But tailback is special. Any time you can rest for seven straight 100 yard days and eight on the season, he's a special talent. He will be a challenge for us defensively. So they have a lot of talent in a lot of different areas. In the key areas offensively to be successful, and I think that's the reason they are successful on offense."

Coach, the defense has been banged up all year. Losing a lot of starters to injury. But they went into Georgia Tech, made adjustments and went in there and came out of there with a win against a good Georgia Tech team. Your thoughts when you lineup against a Bud Foster defense even when it's kind of banged up?
"I think Coach Foster does a great job of putting guys in positions to be successful. I think their scheme allows them to do that. Obviously the kids understand what they're doing in their scheme so they're able to plug guys into positions when they have injuries and be able to play at a high level. It's just a matter -- it's really not the guy in the position more so than the scheme. What they do when they're in that position. We've got a challenge. We've got to be able to establish the line of scrimmage in our favor with our offense, and that's a challenge for us that we put on our kids this week."


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