Wednesday Larry Fedora Quotes

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

Opening comments:
"For our first game, I was pleased with the overall effort of the football team throughout the game and especially our focus throughout the game. As the game got a little bit out of hand in the second half, I was pleased with the way the guys went back out. They weren't sloppy. They went out and executed as we had asked them to."

Do you approach these games any differently, any extra focus because it's an old rival?
"The way I've always looked at it, it's the next game on the schedule. If you say we're going to give this game more focus, what does that mean to the other games? That you don't focus? So, no. I think we treat each and every game the same. That's the way we prepare through the week, we game plan, the way we practice.

"We expect to practice a certain way each and every week. Doesn't matter who we play, where we play, what time we play, what the conditions are, we try to get our guys to play one way all the time. That's the new Carolina way."

Obviously a lot of things went well last week. Was there anything you looked at and said, we really have to fix or correct this?
"There's no doubt about it. There's so many different places in the game we've got to get better. We have to get better with our tempo on offense. We still turned the ball over twice. We had three penalties as a team.

"Defensively, I mean, we still gave up a few third-and-longs that we would not liked to have given up. We had a penalty on special teams. Our kickoff return team was not very good at all. Our coverage team was not very good on our kickoff coverage. So we got a lot to work on."

Could you touch on a little bit about preparing for a guy like Michael Campanaro, receiver for Wake Forest, some of the things he brings to the table that make him challenging to defend.
"Well, I think the tough thing about Michael is he's a great athlete. You can tell he's very natural catching the ball. He plucks everything with his hands. That's not something he's concerned with. If they get the ball close to him, he's going to make the catch. He catches the ball in contact, in a crowd. He can make you miss. He can obviously take it the distance. It's definitely a headache for you defensively knowing that when he's got you out in open spaces, you have to make that tackle. The key is make sure you get him on the ground. Don't worry about the knock-out, just get him on the ground. He definitely gives you a challenge."

This week both you and your players have specifically mentioned winning the state championship. How important is it, especially with this particular team, to have goals like that to keep them focused on what they can accomplish?
"I think it's extremely important. I think the first step en route to success is setting a goal. I think that's the first thing you have to do is set a goal. We have done that. We set a couple of goals that we feel like we can accomplish this year, and one of those is to be state champs. This is a part of that goal. So it's very important to our team."

Jim Grobe said he was kind of surprised with the execution you had last week. So much is new. Did it surprise you at all or did you expect that right out of the gate?
"That's hard to say. I'm always expecting it. Whether I get it or not, that's the question. But I think our staff just did a tremendous job preparing those kids, and the kids were very focused on the task at hand. I think you'll find out in college coaching as you look around the country, that's the biggest challenge that any coach has, is to get his guys to play at a high level week in and week out.

"Now that one is gone, put to bed. No one really cares about what we did last week. It's all about what we do this week. So our focus is now totally on Wake Forest."

Larry, you and Jim Grobe both had some time spent under Fisher DeBerry at Air Force. Do you see some of the same traits in Jim's team?
"I tell you what, not only is Fisher DeBerry a great football coach, but he's a great man, a great husband, a great father. He does things the right way. You don't ever have to question anything about the way Fisher does things, they're going to be done right. One of the things I think about Coach DeBerry that I learned is he's one of the most positive people that I've ever been around in any situation. I think it rubbed off on me, I can assure you. I'm sure it has on Jim also. I think his teams play like that also."

With such a short road trip to Winston-Salem, do you have to deviate at all from your normal pregame routines?
"No. As a matter of fact we try to make all our away games the same as home games. Our Fridays, the way we have them arranged are pretty much the same week in, week out, whether it's a plane flight or a bus trip. It's all built in. It's basically the same what we would be doing a Friday at home, just minus the travel."

Will you stay in Chapel Hill Friday night?
"No, we're not staying in Chapel Hill. We don't stay in Chapel Hill for a home game either."

Because you opened up with an FCS team, how much of a good gauge was that or was that not for the first week?
"I guess that's still to be seen, whether it's a good gauge or not. I'm just happy that we got to play another team. Didn't really matter to me who we played, all those things. It was about us. It was about how were we going to go out and execute, how were we going to handle any adversity in the game. Were we going to have multiple penalties, turn the football over, make mistakes that are uncharacteristic? You know what, we didn't in most of those situations. So I was pleased with our guys' focus."

Wake's offensive line is really young, struggling with injuries up front. With your success on Saturday, do you feel that's an area you could really take advantage of and be successful with Saturday? If so, why?
"Well, I haven't looked at that and said, hey, their offensive line is a weakness. I haven't done that by any means. I think they may be younger than some of the other guys on the team, but you have [Devin] Bolling who is in his fourth year. You have [Antonio] Ford in his third year. You have [Garrick] Williams in his fifth year. You have [Frank] Sousa in his fourth year. You have [Colin] Summers in his third year. I don't really consider that young. It maybe is on Jim's team because everybody has been red-shirted.

"Now experience-wise, they may not have had a lot of experience, but they've been developed in his program. I don't really look at that as a weakness."

You mentioned the tempo of the offense, wanting to get that a little bit better this week. Any specific thing you can pinpoint that will help you go faster?
"Sure. I mean, our quarterback needs to be more conscious of where he is on the field, what's going on, so that he can manage that better. Our offensive linemen need to do a better job of communicating quicker. Our receivers need to get lined up faster. We get those things done, we can move a little bit quicker."

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