UNC-SDSU: Larry Fedora Postgame

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes video and quotes from head coach Larry Fedora's postgame press conference.

Opening comments:
“What a game. First of all I want to congratulate the crowd, our student section, the Tar Pit. That was an unbelievable atmosphere. They did a tremendous job throughout the entire game, and our guys fed off of that throughout the entire game. We needed every single person that was in those stands, and as much yelling as they did, I know they’re worn out, just like our guys are worn out. I really appreciate the effort they gave with that atmosphere. That being said, we got a win, that’s about all I can say. We’ll learn a lot of things from this game, we made enough mistakes to lose the game, but we made enough plays to win the game. And that’s all it boiled down to, and our guys made the plays when they had to make the plays. I give our guys credit for how they persevered throughout the entire game. They were positive, we had great energy on our sideline, there were a lot of guys that were frustrated, but they fought and fought until they got it done.”

What do you take away from it all?
“We didn’t play good defense, and we didn’t play good on offense and we were just very, very average in our special teams, but the defense created three takeaways, and they scored on one of them, a 100-yard return, and they took one down to the 15-yard line, so, that was the difference in the game was the turnovers. And they created those turnovers, and that’s nine turnovers in two weeks; that’s not bad.”

How good of a job did Marquise do managing the second half?
“I thought in the second half he did a nice job, I really did. He made plays when he had to make plays. There were a couple of throws that probably got high on him, but that throw to Mack Hollins - he put it out there, and people saw that Mack can really run, so he won’t be a secret anymore, but I was proud of the way Marquise played throughout the game.”

How much did the running in the third quarter help Marquise get into a grove?
“It’s critical. Anytime we can run the ball we’re going to be a better football team. We were not having success in that first half running the football. We really didn’t make any adjustments. We talked about what we wanted to do with them in the second half. It was a struggle for the offensive line throughout the entire night, it was tough, and then Landon [Turner] goes down, and you put a true freshman in it made it tougher, but they did enough to get the job done.”

How much concern is there with Landon?
“I don’t know right now. I don’t have any idea. I haven’t talked to anybody. He was walking around, and in there leading the song afterward, so I imagine he’ll be okay.”

How did you feel about Brian Walker’s play?
“It was good. He made plays for us tonight. How many picks did he have tonight? Two picks, took one for a 100 yards, that’s an amazing night. It was really an amazing night, so I’m proud of him.”

What concerned you about the defense tonight?
“Missed tackles. We didn’t stop the run. There were too many opportunities where we didn’t stop the run. The guy made the first guy miss or the guy broke the tackle on the first guy. That concerns you, it always does. We’ll have to go back to the fundamentals this week, and when I say that, that doesn’t mean we have not been practicing on the fundamentals. That just means we have to go back on work on the fundamentals. “

Any concern with Marquise leading the team in rushing?
“That’s always a concern for me. Our quarterback doesn’t need to lead our team in rushing. But, we found a situation with the draw that was a good thing for us out of that formation, and he made some good plays out of it, and it was hard for Seth [Littrell] not to go back to that when it was good for us, and Marquise, that’s how he picked up a few critical first downs.”

Last week you played your best after getting down. Same tonight. Is that a concern for you?
“It’s not concerning for me, I think that’s a great thing. That we played our best ball when we were down, I’d much rather have it that way than the other way, that you don’t play your best ball when you’re down. There are going to be some times when we’re in that situation, and I know how this team is going to respond. We’ll get better on the front end, we will. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’re going to get better. We’re not where we want to be right now, but we’re 2-0, and that’s the biggest thing right now. Were going into an open week, we’ll get some guys healed up, and we can continue to get better in all three phases because we haven’t gotten anywhere close to our potential.”

How much difference do you think it makes being 2-0 instead of 1-1 heading into the bye week?
“All the difference in the world. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

The offense took two and a half quarters to get its first points, what was the issue there?
“We had problems everywhere. One was trying to figure out what they were doing front-wise. That was difficult for our offensive line. When we got some tempo going and got something rhythm going we became a good football team - I’ll say we became a better offensive unit at that time - but we still have got a ways to go.”

Was the San Diego State defense as advertised?
“Very much, very much. When you lose the most experienced lineman you got, and you put a true freshman in there, if you could look in their eyes over there on the sideline, it was scary, it really was.”

Can you talk about the frustration of taking penalties at inopportune times?
“We continue to do the things we’ve been doing. We were better tonight than we were in the first game. We roughed the punter at a critical time that resulted in points, and then we had a personal foul when we had stopped them on third down, and they also go in and score after that. We have to get those cleaned up, we’ll get them cleaned up, and when we do, we’re a better team.”

On the pick at the end, how were you setting your defense up to play that end of the game situation?
“They were in man coverage there at the end. We felt that we had to stop the run, they had two timeouts, so the clock was not a problem for them, and so we figured they were going to run the football, and so we were in man, and those guys had to play, and Tim made a great play.”

Who will kick the field goals going forward?
“I’d say right now [Nick] Weiler will take the field goals. Unless something changes.”

How hard was it not having Norkeithus Otis available?
“It hurt. He’s our starter there, so it hurt. But, if you watch him [and] you watch T.J. Thorpe tonight, you watch those guys on the sideline, hey sweat through everything they had, they were energetic and pumped up on that sideline, and they were doing everything they could possibly do to help their teammates, I’m really proud of the way the responded and what they did throughout the game.”

Can you talk about what type of adjustments you made on offense for the second half?
“We just narrowed things down in the running game in terms of what we were going to run. We went more to zone schemes than any kind of man scheme blocking, and then just told them to not really worry about the front so much and come off the ball, and we’ll be okay. They did a better job of that in the second half, and so you start picking up a few yards in the running game, their confidence builds, you get a better tempo going, therefore the other team starts getting tired, and they’re sucking air, and it was big for us.”

How big has the maturation of Mack Hollins been for this offense?
“It’s been big. That’s two touchdowns in two weeks, and the guy can make plays for us all the time. He’s really come on, he’s splitting time with Bug over there, but he’s also working on the right side with Quinshad, he’s another guy that understands everything so he can play both positions, so we can put him in a lot of different places to help us out, and it’s been big. Mack’s going to help us all year, I said going into the season that he would be a big factor for us offensively, and he is. “

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