UNC-VT: 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:
“Give credit to Frank Beamer and his team, they came in today and executed well, played a good football game, and came out of here with a victory. We played about as poor as you can play in the first half, and we started playing a little bit better in the second half, and at least had some fight in us. Guys got after it in the second half, and we didn’t make near as many mistakes as we did in the first half. Unfortunately it was way too little, and way too late.”

Offensively after the field goal drive, you got bogged down…
“I’d love to tell you Virginia Tech is a great defense and did something spectacular, but whatever we could do wrong, whatever could go wrong for us offensively went wrong the entire first half. From the very opening play, the first play, we had a guy running wide open and got what we want, and we put the ball on the ground for the first of three times, or a turnover for the first of three times, and they score 21 points of off those turnovers, so we’ve got to do a much better job offensively, there is no doubt about it.”

You said in your brief halftime interview that none of your guys were doing what you had practiced or coached them up to do during the week.
“I don’t know if I’m going to say that all of the guys weren’t doing anything that we coached them during the week. But we have to do is do what you’re coached every single snap, that’s what you have to do, and you have to do it harder than the guy that you’re playing against, you can’t make them game harder than it already is. Just do your job and do it harder than the guy your playing against, and if you do that you’re going to win enough battles to give yourself a chance to win a football game.”

What is the key to getting the running backs more involved?
“’Quise was the guy that made things happen. We expected them to run some bear defense against us, and they did in some situations, and we knew that would take some of the running game away. We had to do a little bit more with ‘Quise then we probably wanted to, and he ran the ball very well, he was the bright spot in a lot of situations there. But we’ve got to get our running backs much more involved in the run game.”

Penalties again were an issue. How frustrating is that?
“Frustrating. Penalties are frustrating, they really are. They’re frustrating.”

How do you explain it?
“That’s a good question. I don’t know how to explain it right now. We’ll have to go back and look it each of them, and break them down, and see what the problem was. We had 10 penalties on the whole game, and a majority of those were in the first half.”

What did you see from Mitch that made you think it was a good idea to bring him back for another series?
“There was nothing that we saw that said Mitch needs to go back or not go back. The plan was to play him a few series in the game. There was nothing that was going good in that first half, so, as a coach you start searching for all kinds of things, a spark, who is going to give that spark to the team to maybe turn that tide and get something going, who is going to step up and be that leader, and we just never got that going in the first half.”

Was this better defense by your guys, or was this a slightly a byproduct of Virginia Tech maybe not being as talented as the previous teams you’ve faced?
“That’s a talented football team. I’m not going to say that. We played better defensively in the second half. We did; we played much better. Now we put them in some bad situations on two of those touchdowns in the red zone or within 15 yards of the goal line. But they battled, they battled pretty hard in that second half.”

How far ahead is Marquise than Mitch at this point?
“I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t have a scale or something to put on it. I don’t know that Mitch has been in enough for you to be able to see what Mitch can do, I can tell you that. He’s not getting the reps in a game to be able to show really what he can do, and that’s hard to do when you only get a couple of series. Because it’s more than just one guy, the other ten guys have to do their job too. Whoever the quarterback is, everybody has to step up, we got to take some of that load off of Marquise when he’s in there. We got to have guys make plays, and we have to do a much better job all the way around, and we have to do a better job of coaching.”

On the interception - was it a misread, a bad throw, or Fuller just making a great play?
“Actually, the receiver stopped on the route; he didn’t run all the way through. Our guys know that when we run slant routes we don’t stop, we have to keep going, because if not, the DB can cut it like he did, and he took it the distance. And he’s a good corner.”

When you look at time of possession, it was 41 minutes to 19 minutes, what needs to change?
“You need to move the chains. If you don’t move the chains on offense you’re not going to have the ball very long. What were we 2 of 13 on third downs. Didn’t convert a fourth down. Some of them were fourth and long and the situation in the game, but you got to move the chains. But if we don’t move the chains and get into a rhythm on offense and have some type of tempo then we will make it very tough on our team.”

You guys were in a similar rut last year, and got yourself out of it. Do you see what you need to see in the eyes of your players in that locker room that this will turn around?
“We’ll find out. That’s hard to say. I can’t go back and tell you that looking in the locker room last year in a certain time that I saw that look. I can tell you this, there’s no look of despair in their eyes. They are frustrated and disappointed, believe me, they are more disappointed than anybody that’s is associated with the program. Those guys want to win, they want to do what’s right. They’re working hard, they’re doing the things, we’re just not getting it done right now. I anticipate these guys to continue to practice hard, to continue to have great attitudes, and continue to fight.”

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