"I just left a team whose guts are ripped out of 'em right now. They came here believing they were going to win a football game, and they came up short. They fought hard to the very end and proud of the way they fought. We've gotta get some things corrected to be a better football team."
Coach, the big plays, the defense made a lot more plays than they had been in the recent games. But the big plays got you guys today. I think there were 16 of them at least that went 10 or more yards.
"You can't give up big plays. If you give up big plays, you're going to have a hard time winning. And that's one of the things we look at is the turnover battle and the explosive play battle when we talk on Sundays, you know. I don't know where they'll tell me tomorrow where it actually matches up with how many we had offensively and how many they had offensively, but they made some big plays. They got some good players over there, you know? We've got to do a better job against them."
Larry, what was your reaction to the roughing the snapper with Otis and how costly was that moment?
"You know, I'm really better off not commenting on any of those things."
Coach, did Marquise take a step forward tonight?
"I tell you what, that guy played his heart out, now. He really gave everything he had out there. I mean, it was unfortunate on that last pick, and he was trying to make a play. But he really played as hard as he possibly could. He ran hard, he threw the ball. He gave us a chance. He gave his team a chance to win a football game tonight."
What was reason for the decision to stick with Marquise today?
"We talked about it going into it. We were going to play it by ear and see what the feel was and Marquise had a good feel for what was going on. He was seeing everything. We had a little bit of rhythm going, so we didn't want to interrupt that rhythm. We decided to stay with him."
The last three games, score on offense. You guys actually turned the table this time jumping up 14-0. How big was that for you to start that way as opposed to recent games and it kept you in the game as you went along.
"We talked about it as a team, we needed to start fast. Whatever we needed to do, we needed to start fast. So the way they practiced this week, I was, again, very proud of the way they practiced. They came out on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday with great attitudes. They practiced hard, they flew around and they believed they were going to win a football game. I think a lot of that had to do with why the way we started. We started fast, and we gotta continue to do that to be a better football team."
Larry, did your player tell you anything about the penalty, the roughing the snapper?
What did he say?
"You know, he just said that, "I don't think I hit him too early." His head was up and he knows he hit the center. That was part of his job there. But he said, "I know his head was up, I know I didn't hit him too early," but didn't get called that way."
Coach, where do you think the biggest difference was in this one?
"Well, I mean, I would say you're going to have to talk about the big plays. We gave up too many big plays and we didn't make enough big plays. But we had some guys that made some competitive catches out there tonight. We had some guys that ran hard, you know, but, we turned the ball over down there on their end and give 'em an easy seven, and that hurt us. You know, there is a play here, just like in every game, you got three, four, five plays that are always the difference in the game. You never know which one they're going to be. You gotta play every one like it's going to be the most important play. But I would say the big plays that we gave up and not making enough of 'em."
Coach, were you more involved in the play calling tonight?
"No more than normal. I mean, I'm involved every series, but Seth and those guys are running it. In between series we're talking about what we want to try to do on the next series, but I was no more involved than normal."
UNC-ND: Larry Fedora Postgame
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