On UNC’s loss at Notre Dame:
“We made some plays. We had some kids step up and make some competitive plays throughout the game. Unfortunately we didn’t make enough of them, they made more than we did down the stretch and we just came up short.”
On Marquise Williams' play in South Bend:
“He played his heart and soul out. He gave everything he had, whether it was running the football or throwing it, whatever he had to do, catching the football… Whatever we asked him to do, he was going to do it, and he really did. He gave everything and he played hard.”
What allowed Marquise to have that level of success on the ground?
“We did a little bit better job in our running game with our running backs which opened up a few things, and our offensive line really played a little bit better. We finally had our first five back together, and that was really a good defensive front, and I thought our kids did a really good job of handling everything they threw at them. They did a great job in protection; they didn’t give up a sack, and really opened up so running lanes for those guys. That enabled Marquise to get loose, also.”
What allowed the offensive line to bounce back this week?
“They’re still growing; they really are. It’s a young group that is learning from week to week. And the last three weeks the defensive fronts that they have faced have been really good. They’re as good as anybody in the country with Clemson, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. Those guys are learning as they go and they’re getting better and feeling better about themselves. Itss really good to have Turner back so you have a little bit of continuity in that group.”
On the quarterback rotation:
“We really hadn’t changed the way we were going to do things. If you look back in this game, and look early in the game, when you start talking about the first two series, we were moving. There was some great continuity, there was some great rhythm to what was being called and how they were executing it, so we didn’t want to mess with that rhythm and we let Marquise just keep going.”
Is the QB rotation still on the table moving forward?
“Yep. It hasn’t changed. We didn’t change it going into that game.”
On the commitment to the run game:
“We were more productive early in the game with them and that enabled us to do more things and also for us to continue to move the chains and get a rhythm going offensively, so that we could use our temop. I think that was a big factor in this game against their defensive front.”
On defense and turnovers:
“Three is the magic number. That’s what we’re always looking for - getting three takeaways and they did. All three of those resulted in points. We got 21 points off those three turnovers; that was big. That also enabled us to stay in that game and have a chance to win it.”
How beneficial is a game like that for this team moving forward?
“I have a hard time with moral victories. It’s just like every game to me; there is no difference. You take the things you did wrong, the mistakes you made, if we don’t have those two turnovers, we win that football game. However good people want to say the offense played, we turned it over two times and it resulted in 14 points and therefore that was the difference in the game.
“For me, it’s about going back and correcting the mistakes we made and getting better from them. You hope that you’re gaining confidence from week to week and you’re making fewer mistakes as you go. I expected our guys to have grown from that game, learn from it, gain some confidence, but also know that we’re fixing to change gears now and we have to go in a different direction right now.”
On electing to punt on the Notre Dame 33-yard line:
“I didn’t feel good about kicking a field goal right there. We’ve done a really good job at pooch punting and I thought we would pin them somewhere inside the 10-yard line, and [Tommy Hibbard] just didn’t hit it good. He drove it and didn’t get the air under it that he normally does. I felt more confident with him putting it inside the 10 than kicking the field goal in that situation.”
On practice techniques against the triple option:
“We don’t use a ball when we’re running the triple option, so that way the defense doesn’t know who has the ball because there is no ball, so on every play, somebody should be wrapping the fullback up, somebody should have the quarterback and somebody should have the pitch and if they’re not, then something’s wrong.”
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