Reflecting on the Miami loss:
“It was a tough day. There was not much good that came out of it in any phase and anything we did. It wasn’t a good day at all.
“We knew going into the game, the week before they’d played Virginia Tech at their place and did a tremendous job and really ran away with the game, and we knew they were playing really well. Running back is a great player, they’ve got a great offensive line and we talked about all those things. You have to give them credit, but it was very disappointing they way we played.”
On Miami scoring 21 straight points to close the first half:
“They had a long run and we didn’t fit a gap, and the guy he can take it the distance any time, he’s really talented, and then we gave them a short field after that. That really put it out at that point. The only thing I can really say is our guys fought, they never gave in, they fought until the end. Unfortunately, we didn’t make enough plays to win a football game.”
On Miami’s defensive pressure:
“They brought a couple corner blitzes early in the game that got to us, that we just missed it. There’s no reason for it; the running backs responsible for it didn’t get it picked up. It’s whether a linebacker blitzes and we went low and he jumped over us and he made the play. They made some plays and we didn’t.”
On what Miami did effectively to challenge UNC’s offense:
“We weren’t efficient running the ball on first down, that was the first thing. That puts you on 3rd-and-long too many times, so I think we had 15 third and mediums or longs in the game, and we did a poor job converting on third down. And when you’re not moving the chains, you’re not going to be in any kind of rhythm and not going to have any tempo going and we’re going to be all… discombobulated is a good word.”
Did you feel like your team was worn down from tough stretch of games?
“I didn’t feel that way. Thought we had a good week of practice, and everything was going just like it had been every week. Whether that’s the way it was or not, it doesn’t matter. You have to play it, we’ve got to do a better job, and I’ve got to do a much better job as a coach.”
On the placekicking situation:
“We’re up in the air. Right now they are competing. We had an open competition today, and we’ll continue that the rest of this week and on into next week. Sometime on Thursday we’ll make a decision who is going to be doing the place kicking.”
What kind of challenges are you facing on recruiting trail?
“You’re going to have challenges all the time in recruiting. It doesn’t matter what’s going on, you’re going to always have challenges. For us, it’s staying on the phone, staying in contact with kids, keep selling the program, keep selling the vision of where your program will be. When I leave here tonight, the staff will be waiting on me. They’ll be over at the office and we’ll make calls until we can’t make them anymore, until it gets too late. We do that every Tuesday and Wednesday night, and then we call on our own the other night. It’s constantly still bringing kids on campus. We had people in today with some parents and kids, and it’s constantly selling the vision of what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Why has it been tough to get off the field on third down this year?
“We’ve really struggled on 3rd-and-longs, when offensively if you convert at a rate of about 25 percent on 3rd-and-long, you’re doing pretty good. Right now teams are in the 38 percentile somewhere in that area. We’ve got the speed package, our money package on the field at that time, we’ve got extra DB’s. I don’t know; we have to do a much better job of executing.”
How much of an impact have January enrollees helped the program?
“When I have kids and their parents talk to me about whether I like the January enrollees, I usually give them two scenarios. I’m always going to leave it up to them, first of all. As a coach, I like the kid to get there for spring ball, and get a leg up basically on the rest of the class. As a father, I don’t know if that’s what I’d want for my son. I think kids grow up too fast these days. I think staying in high school and going to the prom, and doing all the things that you’re going to get to do the last time ever is important, I really do. I think there is something that a kid will benefit for doing those things. But I always leave it up to them.
“If they come, we’re happy to have them. If they wait out their senior year, I’m happy to have them also. There is definitely a difference in a kid that comes in and goes through spring with us, and when the kids get there in the middle of the summer with his class. There is definitely a difference. One, they’ve already taken a full load of classes so they’ve already adjusted to college with the class load. They’ve already learned how to manage their time. They’ve also worked with the strength staff and getting in condition for what it’s going to take. Those guys coming in July, they really don’t have any idea. They think they are in shape, but they’re in survival mode for the first month just trying to make it through a workout.”
"Larry Fedora Live" airs Tuesday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates, including UNC's flagship station (WCHL 1360AM/97.9FM).
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