UNC-Pitt Larry Fedora Postgame
“It was a heck of a football game. Again we had a lot of guys that were very resilient and persevered and kept playing when things didn’t look good. We were really positive all the time on the sideline and with each other and with the offense, and the defense, and the special teams. No matter what mistakes were made, there was a lot of encouragement and they just kept playing. We talked about it during the week, it didn’t matter what the adversity was if we keep playing and we stay together we’ll be all right and we found a way to get the win.”
What was the difference for Marquise Williams between today and the Miami game?
“Quise today especially early on, didn’t throw the ball the way he wanted to throw the ball, but he made some dang runs today that were pretty gutsy and at times that we really needed them. I guess offensive line wise I thought we did a better job, I thought that was the main reason we ran the football as well as we did today, and that always makes Quise’s job a little easier.”
Was he a little better with the read option?
“I’d have to ask Heck how he did with his reads, but there wasn’t a single time that I thought he should have pulled it or should have given it. I thought he did a nice job with it.”
On that fourth down was there any question in your mind?
“There was a lot of question in my mind. But I knew this, I wanted him to have the opportunity to keep it if we needed to. And that was a read again, and he read it and went and got the first down.”
Why do you think your team is successful late in games when the chips are down?
“Our guys don’t panic, they really don’t. Again, same thing we said after the Georgia Tech game, you look at them in that situation, nobody was in a big hurry, nobody was worried, they just played, our tempo was the same. It was three minutes and thirty seconds and three timeouts, that’s an eternity really for us. So it was more about just making sure we go down there and take care of the ball and do what we need to do.”
How encouraging was T.J. Logan’s play today?
“Really good. It was nice to see him get around 100 yards. He had too to because we were very low on running backs today, especially with Chris going down. We needed him very much, and he did a really nice job today.”
Why did the offensive line play so well today?
“I think Kap is doing a great job with them. They’re young and growing up, and they’re getting a bunch of reps. And Kap coaches the heck out of them and for these past two weeks of grinding them. There aren’t a lot of coaches on our staff that are nice and hugging them all week. They’re pushing them, and those guys are getting better.”
On Quinshad Davis:
“For Quinshad, anytime you go to him he’s going to make a play. And he made some plays today that were two big ones that I can think of. There may have been more than that. He’s fighting and scratching and clawing to get in that end zone and he came up short both times. That was something that I was joking with him about. He’s always going to come through. Let me tell y’all, he wants the ball, but he is a team player. That’s what he is. All he wants to do is win and if he can contribute to help that he’s happier. But believe me he’s happy if he doesn’t catch a ball and we win.”
How big a lift for the defense was it to make a play at the end?
“It was great. Again, we knew coming into this game that those guys could run the football, and nobody has stopped them and we didn’t stop them today. But we made a play when we had to make a play we forced them to punt back to back a couple times that enabled us to go down and get the lead. So we made a few more plays than they did.”
How tough is Marquise Williams?
“He’s tough. I just asked him how he feels, and he said he was fine, he’d be good for tomorrow. We’ve got a short week and we’ve got to get ready, so it’s important that he feels good.”
Why was Williams able to turn things around from the poor start to the strong second half?
“He just settled down. I get a lot more frustrated than he does. He stays pretty calm, pretty collected. He’s busy encouraging guys and talking things through, and talking to the –line and the receivers. You don’t see a whole lot of frustration on his part”
How far has he come since the start of the year?
“A long way, just in that alone. He’s doing so much of a better job with that even keel, just staying right there whether it’s good or bad. He’s still fiery, but he’s controlled it a lot better.”
How much trust do you have in him?
“I’ve got all the trust in him, and I have. He’s got that it factor. He doesn’t mind putting a team on his back and doing what he’s got to do.”
On not tweaking the defense too much:
“Personnel for one. We went to a big package there in a few situations and didn’t necessarily have success with it. So we just went back to doing things that we thought we could be successful with.”
Were you going to a big package and got an illegal substitution?
“That’s exactly what happened.”
How encouraging was it for you to see the offense and defense come through with the game on the line?
“That’s why you coach. The best thing about it this team has still stayed positive through our situation and everything that’s going on. They keep practicing hard, their attitudes are good, and they believe and they believe in each other. And as long as they do that we’ll be fine.”
What about Cason Collins play today?
“Cason has been coming on throughout the year, he’s gotten more playing time. You’ve just seen him from week-to-week get better and better and better. He’s been starting on all the special teams and he’s been playing more at the will linebacker and today he played the whole game. I don’t know what he did, I know he led us in tackles. I’m sure there were some mistakes, we knew there were going to be some mistakes from him, he’s a true freshman. But he was out there and he played, and he did a nice job today.”
On that last drive did you think about the field goal?
“I didn’t plan on kicking a field goal, I planned on scoring actually. I really did. If the situation would have come up, but I really expected us to score. The question was at the 30 yard line, whether we were going to do it then on fourth and two, and after that it never really came up so I wasn’t really concerned about it, but I really believed that the guys would go down and score, I really did.”
On having to play back-to-back rivalry games:
“I’ll be honest here, we haven’t talked about anything about a bowl game we really haven’t. I don’t have any doubt our team is going to prepare and they’re going to be ready to play on Thursday, I believe that, and I don’t worry about that, and I believe they’ll be ready on that next one. For that, I guess maybe it helps. We plan on being in a bowl game, there is no doubt about it. I don’t know if it matters who we play, but I’m glad we are, I’m glad it worked out the way it is.”
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