Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

Marquise Williams Taking The Blame

Marquise Williams spoke following UNC's season-opening loss to South Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Marquise Williams didn't mince words in his postgame press conference. The fifth-year senior quarterback repeatedly attempted to shoulder the complete blame for North Carolina's loss to South Carolina on Thursday night. 

On his three interceptions:
“Doing rookie mistakes, you know? I just needed to throw the ball out of the back of the end zone just to get some points on the board, and on the last (drive), just trying to force something, trying to be the hero that I shouldn’t be trying to be, and I take all the blame on myself.”

What he saw on the end zone interceptions:
“It’s just the Tampa 2 look, it seemed like a guy taking away my corner route and they double teamed my post, and there’s not much you can do on a Tampa 2, but that’s me. I need to take care of the football. And that’s careless by myself, and I put all the blame on myself and I just need to bounce back next week and be ready to go.”

On if the two end zone interceptions came off the same play:
“Yes. They were the same play, so they got us, and it’s fine. Mistake’s on me. And that was on me, and I should have known what to do in those things, and not force the football, and get a field goal out of it.”

On if his performance was based on “first game jitters”:
“Not really jitters. I’ve been playing this game, this is my fifth year, and like I said it’s just stupid mistakes that I made, and this time next week I have to bounce back from them and go out and just bounce back from this week’s game.”

On importance of staying positive:
“It’s important, because the team is going to feed off me. Whatever they see me do, if they see me down, my head down, then they’re going to be down. They need a leader that’s going to be positive all the time and I told those guys that’s on me, and next week I’ll bounce back stronger.”

On how to approach going forward:
“One thing, you’ve gotta protect the football, and that’s on me. That’s three interceptions that I turned the ball over, and everything else is smooth. It’s just me, me not protecting the football, and that’s the one thing we’ve been preaching all training camp before this game even started, protecting the football, and I did a careless job of that tonight, and I have to go back and watch the mistakes again, and it’s gonna haunt me, but, that’s what quarterbacks do, not everybody is gonna have a great game, and tonight was not a great game for me.”

On team’s rushing performance between tackles:
“We moved the ball pretty well. Last year a lot of guys thought we struggled moving the ball, but those guys moved it pretty well and I was very impressed. I told those guys they are the best offensive line in the country, and they proved that with how they blocked tonight against a big-time SEC team. Those guys are gonna keep fighting, and I love the effort they keep putting in and out.

On disappointment in only scoring one touchdown:
“That’s very surprising. We’re a team that likes to score 40, and we were down there three or four times and we didn’t execute and got field goals, and that comes back to haunt you, we’ve got to get touchdowns, and we didn’t get any touchdowns and that goes back to me just not being careful with the football and just throwing it out there.”

On if he felt himself pressing as game progressed:
“Sometimes you don’t really know what the answer is. Sometimes I feel like was trying to be the hero, but then next time I just didn’t know what I could do. And on the last play I was just trying to find a man and he just happened to be right there again. I’m gonna bounce back, and just have a positive energy about this and move forward.”

On not giving Elijah Hood touches in the red zone:
“I don’t know about that. It’s just whatever the playcaller feels he needs to go with, he needs to go with, and Elijah ran the ball pretty well tonight, and if Coach felt like we needed to do something different, then we needed to do something different, but we were excited with the outcome of how Elijah did today.”

On better communicating with the wide receivers:
“Those mistakes were not from the receivers, it’s more on me. It’s just rookie mistakes, things that I should know what not to do, and I just turned the ball over in the score zone, and that’s careless, I’m a fifth-year senior and I know better than that, and I’m gonna have to bounce back strong next week just to prove myself.”

On playing in Charlotte:
“It was great to be back home. Charlotte is one of the best cities, and I loved growing up and playing high school football here, and it’s sad that I didn’t come out with the victory, and I wanted to make a statement in the first game. It’s kind of tough, but I’m gonna have to bounce back next week back at home against A&T and go on from there. It’s like the guys said, it’s just one game, and there’s plenty of more games to go.”

On Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan:
“Those guys ran the ball tremendously well. The offensive line moved those guys and they were moving, man. I was so excited. I told everybody, those are the best offensive lineman in the country, and they proved that they can move the ball when they need to, and I’m excited to be back there for them again next week."

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