“First, I’ve got to give credit to Virginia Tech and the way their guys battled. They threw everything they had at us. They played with unbelievable effort. It’s kind of bittersweet because I have such great respect for Frank Beamer and what he’s meant to college football and obviously what he’s meant to Virginia Tech football. College football is a better place when he’s in it. I was honored to be on the field with him today. I really was. He’s a tremendous man, so I’ll leave it at that.”
Your team accomplished one of its season goals today. What was the locker room scene like?
“It was wild in there. I can’t even remember what I said. I’m still kind of in a daze right now. I’m really excited for those kids. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve got a lot of grit. They’ve worked their butts off, they’ve bought in totally to what we’ve asked them to do in all three phases of the game and they really truly believe that they’ve got each other’s back, no matter what happens. And that was so obvious today.”
What does it mean for you?
“I’m happy for those players. That’s it. That’s why I’m in this, to see them reach their goals and dreams. We sit in those living rooms and tell them and their parents that my dream is for them to reach their dreams when they come to Carolina. For those seniors, their No. 1 goal this year was to win the Coastal Division, and they’ve done that. And we expect that to turn into bigger things.”
What does it say about Marquise Williams that he was able to bounce back for that final touchdown after his struggles today?
“Marquise really was never shaken. I can’t say the same for me. After the second fumble, he came off and he was like, ‘Okay, I’m good, I’m good.’ I didn’t have a whole lot to say to him. I really didn’t. There was nothing good that I was going to say. He went over there and got himself ready to go. He knew what was at stake and what he had to do, and then he went back out. He said, ‘don’t worry, I’ll make a play.’”
How was Virginia Tech able to slow you down?
“Well, Bud Foster, he’s a damn good defensive coach, now. He’s always created schemes and issues for you. He’s not afraid to play man coverage any time and throw it at you. And he did that today. I would say they won more 1-on-1 battles than we won today, and he put us in a lot of 1-on-1 battles. I’m not just talking about the outside. I’m talking about on the interior, also.”
Did you have to go to the silent count today?
“No, we never did. We practiced it all week. We talked about it going into the game. As coaches, we had thought about doing it and then I asked ‘Quise what they wanted to do, and he said, ‘No, we’ll be verbal and I’ll take care of it.’ … We had seven false starts and you’d have to say that was just a poor job on my side.”
What was your mindset going into overtime?
“When we talked all week about this game, we knew that this was the perfect storm. Everything was going against us. They had the tribute to Coach and they needed to get bowl eligible and it was the seniors’ last day in this stadium, and the black unis. Whatever you want to call it. It was all going against us. We knew the crowd would be rocking today. We knew we were going to have to play error-free, that’s what we talked about, just be really good in the fundamentals and the techniques, and be brilliant in the basics. And we didn’t, but we found a way to win.”
What did you change offensively in the second half?
“We decided to get the ball on the edge a little bit more there in those last few drives. And that’s what we were doing, putting the ball out on the perimeter. Instead of running the inside zone as much, we went outside and made some big plays with it.”
On both of Hood’s touchdown runs, he walked in untouched. What did you see?
“We got them with tempo there. We got them with tempo. It was nothing other than they weren’t lined up at that time and we hit them.”
What did you tell Frank after the game?
“I just told him it was an honor to be on the field with him today. I told him I hope he is involved with college football, because it’s a better place with him.”
What was your thought process with that final timeout of regulation?
“Poor job on my part. Nothing other than that. Poor job. Poor job of coaching.”