“Heck of a ball game, I don’t know what else to say. It’s just a heck of a ball game. This team, again, continues to show how much grit they have. They care tremendously for each other, they play for something other than themselves, they play for each other. As long as we have that in this team we have a chance every single week.”
Larry, how confident were you with Nick's ability to make that last kick?
“I knew it was within his distance. That wasn’t the issue. He was due. He had something to prove after the extra point got blocked. I talked to him on the sidelines and said ‘look, you’ve got to get it out of your head because we have a two-minute situation and kick in a field goal to win it or we’re going to be in a four-minute situation and not have anything to do. He got his mind right and we knew we had to get it somewhere close to the 45 to give him a shot. The guys got it done.”
You guys responded twice. You responded to them tying it up at 28 and then when Florida State took the lead. What did you like to see out of your guys, especially Mitch (Trubisky)?
“Mitch was again incredible today. He took care of the football and moved the chains. One thing they did do is they kept us from taking some shots with what they were doing secondary-wise. We had to be able to run the all efficiently and he had to be able to hit things underneath and he did that all day.”
Did you go over and say anything to Nick before the kick?
“No. I don’t want to be anywhere around him. He’s got his pre-swing routine and I don’t want to talk to him in practice before he kicks so I don’t want to talk to him during a game. What would I say? We need you to make it? There’s nothing to say. He knows what he needs to do. I have great confidence in him. He’s one of the leaders on our football team.”
When it came off of his foot did you know it was good?
“No, I didn’t know until the official raised his hand. Then I knew. Everyone else may have known. Nick may have known, because when it came off of his foot he felt good about it. I had no idea. I really didn’t even want to look at it.”
Larry you talked this week about all that matters is scoring one more point than the other team. You gave up almost 600 yards today, but did the defense early on in the game kind of burly up?
“Especially in that first half. They gave us opportunities. They gave up one drive in the first half. We held them to field goals and they missed field goals, all those kinds of things. Unfortunately offensively we gave up two drives in the first half. We put the ball on the ground down there on the three yard line which is inexcusable. Then we had a third-and-short and a fourth-and-short that we don’t convert on and that can’t happen either. We wasted two drives there. Really we should have been up more than we were.”
Thomas Jackson had a huge catch and a tough and physical run last week and now this week he does that. He got a scholarship six weeks ago. What do you see out of him?
“He’s a hard nosed kid that loves Carolina and he came to Carolina because his dad played at Carolina and he loves the place. He gives you everything he has on every single play.”
Two years ago you were hesitant to even attempt field goals because you weren’t confident in that unit. What does it say about not only Nick, but that unit as a whole, that you can trust them?
“Before we missed the extra point it meant a lot. No, but I mean two years ago, you’re right, we struggled. Since that time Nick has been automatic all the way through. He’s got a lot of confidence and he kicks with a chip on his shoulder. He’s not your typical kicker. He’s a guy that works hard in the weight room and he’s one of our guys. Guys love him and he’s a leader on this football team.”
You guys won 11 games last year and still people said that y’all didn’t beat anybody. What does a win like this do?
“If you go on the road and beat the No.12 team in the country, and I think they had a 22-game home win streak, that’s pretty dang good. I would say that so far the 2016 team has done some good things.”
Larry can you talk about the state of the ACC four games into the season? You just upset Florida State, Miami is 4-0, Clemson and Louisville is a top five game tonight. Can you talk about the status of the ACC?
“I think the ACC is finally getting the respect it deserves nationally. Everybody on our side of the country has known it for a few years. From when Florida State won the national championship to Clemson playing for it and winning every major award that there was in the last couple of years. With how many guys have gone on to play in the NFL, it’s as good a league as anybody's in the country.”
Is this a statement that the divisions are not as disparate as people say?
“I never said it was.”
Do you feel like you got a monkey off your back with getting a win like this after not getting it versus Georgia and South Carolina last year?
“I don’t know if it’s a monkey off my back. Every game is important to me. But I think for this football team it’s really big. They felt like we didn’t play well enough in the first game to get it done and were really disappointed. All they’ve done is just battle and battle and battle. We’ll be on the field tomorrow and see where we left so much on the field, but you know what? You get a win and your guys are going to see that they left so much on the field. They’re going to grow more confident with it and make those plays in the future.”
Elijah (Hood) had a fumble before halftime, and then went to the locker room. What’s your update on him?
“Nothing that I know of. I haven’t heard anything yet.”