UW-UNC Locker Room: The Players

<i>IC</i>'s exclusive interviews with the UNC and UW players.


QB Darian Durant

On why he felt he wasn't as effective passing today:
"I [felt pressure] back there, but that's something I should be used to by now. Instead of stepping up and looking to run, I need to keep my head down field and keep looking for my throwing options. Their ends got up the field real well. That may have made me think they had leverage on my tackle and made me feel like I had to run, and in some other instances they had everybody covered and I had nowhere else to go."

On what Wisconsin did to make his job more difficult:
"Those guys are very disciplined, and it was hard for us to throw some things at them. Playing a disciplined team like that is kind of hard. We could have executed better but we didn't. Those guys played well."

On positives he did see on offense today
"I thought we played good. We didn't win, so we didn't play good enough. Our defense gave us numerous opportunities to capitalize on the turnovers that they got, and the special teams gave us good field position. Just to come out and not have enough points to win this game is just unacceptable. The offense – and especially myself – have to rededicate ourselves to the basics, because we've got to win a game like this one."

CB Michael Waddell

On his last punt return attempt:
"I knew they weren't going to kick the ball to me; I knew it was going to be a sky kick or squib or something like that."

Do you feel extra pressure to step it up on special teams due to the play of the defense?
"There is a little extra pressure on everybody to have to step it up. Each team is depending on each other."

How's your ankle?
"It's all right; just a mild sprain. I think I'll be all right."

We're you touched at all on your opening kickoff return for a touchdown?
"I don't think I was touched at all. The guys executed the scheme well and it just carried over to the game. It was a big play that just came to us."

Did you just make one cut and then you were gone?
"I think it was just one cut."

We're you concerned that you might get tackled by the kicker?
"Actually, that was on my mind. I thought, ‘I can't get tackled by the kicker.' A friend of mine back home always gets on me about getting tackled by the kicker. That was the only thing that was playing in my mind – ‘I can't let the kicker tackle me.'"

WR Mike Mason

How frustrating is losing a game like this one?
"It's real frustrating, because we work so hard and we came out here to compete. We knew that Wisconsin was so hyped up because they lost last week, and we knew they were going to be ready for us. We worked hard all week and to have things happen the way they did, it just gets frustrating after awhile."

Were you shocked when you ran back the kickoff that got called back?
"I wasn't really shocked when I scored, because we work so hard on special teams in practice and everybody did their assignments. Coaches tell us to do things the way they set them up in practice, but it just got called back."

SS Mahlon Carey

What did you see on the interception you made in the end zone?
"Basically, we we're just in zone coverage and we just wanted to play over top of everything. Fortunately, the ball just tipped off of [the receiver's] hand and I was in the right place to make the play."

DE Isaac Mooring

On his assessment of the defense's play:
"We've just got to be ready to come out ready to play defense when they put the ball down. We feel like we did play better. I just wish we had come out with the win. Once we look at the film, I'm pretty sure we'll see we played a whole lot better. Guys seemed to play a whole lot faster this game. We were more aggressive and didn't miss as many tackles.

What was your impression of the atmosphere today?
"This is a great atmosphere. They're fan support is real good. I loved playing here."


OL Morgan Davis

On the Wisconsin running game:
"That is what we wanted. At the half we requested to run (the ball). We said we wanted a program game. We wanted an O-line game. We went out and we wanted to pound those guys."

On Wisconsin running back Booker Stanley:
"We just told Booker to follow us and we'll take you where you want to go. He just relaxed out there and he ran for us."

OL Dan Buenning

On running back Booker Stanley:
"I think Booker (Stanley) did a great job filling in. The (offensive) line did a great job opening holes for him and he just hit them hard and ran with a lot of patience and intensity."

On his reaction after the opening kickoff return by North Carolina:
"I was frustrated at first. Then, I realized that is going to happen every now and then and we just have to go out and get it back."

On the opening of the Big Ten schedule next week against Illinois:
"It is a new season. The speed is going to pick up and it is about a different goal right now. That is the major thing that we need to know is that we are going for the championship and we are not going to stop until we get it. It's a different level of intensity and a different level of play with the people that we have in the Big Ten."

LB Chris Catalano

On today's game:
"There is definitely a lot of room for improvement. There always is. I thought we played well as a defense, but we just gave up too many big plays."

On the defensive stand in the fourth quarter:
"Whenever we hold back the other team and get the offense the ball and they score, it is definitely big for us."

On mental mistakes and penalties:
"Those are probably the easiest (mistakes) to correct."

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