RALEIGH – The North Carolina Tar Heels were not surprised by with their 17-9 victory at rival N.C. State on Saturday. In fact, the Heels said they knew they could and would win.
Here is the locker room report for this week's game.
Head coach John Bunting
"I don't even know where to start. This game was play to play the entire day. We did some good things and they did some good things and we ended up on top. I thought our kicking game and our defense were good today. We were opportunistic with our offense on occasion."
On the offensive abilities against N.C. State's quick defense
"The play was so fast and so hard that we knew our offensive opportunities would be limited. (Darian) Durant came up with a couple of throws for us, but we weren't able to maintain anything. But we were able to hang onto the ball and eat up some clock in the second half. It was a key for us to keep their offense off the field."
On Ronald Curry
"Alternating our quarterbacks is not the perfect situation, but I want to continue to give Ronald the opportunity to play. I still think he can play good football for us if we give him some time."
Linebacker David Thornton
On defending a quarterback like N.C. State's Philip Rivers
"They have a great quarterback. Philip Rivers is like an offensive coordinator on the field. So we just wanted to keep our composure and execute the (defensive) calls and pull it out at the end and we did."
On how the season looked like a disaster three weeks ago as opposed to now
"It was never a disaster on our part. We were always disappointed at the losses but we kept our heads up and we knew we have a great team and we are looking forward to continuing in the ACC."
On the tough early schedule
"The early season games, I believe the road games at Texas and Oklahoma I believe helped us in our favor. The experience playing top four teams helped us know what we need to do and helped us prepare for games like this today."
Tailback Andre Williams
On UNC's conditioning
"We have a great conditioning coach in coach (Jeff) Connors and he really helps us out and we condition very hard each day. And we realized we can wear them down and they have a great defense too, but we wore them down."
On getting over the FSU win last week and being ready to play
"After that Monday when we beat Florida State it was all over with. It was a great win and we celebrated. But when it was over it was over and we had to prepare for N.C. State because we knew they were a great team also."
Wide receiver Kory Bailey
On not celebrating like State did last year when they won at Kenan Stadium
"Carolina is a classy institution and we don't need to do things like that to show how excited we are about a victory this big. We wanted to go to our band and to our fans and show them how much we appreciated them making the trip. Then we went to the middle of the field and said a prayer with the other team because this is a time when … rivalries are on the field and this is a time when we need to be together as a country and we showed that."
On the game
"It was a tough game. Points didn't come easily but we were able to make some plays when they needed to be made and I'm glad that the score ended up being in our favor."
On comparing Curry and Durant
"I think they are both playing really well. You know, people are always going to bring up controversy and want to pit them against each other but they are each other's biggest fan and they go out and play hard and we're behind both of them."
Quarterback Darian Durant
On having poise and leadership
"I'm just going out there and trying to make plays, that's my biggest concern. I'm not trying to go out there and be a Ronald Curry. I am just trying to do what I can do."
On the difficulty of playing every two series
"It's kind of hard because your second series may be the series you may get into your rhythm."
On winning on the road
"To come in here and win this game on the road is a great confidence builder. We have played well on the road in spurts, but not until today did we do the little things to win."
Defensive end Julius Peppers
On the play of the offense helping the defense
"It helps a lot knowing we don't have to go right back into the game. It helps when they are on the field keeping the ball and we are on the sidelines getting some extra rest… It's good to know sitting over there we might score on them."
On N.C. State's many comebacks in the past, but not on this day
"They call themselves a fourth-quarter team (laugh), but, we, we condition harder than … to be a good fourth quarter team so we took pride in that and we wanted to come out here beat another good fourth-quarter team."