UNC-SMU Postgame Quotes

Coach Bunting: "We told our kids, 'Stay the course.' We told our kids to stay tough, hang in there and play 60 minutes. We told them to play hard and to play fast and that's what they did, and as a staff we're very proud of them."

Ronald Curry

"We were 0-3 and we always felt like we could win the next one. Then we ran off five straight...and we won the last couple, so the guys stuck together and good things happened."

"The team has a lot of character and a 'never die' attitude and it shows. We go out there and play for 60 minutes regardless of what the score is. That's what we've been doing all year whether we were winning or losing, and good things just started to happen."

Darian Durant

"Words can't explain how happy I am right now. I'm just glad that I'm a part of this family. Coming into this season I didn't think that I had an opportunity to play much. I'm just glad I got the opportunity. Coach had confidence to put me in there, and I'm just thankful for that.

Kory Bailey

"I was worried all game. SMU is a tough team. They've gone through some things this year, but they were out there fighting. They gave us everything they had. Luckily, we were able to come out with a victory."

"It was real important that we established a running game, and I think Willie did a great job of doing that."

Ryan Sims

"I learned a lot. We had some rocky roads, but one thing you learn here at Carolina is that you're fans are going to be there, it's a wonderful school and you never give up. That's the one thing I'll take away from my career here."

Willie Parker

"We had to make up our mind at halftime that we were going to grind the ball no matter what. Coach told us we had to make plays. I was like 'Coach, I'm ready.'"

"I would grade this season an A+. This is the best feeling in our lives right now, to go to a bowl game and play for a win."

"We are really happy. We're going to celebrate right now and then we know when we come back Tuesday, we have to get ready for the bowl game."

UNC head coach John Bunting

"SMU fought very hard for coach Mike Cavan. We knew they would do that coming in. Our kids were able to hang in there and overcome a fumble that resulted in their touchdown early in the second half. We told our kids, 'Stay the course.' We told our kids to stay tough, hang in there and play 60 minutes. We told them to play hard and to play fast and that's what they did, and as a staff we're very proud of them.

"After they scored, we did a great job coming right back down the field. We didn't get a touchdown there, but that was great to respond that way after that quick touchdown to start the second half. We shot ourselves in the foot some offensively today. We're still a young football team, we understand that, but we've got to get more poised. Some of this practice time and preparation for the Peach Bowl will be good for us, but our kids are kids with the exception of our defense, which is a very veteran squad. The defense played hard all year long. They didn't always play well, but they played hard. That's what I expect out of them, and that's what they've done. They've never given in. Today they rose up and played great defense. I'm really proud of those guys, Peppers and Sims for putting pressure on the quarterback all day. Their quarterback did a heck of a job moving around and making some plays for them.

"Obviously we're very proud of this football team, and I'm very proud of my staff. They did a tremendous job holding this team together for a long, long time, winning five straight, taking the heat when we lost two in a row, but still keeping this team together. But then coming up with a big effort against Duke, having a bye week and getting ready for this game. It's been a long season for this team and this staff, particularly in light of the fact that we've pushed them so hard. We tried to make this team better by playing a tough schedule and by making a lot of demands of them in spring ball. We're really proud of the efforts of Jeff Connors and his staff. We're really proud that they played as well as they did today. My hat's off to Mike Cavan and his staff. His football team played very well over the last few weeks of the season.

"We're very proud to be going to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. I'm proud for this program and for the University of North Carolina. It's a great bowl game and I think there's no better team than the University of North Carolina and in its class and in its tradition to go down there and playing a big ball game on New Year's Eve. We're really excited about that and our players are. I've actually given them a couple of days off."

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