UNC-UVa: Bunting Postgame Quotes

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Here are full text and audio transcripts of head coach John Bunting's comments after North Carolina's 56-24 loss Saturday to Virginia ...

AUDIO: Bunting's Postgame Quotes

Opening Remarks
"Give Virginia a lot of credit. I certainly was able, like most people will when they see them on tape, recognize that they have a fine offensive line. But I'm very disappointed in the way we played defense. I'm probably even more disappointed with the kickoff returns for touchdowns. That just can't happen. Any time you try and build some momentum and have kickoffs returned for touchdowns, that's just poor play, poor coaching, and that has got to get corrected. Fortunately for us, this game counts as one loss, not two or three. And we've got to do a better job of coaching these players and getting them in better positions, holding them to a higher standard, as we get ready for this week's game against Georgia Tech. We've got two big home games coming up starting with Georgia Tech this/next Saturday, and we need to see a lot of improvement in a lot of different areas for us to be much more competitive. Because I do believe, once again, that we can move the ball on those two teams; and we need to give that offense a better chance to win by doing all the other things right when it comes to defense and special teams. It starts with us as coaches – me, in particular – in making sure that gets done."

How would you describe your frustration?
"Well, I certainly had a long time on the sideline to know that we weren't playing very well on defense. So, this is not a surprise to me. It's a really big disappointment to me. I know that we can play better and I know that we need to play better. So it's our job as a coaching staff to get (inaudible)."

Talk about the early goal line stand where you came away with nothing. How much of an effect did that have?
"That's nothing. We never stopped them in the first half."

They went 97 yards…
"I know exactly how many yards they went. They went a long ways. It doesn't matter if they got the ball on their own 1, or on the 5, or on the 40. They scored every single time they had the ball. It doesn't matter."

Is there any reason why you switched your strategy by taking the field goal team off?
"I think we all wanted to go in and score. And I talked with Darian Durant, who I trust a lot. We had one foot to go. Let's go after it. Let's try to make a stand early in the game and try and take some momentum away from them. At that point, it was 14-0. Let's try to get some ‘mo' back."

Jason said that he sees a lot of passive faces during the game, rather than active faces. Do you see that?
"Jason? Jason who? He said what now?"

He said he sees a lot of passive faces.
"I don't know what that means."

He said the guys play scared.
"Well, I'll tell you this. I don't know where he's coming from. But there's no place for a scared player on a football field. I don't see that, and I don't know where Jason's coming from. You'll have to get that more worked out with him. OK?"

(Question inaudible)
"That wasn't the deal. They had three base runs they ran against us. The belly play, the stretch play and the power run; and we couldn't stop any of them."

At this point, what do you try to do different this week?
"We've got to do a better job of coaching."

What specifically?
"I don't have any specificity for you right now. I'll tell you a little bit more when I watch the tape. Those were base runs we practiced all week; nothing different."

Do you expect to have some different people covering kickoffs next week?
"I expect we will take a very, very long, extensive, scrutinizing look at the guys that are covering kickoffs. And if guys aren't playing hard, they will be off that kickoff team. They will not get a second chance."

What did you think about it when they went for it on 4th and inches after you had just scored?
"Late in the first half?"

Yes, sir.
"That's a bold play; that's what I think. That's a bold play. It's good for them, bad for us. That's what I think of it."

You said this was the best offensive line that you had seen since…
"Since I've been back in Division I football… Let me rephrase that. Since I've come back into college football, this is the best offensive line that I have seen since I've been back. And what I did say is that they execute extremely well."

Does [Elton Brown] stand out above the others?
"No, I think they all execute extremely well."

Is this as frustrated as you have been with this team?
"Absolutely not; absolutely not. This is the beginning of the season. I'm looking forward to next week. I'm just glad it doesn't count for two losses…or three. No, we've got to find a way as a coaching staff to get these kids back on track. We played very hard through training camp. Since we've been out of camp, I haven't been satisfied exactly with the way we've been practicing and that's going to change."

Can you coach intensity, or is that up to those players?
"I think you can coach intensity. First of all, it starts with the experienced players. It starts with a coaching staff that coaches intensely all the time. We know we have some young players on defense, and we've got to make them grow up quickly. And the couple of experienced players out there have got to do a better job helping us. And they will. They're good kids."

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