Bunting's Teleconference

Here is an excerpt from John Bunting's Sunday teleconference ...

Opening statement:
"I was excited about yesterday. There was a lot of good football played by both teams. To come out on top…from watching the tape, I was really impressed with the way Wake plays defense. They really play hard. And I was impressed by the way they play smash-mouth football with their offensive linemen. We did a great job to have gotten the win.

"I think Darian [Durant] really played tough all day. He had some dropped passes on him, but he hung in there despite that and didn't lose his composure. In leading the team, I think he showed how far he's come.

"With the offensive line play, they were loading the box. It was great to get Ronnie McGill back in there to let him get his feet wet again.

"Basically, we played good football for three quarters, which is real exciting for me. I was again excited about the special teams play. They played hard and we were able to make a couple of plays.

On getting over dropping passes:
"That's what every football player must strive to do…be playing for the next play. You can't look behind and you can't look three plays ahead. Whether it was a good play or a bad play that just took place, you've got to be looking to the next play. That's what football is all about."

On learning how to win:
"I thought we did better as the season progressed. We've had so many young players playing and I think some of that is happening now. Tommy Richardson is not a young player, but he's playing linebacker for the first time in his life. He's playing real good football for us. We're not where we want to be right now throwing the football. We don't seem to make a lot of great plays – we've made some good plays. The guy that really showed up for us yesterday was Wallace Wright. I was really pleased with him and how hard he's playing. But we need to get our passing game going. We've been able to run the ball consistently for the most part all year."

On Darian's touchdown run:
"It was a great team play. Darian is a strong guy and then to get Jason involved with it. That was an amazing play – stopped at the three and all of a sudden they just push their way right into the end zone. I listened to Woody doing the game and he wasn't even sure…and then all of a sudden, he scored. It was a great play."

Was it appropriate to have two of your oldest guys showing that kind of will and determination on that play?
"Those are two of our best leaders and two of our most experienced players. Those are guys that are just dying to win. So I think there is something to that."

Was there a turning point for your team this season?
"I don't know, but I will say this. Beating State and then getting blown apart by Utah, both on the field and with all of those injuries, in the locker room after that game with a bye week coming up, we had a decision to make. How seriously were we going to take the next four games? Obviously, we've taken them extremely serious and worked hard to get better."

Did anybody step up or what did you say to them before you let them go [following the Utah game]?
"They didn't have a chance to say anything, because I was doing all of the talking. I told them with four games left, we still had a lot we could accomplish playing together as a team and working hard every day at practice. This only counts as one loss. We didn't play well. We're all beat up. We've got to get back home and get back to health. And be determined to play hard in practice and play hard in games."

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