John Bunting PC Quotes + Audio

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina coach John Bunting addressed the media on Tuesday from the Kenan Football Center. The Tar Heels (2-3, 1-1 ACC) return to action after a bye week to take on No. 23 Virginia (4-2, 2-2) this Saturday, noon, at Kenan Stadium.

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LISTEN (26:29)

Opening Statement:
"It's great to be back with the players this week, getting ready to prepare for Virginia, who everyone knows played an outstanding football game last Saturday night. I thought they were marvelous in their execution and the emotion that they played with, and that's what it takes to win football games, particularly against a team like Florida State. We know what we're up against. We know that we want to come back out and play better than we did the last game. We want to have some more consistency, which I've talked about all season. I think the off time will be good for us. We're entering a stretch of time where every game is a conference, and this being a home game is particularly important. This is a big ballgame for us."

On the importance of the bye week:
"These kids have been working really hard since the summer. They had a tremendous summer and they had a very good training game. They played four very hard emotional games in a row, and then we had a lackluster performance at Louisville. So I think it was good for them to have that break."

On Virginia coming off a big win:
"I anticipate their best game. I think we're getting them at their best. The quarterback (Marques Hagans) had an absolute career day (against Florida State). I don't think I've ever seen a quarterback make as many plays as he did in that game. And I'm talking about some guys who have been around - Darian Durant and even some pro guys. He was an absolute magician on the field. Obviously, it takes two to tango. He had to have people who were catching the ball. The tight end made a great catch, the wide receivers made some great catches. Their defense played with a tremendous amount of emotion. I think that Ahmad Brooks is back. He was a real presence in both linebacker play and out there on the edge."

On the need for consistency on offense:
"I think the quarterback [Matt Baker] has played extremely well at times. I think everybody would agree with me on that. But he would probably be the first one to say that he's not been as consistent as he'd like to be, and that's something that needs to get better. The receivers need to help him out. The running game needs to help him out. The offensive line needs to block better, especially in terms of being a little more physical up front. We need to run the football. I'm not saying we need to get back to where we were last year. We miss a Jason Brown and a Willie McNeill, but we have guys who I think are very capable of playing good solid football up front. I expect their play to pick up."

On getting improvement from the secondary:
"We want them to continue to be smarter about their play. We want them to be aggressive in their play. And when they have opportunities to go up there and compete for a jump ball, we'd like them to make that play. It's something we work on every week, and it will be important this week.

"We've got to make more plays. When we're going up to make a play on a jump ball, that's something you've got to have a feel for, something you develop instincts about. It can drive you crazy, and it sometimes can drain on a player's confidence if he hasn't made those. So we're working on that. That's important."

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