John Bunting Radio Show Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina head coach John Bunting touched on a number of topics during his live call-in show on Thursday evening. Here are some excerpts of what he said ...

"I'm really thrilled about [our defense being ranked No. 34 in the nation]. It's a lot of hard work and there are rewards from that. The coaches are doing a great job, the players respond every day in practice – they work well as a unit. We've played a number of players - Bryan Bethea getting his first start last week, Durrell Mapp got his third start of the year, Larry's played well, TRich was voted the MVP by the coaches for last week's play, Trimane Goddard played well again, Kareen Taylor played well and Tommy Davis had a tremendous game. And we're going to need all those guys to play the same way again this week, and that's what it's all about, what I've talked about since the beginning of the season – being consistent.

"There were some great catches by Jesse Holley [last week]. Nine receivers touched the ball, and that's good, too. We had good distribution., Nick Starcevic had his first catch, Rikki Cook had a good catch, Mike had a couple catches … I want to continue to try to get others involved in that passing game because we can't always rely on Jesse. But I'll tell you what – that ball gets around him, he's going to catch it. He had a great week of practice and so did the rest of the receivers. We need them to have a breakthrough game for us Saturday.

"We've had a good week of practice, we're relatively injury-free going into this game. Maryland has had that bye week … Ralph Friedgen with an extra week is a dangerous man. They always have a wrinkle or two with this defense. It's a modified 3-4 at times. They'll have what looks like four linebackers standing up, but one is playing like a defensive end. They will do some different pressures, they're very aggressive in the back, they tackle well. They've given us some tough times. … We've really got to do a great job. They've got the nation's leading tackler in D'Qwell Jackson. I challenged the offensive line, the fullbacks and tight ends to get after this guy.

"I haven't thought a lot [about replacing retiring offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Gary Tranquil], except when I made the hire of Dave Brock to coach our wide receivers, I felt he could probably be the next quarterbacks coach. I've got some other fine coaches in-house. Hal Hunter is somebody I have a tremendous amount of confidence in. I feel great about our running backs coach Andre Powell. And John Gutekunst has done a really good job making Jon Hamlett take his level of play to another notch up. We're going to stay the same type of offense, the same type of philosophy – multiple personnel groups, run the football some, run some bootlegs, throw the ball downfield."

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