UNC-RU: John Bunting Quotes + Audio

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina head coach John Bunting spoke to reporters following the Tar Heels' season-opening 21-16 home loss to Rutgers at Kenan Stadium. Read and listen to what he had to say...

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AUDIO (11:29)

Opening remarks -

"Real excited about how the way our crowd was. Best Old Well Walk we've ever had. Six, seven thousand people there and I'm really disappointed that we disappointed them. It just hurts. I can't tell you how bad it hurts. Give Rutgers an awful lot of credit. I was giving them credit before they came down here, but I tell you what, this (UNC's) defense did not play well, but give Rutgers credit. They ran the ball right down our throats. Right where we ended the season last year against Virginia Tech and it disgusts me. I told the defense, I told the team, I told our defensive captain Larry Edwards just that. It will be a long, long season if we don't play better run defense that that. Enough said about that. I'll talk to you briefly about how well I thought our quarterback played, how well I thought some of our young receivers played. If there are any doubts the young guys and how they can do things, they should for the most part be answered at this point.

"I've been talking about not waiting to make things happen and change the culture, it starts with you and a lot of guys went out there and busted their humps and made plays. The quarterbacks, receivers, offensive line did a good job. At times we ran the ball very effectively ourselves."

On the defense -

"When you get into a game where you struggle stopping the run, when you occasionally get that third and long situation, you need to make a play. And we failed for the most part. Jumping short routes in the flat, giving up a corner route for a first down on third and 10 is a disgrace. I'm really disappointed in the way we played and disappointed in the way we coached. I'm hopeful. We need to go back to work and get this thing fixed. That is not the way to get started.

"The team that steam rolled in the second half last year (Virginia Tech) is coming to town. So we're going to see what the defense is all about. Offensively, I hope we continue to get better because I saw good things out there today. It's nice to be in the game, playing to win, like we were, considering the amount of yards that had been churned out by their running back, gaining over 200 yards. It's amazing we were even in the game. That's a credit to a lot of people working real hard and I am proud of that.

"It's easy. We were physically out-played and mentally we probably made a number of bad fits. We made adjustments at halftime to stop the bunch running attack. They can run it out, flip the ball outside and they can run the power or the lead draw back inside and we didn't do a good enough job even after we made the adjustment. I think sometimes what happens is, up front, people start trying to make the plays themselves, then you really start getting it taken to you. You start popping gaps or trying to over play something and not fitting the plays. It's real simple about run defense. It's hitting somebody in the lips and getting off the ball and controlling the gaps and letting the linebackers make plays as well as the safeties and we didn't do it.

On the overruled TD -

"I did not get an explanation on that and I was getting ready to challenge on forward progress. They (the officials) said they were challenging it, so I don't have an explanation. All I know is what they said which is the play on the field stands. That's all I know."

On not playing two quarterbacks -

"Never got a chance to play Cam [Sexton]. Our plan was to get him in the game but we had to get the right opportunity. Joe Dailey did a hell of a job.

On the last play -

"Joe (Dailey) told me he just made a bad throw. He was man enough to admit that on that play. We just have to make a better throw."

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