Bunting's Sunday Quotes

North Carolina coach John Bunting has had some time to break down the tape of the Virginia Tech game. Now, 24 hours later, read some of what he had to say about the game and UNC's outlook ...

Opening remarks

"Well, I've been out recruiting a lot today. I saw the tape with Coach [Frank] Cignetti and we left a lot football on the field. It's a shame. I think we had, Frank said, 17 plays that were big plays.

"You were all at the game and you probably saw it too. We've got to get better.

"I'm very disappointed, but I'm not discouraged. I think we still have a chance to be a very good team this year. I know that's how the players felt in the locker room afterwards. I don't think there was discouragement in that room either, which is important I think there a tremendous amount of hope and a belief that we will become a good team.

"It's pretty obvious to say if we had yesterday's defense with the week's before game we'd be sitting with at least one win.

"If we had made a couple of plays that we had opportunities to make in the game yesterday, we'd be sitting with another ‘W' against a ranked a team. So we're going to do things like we normally do. We're going to go back to work. Like I said yesterday in the press conference, we've got to work smarter.

"Coach Cignetti and I will meet later today to talk about the quarterback situation, so there's nothing new to report there.

"We'll certainly need to look at what we're doing with our special teams also. We did some good things on special teams: we took down punts inside the ten. Snaps on a field goal… protection was great. We certainly messed up the one punt. If one guy hadn't blocked it, another guy could have blocked it, so we had to have more than one breakdown on that play. We also were slow with the punter. So we're going to get that fixed this week, and we'll go after our first win."

On the passing game -

"We're looking at completing the ball to receivers that are wide open. I don't think we even connected off more than the one check down. We threw a hitch to [Hakeem] Nicks when we actually had another play called.

"We threw the ball vertically. We didn't connect. There was a play earlier in the first quarter, we booted, pulled up, and had Jesse [Holley] wide open and we just overthrew it.

"The things that we wanted to do with respect to what Virginia Tech was doing defensively, we felt as if we had some plays we could exploit and we didn't connect."

On the interceptions -

"We'll get better. The interceptions by both quarterbacks came at real, real bad times. There's never a good time to throw an interception, but they came at real bad moments.

"They had 68 yards of total offense in the first half and 14 points. That's not good."

On Cam Sexton's scoring drive at the end of the game -

"I liked what I saw from him in that drive. I thought that was a great way for him to finish. Remember what I said initially when we started this season. Joe earned the right to start and Cameron earned the right to play. We didn't know when those situations would occur, but yesterday he played a lot of football.

"That's going to help us down the road. It may help us this week, but it's certainly going to help us down the road since he's had so many opportunities to perform and be under the pressure of the game."

On the status of DT Kentwan Balmer -

"We expect to get him back this week."

Any common denominator on Dailey's interceptions?

"We talked about that this morning. I think there is a little bit to that, but I think it's more about expecting something to happen then it didn't. It's not going to happen because he had some pre-snap looks. When you have a pre-snap look…you then need to go some place else with the ball. His explanations at the time, I can understand, but the explanation from Coach Cignetti in the box…that's not where we want to go with the ball.

"We want to go some place else. We want to go somewhere else where there is a one- or two-deep safety. So these were decisions, as opposed to throws. The throws weren't good, but the decisions were worse. That's all I'm saying.

"We've got to do a better job of getting Joe to focus on the decision-making process first."

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