John Bunting Sunday Teleconference

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina coach John Bunting spoke to reporters via teleconference late Sunday after reviewing the UNC-Furman game tape. Here is some of what he had to say...

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PART I (10:03)
PART II (10:34)

Opening remarks

"Not much has changed since I talked with you yesterday. I think we came out of the game pretty healthy. We'll get two starting defensive players back this week. Kareen Taylor played only about two snaps by design. Kentwan Balmer will be ready to go full go. He didn't play at all. I'm excited about that. After leaving last night, I saw Ken Browing and asked, "How can we get this defense better?" Marvin Sanders was in his office and said, "Don't play Furman." There's some truth to that. We did not adjust well to the things that they did. But they still only rushed for 200 yards, which is what options do. The big, big disappointment and cause of bewilderness is 300 yards passing from a team that averaged barely 100 yards passing. We didn't do a very good job of covering the one or two passes that we knew they had. I just don't think we did a very good job in the secondary finding deep throws, jump balls, interference penalty, all of those things; again, a couple of busted assignments. It's a challenge for the defense to get back on track. We'll do our very best to forget this Furman game, and all of the things we had to try and look at and try to defend against this style of offense.

"Offensively, I'm pleased with what we did up front. We had no sacks last night. We ran the ball better than we have. I think [Cam] Sexton was accurate. Our receivers are big time players. Brooks Foster is like an elastic band out there stretching to make a catch. Hakeem Nicks had a big play downfield. Jesse [Holley] had a big night.

"Special teams-wise, I think our kickoff coverage team was unbelievable for the third week in a row. We worked hard on the punt, and we're getting better at that. I wish I had stopped the clock at the end of the half to try and get Brandon Tate one more return.

"Looking back over the game, it's a win. It wasn't very pretty on defense at all, but offensively we did some good things, and hopefully, we can build on that."

What can you do to get your secondary to improve when the ball is in the air?

"Here's what we're going to do. We're going to create more competition at those positions. We haven't decided definitively with what we will do. We might move D.J. [Walker] to strong safety, and Kareen to free. There will be great competition there. We all feel we've got really good redshirt freshmen sitting over there on the bench – Jordan Hemby, Jermaine Strong, true freshman Kendric Burney, Bryan Dixon at safety. We may stir it up a little bit this week. I'm not very happy with the play on the balls in the air. We may stir it up some in the back end this week."

On the pass protection -

"I think the system is really good. It's different from what we've had before. Barrington Edwards does a terrific job in pass protection. We're going to include the backs a lot in our protection schemes. Brian Chacos took a step forward to playing like I think he's capable; Charlston Gray, likewise. I challenged both those guys last week to step it up, because I told them some of the younger players were going to overcome them as far as playing level. Both those guys stepped up their play. I think the timing of our passing game is on. We'll have a heck of a challenge this week. Our scheme has been good to us, and our players have bought into it."

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