Bunting Tuesday PC Quotes + Audio

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina coach John Bunting met with the media Tuesday during his weekly press conference. Read and listen to what he had to say …

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PART I (12:06)
PART II (11:15)
PART III (10:42)

Opening Comments -

"Playing a good team this week. Players are excited, coaches are excited. Going down to Death Valley is a fun experience for me, haven't been down there a long time - went down there in '01. Great place to play, great environment. Coach Bowden has done a terrific job with this program over the last seven years, entering his eighth. The improvements they've made to those facilities. Big stadium, big crowd. They've done a terrific job with recruiting the last few years. They've had a lot of coaching changes, but they've got a good staff now in place. Both of those coordinators are guys I was interested in myself. ... Their players are good, on defense they are young but playing extremely well. ... They could easily be 3-0.

"Our players, the focus of this week's practice again - got to get better, hope to see improvement on defense especially, particularly in the back end in terms of the passing game. We're done playing the wishbone offense for the time being. ...

"This is a different style of offense, coach Rob Spence uses multiple personnel groups, they've got three good runners, tall big receivers who make great catches. ... Their offensive line is as good as we'll play against, that allows them to do a lot of different things. They'll go from four wides and a tight end, empty backfield sets, to two tights and two backs - they'll really challenge you early, see how you adjust and run their game plan off you. Their defense can run - multiple fronts, multiple coverages - and they can play lots of players. They've had two linebackers go down and it looks like they haven't missed a beat. That's a product of some really good recruiting.

"Hoping that Cam [Sexton] can play well again. Like to play Joe [Dailey] again, that hasn't changed. We're going to need our special teams to play as well as they did the other night. Kickoff coverage has done a terrific job and I hope we kickoff a lot. ... And I hope our punt coverage protection is as least as good as it was last week. I'm not satisfied with that at all. And we'll see how the punters go in terms of who we use to punt in this game.

"I'm pleased with Cam getting the Co-Rookie of the Week and obviously pleased with the way Ronnie [McGill] played and Barrington [Edwards] played. Hopefully they can do it again. That'll be key for Barrington, to do it again."

On the secondary -

"Let me first that we get Kareen Taylor back and he's 95 percent -- and Kentwan Balmer comes back, who didn't play last week. That'll help us inside. But I feel like -- and Marvin [Sanders] feels the same way -- we've got talented guys sitting on the bench over there. The only thing wrong with them is they haven't played. Jermaine Strong, Jordan Hemby, Brian Dixon - three redshirt freshmen. ... I think when they become sophomores, they'll be great players, but they may play before then. I'm all about opportunity, been that way since I've been here. Had to play too many true freshmen on defense at times in the past -- not that case right now, but those three redshirt freshmen at least, and then true freshmen like Kendric Burney, we're going to perhaps have to pull that trigger and let them play."

On the state of Tar Heel football -

"... This program was in the Top 10 with Mack Brown - that's what I look at in terms of where we can go with this program. ... With the facilities we have and the facilities I think we're going to build, and the players that we have and the players we're going to get, I think we'll be back there much sooner than later. The majority of this class we're redshirting right now is the best class we've had - that's a great sign. Despite the fact of the Rutgers game, ... and the other night it was very frustrating for everybody that loves Carolina ... but I am really excited about our future at this University. The players that come out of this state and some of the interest we're getting out of state. And that's exciting. I think it will get done ... It's going to get done."

On the team's outlook moving forward this season -

"... I really believe we can get very good before this year is over. But I can't sit here and bemoan the fact that I was really looking forward to three home games and we're 1-2. In my mind, clearly, we could be 3-0. I want to keep getting better, I've got to look forward and we'll do that. This is the first road game, got another road game before we get back - looking forward to the two, but really looking forward to this one because it's the one this week."

On what it'll take to beat the tough Clemson defense -

"Take care of the football, can't give it to Clemson. Need to establish some type of run game, establish some rhythm - seen that happen twice, in '01 and in '03 saw us gain confidence as the game wore on."

On Sexton's performance vs. Furman -

"He graded out high, he made good decisions for the most part, he managed the game well and he threw the ball on time and the receivers made plays. Brooks Foster did a terrific job catching the ball for him and Jesse plucked one of the defenders helmet. Cam put the ball in a catchable spot each time and the receivers came up with some plays. I was impressed with his poise on the field and this'll be a different atmosphere for him coming up. Being around him, I think he looks forward to that challenge. Frank Cignetti has done a terrific job coaching him."

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