UNC-Miami (OH): Locker Room Report

CHAPEL HILL -- University of North Carolina football players Will Chapman, Sam Aiken, Darian Durant, and Dexter Reid spoke to the media following their season-opening 27-21 loss to the Miami (OH) RedHawks.

Will Chapman

The offense had nine turnovers today. That seems pretty hard to overcome.

It's impossible to win games [when that happens], but we almost did. We fought hard, and we didn't put our heads down.

The defense should have made a stop after the goal line stand. It could have given us a lot of momentum, but it didn't help.

But don't you think the defense played well?

We did, but I wasn't real happy with stopping the run -- especially on third downs. They converted too many third downs. That's our chance to get off the field. We have to do that.

You knew they would spread the offense, but they seemed to run up the middle a lot.

As a defensive end, we were preparing for more outside [runs]. When they started running inside, we started slanting inside, and we did better when we did that, but it caught us off guard.

When there are so many turnovers, do you get worn down?

You do, but it's mentally wearing down because you get off the field excited about a big play, and then there is a turnover. But that's football. If we can get through adversity like that, it will help us in the long run.

Sam Aiken

What do nine turnovers do to scoring opportunities, even when you are moving the ball?

"When a team has that many turnovers, it's hard to win the game. We all had mental mistakes, but we didn't give up. We've been in this situation before, so we know how to bounce back.

Even though you lost, you had a great individual game with eight catches for 174 yards. Could you talk about that?

We lost as a team, so individual stats don't concern me. We dropped this game, but we have a chance to bounce back next week.

With everything that went wrong, you still had a chance to win. Does that fact give you confidence?

It shows people that we don't give up. We still can bounce back with nine turnovers, and we are going to play all four quarters.

Darian Durant

I bet you could have never fathomed nine tunovers, could you?

Never. Is that a record? [Ties ACC record] That's a bad way to get in the record books.

Is it even more frustrating that you were able to move that ball but couldn't score?

Of course. They couldn't stop us. We moved the ball up and down the field all day long. It's just unfortunate that we had a couple mishaps, and that cost us the game.

Do you think you pressed after the tunovers began to pile up?

I don't think so. I tried to relax, but when we got in the fourth quarter, I tried to do too much -- I felt like I was running out of time as far as the clock was concerned. I just wanted to get in the endzone as soon as possible, and I made a costly mistake.

Dexter Reid

What did you think of the front seven, where there were a lot of question marks?

I thought they played hard at times. I'm not going to point fingers. We're a defense, and we're a team. We play like a team, walk like a team, and behave like a team. I don't think that the defensive backs, including myself, played the way we should have played in this game.

What do you think you could have done better?

On third down, we weren't able to get off the field -- from third and short to third and long. We weren't able to get off the field, and you must win third downs in order to win games.

With the turnovers by the offense, do you get worn down at all on defense?

You come in the summertime and see what we have to do with Coach Connors. There's nothing harder than that in the game, to me or the rest of the team. I don't think it wore us down.

Where do you go from here?

We come in tomorrow and watch film and learn from our mistakes as a team. We have to focus on things to get better. After tomorrow, we have to put this game behind us and start getting ready for Syracuse.

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