Wednesday Butch Davis Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina head coach Butch Davis spoke with reporters Wednesday for his weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening remarks:
"Going on the road definitely presents its challenges, so we'll have our hands full. Just watching tape on East Carolina, they're very, very athletic, they've got a tremendous amount of team speed and their defense just looks extraordinarily talented. Virginia Tech has prided itself over the years with just a great, great running game. They've got a terrific running back, and East Carolina just made it extraordinarily difficult on them to run the football, so it's a complete set of differences and one that I think our football team will obviously find out a lot about ourselves going on the road. We'll find out something about our team – the youth of it, and kind of where we are."

Thoughts on losing junior linebacker Chase Rice to injury:
"It's very difficult to lose someone like Chase. Our football team is so young, with a very limited amount of seniors and a very limited amount of juniors, and so you hate losing someone like Chase. Obviously, he had won the starting job at linebacker for us. He was a significant contributor on several of our special teams [units], so from a leadership standpoint and talent and special teams, that's a big blow for a young football team to lose. You hate to lose any kid for any kind of injury for any length of time, and we wish him a very speedy recovery."

On red-shirt freshman running back Johnny White:
"I don't think that any one of our running backs distinguished themselves or separated themselves. We tried to get all three guys – Richie Rich and Anthony Elzy, along with Johnny – in the ball game to try to get a feel for how they would play and where they're going to be defining roles, how they might do on game day. But I think it was a positive start for them. There was nothing negative that came out of the ball game. We'll just see how all three of those guys continue to grow throughout the season."

On junior wide receiver Brooks Foster:
"Brooks did have a big-play game for us. We were pleased with the growth and the development of our receiving corps throughout training camp. I think their performance certainly came to light as the quarterback situation kind of developed and matured with T.J. [Yates] assuming the starting job. Those guys made plays – we were pleased. We were able to get Hakeem Nicks, Brooks, Brandon Tate, Kenton Thornton and Greg Little – we got quite a few guys into the game and I thought that they all played well.

"Brooks is a guy that's got big-play capability…now all the big challenge for all of them is consistency. Being able to play well and being complete players. We want them to play extraordinarily hard, not only when they're getting the football, but also being complimentary parts of the running game with some of the downfield blocking. And they're going to – I'm pleased with the way Brooks works in practice. He's an excellent kid and we think he's got a bright future.

Is Foster poised for a breakout season?
"I do think so. He's got the athleticism as you said. Anybody that's talented enough to play at University of North Carolina on the basketball team kind of speaks to his athletic ability, and he's got speed and good hands. I just think that all of our players, as they continue to grow and he's certainly one of them, that they'll continue to improve."

How does a young quarterback prepare for a hostile road game?
"Obviously, he's got to do the exact same things that he did last week. He's got to be very, very well-prepared. I think that T.J. went into the game feeling like he had the confidence and the supporting cast, the protections, the receivers – that everybody knew their role and knew exactly what they were going to do, so that the performance on game day came somewhat natural.

"Now, he's going to have a much bigger challenge. [ECU's] defense is so big and so talented and so athletic and very, very fast. The crowd noise will certainly be something that he has to deal with, but that's part of the growing pains of a young quarterback. Going on the road in hostile environments is certainly part of his growing experience."

What did you like most about Yates' performance:
"His decision-making. We felt like the things that earned him the opportunity to be the starter certainly manifested themselves in the first game. He had poise, he had confidence, he made the right reads [and] he got the balls to the right guys. When he did make a mistake and didn't allow it to frustrate him. It didn't shake his confidence, and he knew the mistake he made and he got over it and came back and continued to play well."

On the linebacker situation?
"We'll move some guys around. Bruce [Carter] will obviously become the starter and we'll move a couple of guys around in practice as Bruce's backup this week. It's an area of concern, because we don't have a lot of players at the linebacker position, just in sheer numbers. To be honest with you, we're probably three of four linebackers short on the team, that given the state of this football team, you'd like to have three or four more linebackers over the last two or three recruiting classes to be on the team at this given time."


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