"Unfortunately, the injury that he has is probably going to be about a three month injury, which will probably certainly carry through the end of the regular season. Maybe there's an outside possibility that – he's got his fingers crossed – the season goes well, and maybe he'll get a chance to play in a bowl game and this won't be his last game…. The surgery, the doctors said, went very well."
On the difficulty the defense will have against East Carolina:
"When you're playing a read-option offense, your defense is so challenged to be extraordinarily assignment-oriented… everybody has got to be conscientious about who's going to take the dive, who's going to take the quarterback, who's going to take the pitch, who's responsible for the motions [and] who's going to take the cutback. And then the secondary – they've got to be concerned about the play action pass. So you can't have guys just totally abandon their responsibilities, because the next thing you know, you do give up long runs and big passes."
On the importance of team speed:
"Having a great, athletic, fast team allows you to do a lot more things. You can be a lot more explosive. And also, when you make a mistake, fast guys can cover up for other guys' mistakes. And that's certainly some of the things that we're trying to do, not only with recruiting, but also through the emphasis of the players that we're putting on the field. We're trying to get as much speed on the field as we possibly can."
On the running game:
"Last week, we would have loved to have been able to run the football a little bit more. We tried to run some things, but not trying to alibi or make any excuses, but they kind of dared us to throw the football. We kind of torched them early in the game – we got a lot of big plays. We could have been hard-headed and say ‘Just the heck with it, instead of running into eight and nine-man lines, let's just throw it every down and try to score 65 points.' But we needed to work on the running game… so sometimes, some of the three and four-yard runs could have been bigger runs had we been able to drive them out of some of that eight-man front stuff."
On senior center Scott Lenahan's injury status:
"Scott strained a little bit of a calf muscle. He got a tremendous amount of treatment on Sunday and Monday and Tuesday, and he's worked himself back into practice. We have reasonably high expectations that he'll be able to play in the game on Saturday and it's good to have him back out there. He's a very good leader, he's a tough tenacious player and so it's good to have him respond the way he did to the treatment he received at the first of the week."
On the preparation of backup players:
"As I told the team this afternoon, every single player on our football team has got to go the stadium every single Saturday with the idea that they are one sprained ankle away from going into the game. The game may actually hinge on their performance for us to win the game. And I used for an example Chase Rice. I asked Bruce Carter, I said ‘Bruce, last week when you went to the stadium, how much defense did you actually think that you were going to play?' He said ‘Not very much – maybe five, six, seven plays.' And he ended up playing the entire second half.
"That's truly the way that you build your program, that's the way that you build depth in your program, is that you prepare your players to go in at any given time, and when they do get the opportunity, I don't think it can be just token minutes… you want them to go out there and run your offense and run your defense – that's how they get an opportunity to grow, because eventually, those young players are going to be the stars of tomorrow for this football team."
On the James Madison game:
"I have to be honest with you Woody, I'm one of those coaches that believes if you torture statistics enough, they'll tell you whatever you want them to tell you. Some of the things were certainly revealing – we were pleased with our third-down conversions with the offense, we were pleased with our big-play opportunities, we were disappointed with our running game, but we've already talked about how difficult that was because of their design. Defensively, the statistics of 250 yards, I think they got 75 of it in that last drive when we were playing a lot of second and third-team players, so you don't lose any sleep over that."
'Butch Davis Live' airs Thursday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.