Butch Davis Radio Show Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Did you miss what Butch Davis said on his radio program Thursday night? Here are some excerpts from the live call-in show hosted by Woody Durham ...

On how the team responded coming off the East Carolina loss:
"I think they responded very well – I was pleased. It's a learning process any time that you do lose a ball game, of how do you get players to get through. The quickest way to get through is to correct the mistakes. By Sunday, when we walked off that field, the only thing we were trying to do was focus on Virginia.

"Guys [were] watching film on Monday, coming in on their day off – those are tell-tale signs for a football coach that your players are starting to move on…. I thought we had very good practices, they've been spirited, and I think our guys are very excited about this weekend."

On Connor Barth's strategy on kickoffs:
"What we're really trying to hope for is that if you can't kick it four or five yards deep into the end zone which would discourage [the opponent] from bringing the ball out, [then] we're trying to get hang time on the ball. We're trying to get the ball to be in the air for 4.2 or 4.4 seconds to give our coverage unit an opportunity to try to cover down the field.

"One of the disappointing things in last week's ball game certainly was the kick coverage. It was kind of feast or famine. Either we did a good job or they got a great return. That's an area that we've tried to work on this week."

On the new kickoff rule that moves the ball back to the 30-yard line:
"I think it will play out even more significantly when the weather changes. Right now, while the weather is really warm and humid, the balls are going to carry considerably better, because the kicker can compress the ball. For people that are golfers, it's very similar to hitting a golf ball during the summer time – how much faster it comes off the clubface.

"It's the same with the foot. When the weather gets colder in October and November, the balls are not going to compress, and kicks are going to go even shorter. Instead of maybe going to the goal line, you'll see a lot at the five and the six and the 10-yard line, and there's going to be action every single time."

On Durell Mapp:
"Durell Mapp had just a terrific ball game last week. He had four unassisted tackles [and] he had 14 assisted tackles. Anytime you get into double digits, you've had a great game.

"I've been very lucky in my coaching career to be around some really outstanding linebackers, both in the collegiate level and in the professional level, and the one common thread that runs through every single one of them is that they have a passion to make every single tackle. That they are flying to the football and I think that somewhat typified the way that Durell played last week.

"He was all over the field, he made some plays in the passing game, hit some receivers [and] he ran and chased the football down. Durell is blessed with good athletic ability. He has great burst, great change of direction – I hate the fact that he is a senior."

On his preference in either running at UVa defensive end Chris Long or running away from him:
"I prefer for him to graduate. He is really a good football player. I had the opportunity to watch his father play in the NFL when I was with the Cowboys. The intensity that this kid plays with is like he's on fire all of the time. He is active, he is athletic, he pursues [and] chases.

"I don't know if there is a right answer for that. If you run at him, then you're rolling the dice; if you run away from him, then he's got a chance to run you down. But he is an excellent football player and we're going to have to really play well. I think we've got some things for him, so we'll see how it turns out on Saturday."

On T.J. Yates' performance so far this season:
"I wish I could say that I'm genius and that I knew he was going to do that, but to be honest with you, I think he has certainly exceeded everybody on our staff's expectations at this particular point. He has shown an awful lot of maturity, a lot of poise, a lot of hard work.

"The thing as a coach that you really like about T.J. is the fact that he's kind of unflappable. It doesn't seem like whether it's pressure or blitzes – those kinds of things – you look at the poise that he had in that two-minute drill. He took the field and the score was tied 31-31, and he acted as if he had been in those situations the whole time. He took the ball, went 45-50 yards down the field and put us in position to kick a game-winning field goal. For a red-shirt freshman, that shows a tremendous amount of poise."

'Butch Davis Live' airs Thursday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.

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