"The positive thing to winning was that the [game] went in the right column, the win column, and the next most important thing was that we didn't get anybody injured, so that's a positive, and a lot of young guys got a chance to play.
"We really felt like going into the game that we would play a little bit better than we did. And I wish I could sit here and tell you why we didn't blow them out 55-0, but one of the reasons is that they're a pretty good football team. They've got some good athletes. Anybody that didn't recognize the fact that they've got some speed…
"We tried to impress upon our players leading up to the start of that ball game that you have to respect everybody. In today's college football, there's way too many times that you see Arkansas State go and beat Texas A&M and it happens. You just don't want it to happen to you."
On Thursday night games:
"We would love to have one here in Chapel Hill. I don't know if that's going to happen in the foreseeable future, but I think our players are excited about it. It's an opportunity to be the only game in the country being played, so from that standpoint, you get a chance to play on the big stage. I think that certainly should be an exciting opportunity for our players… We're looking forward to the challenge. It's loud. They've turned Thursday nights at Rutgers into an electric atmosphere the last couple of years."
"Greg [Schiano] has done a great job at Rutgers. And I just look at his program and I've watched the film of his players over the last two or three days, and then look back at some of the steps that we had to take at Miami, and what Greg has had to go through.
"Now, in Year Seven, to put that program in a position to play in bowl games the last couple of years and now they've got Teel at quarterback as a fifth-year senior… We don't have guys on our football team that have known our staff for more than 18 months. So five years seems like an eternity to have someone in your program that you can watch grow and develop and be in your systems and everything."
What adjustments have you made after the McNeese State game?
"One of the things that was a big problem for us in the ball game, and I'll take the blame for this, in an attempt to try to protect our football players, one of the things that we do not allow our offense to do to our own players is to cut.
"Cutting is one of the techniques used by the offensive line and the tight ends and sometimes the running backs were during the course of a running play, they'll just run and cut below the knees of the players that are playing. We don't want to do that because we don't want to risk injuries. I certainly would just be devastated if Garrett Reynolds ran and cut Marvin Austin and he'd roll up his angle and we'd lose him for his career or something like that…
"When you play teams like the Denver Broncos and the teams that run the zone-read type of plays where it's a zone blocking scheme and there's a lot of cutting on the backside, you get a lot of guys that are looking in the backfield and looking for the ball carrier, and then all of a sudden, they're not focusing on the headgear of the guy that they're responsible for defeating and you get a lot of guys cut off their feet… So we've worked a lot on that, in a controlled type of the situation. You still can't do it 100 percent like that."
"From a bye week standpoint, we should get some players back that we held out of the first game. We really missed Johnny White, and we missed Cooter Arnold. There were a couple of guys like that that we held out that would have helped us on special teams. They're two very, very fast guys that do an excellent job on covering punts and kickoffs, so getting a couple of guys like that back… Bobby Rome limped around with a little bit of a nick in his ankle during the course of the ball game. We held him out of practice earlier in the week, but he's coming back to practice."
When will more freshmen play?
"When they're ready to play. As I told all of the freshmen in the very first meeting that I ever had with them, I said there's going to be two things that are going to determine whether or not you play for us this year. One is that you have to know what to do. We cannot put you on the field and let ten other guys suffer because you make a rookie mistake, if you don't know coverages and you don't know responsibilities. And the second thing is that you've got to play like your hair is on fire. You've got to go out there and lean to play at a college level, not at a high level of high school, because it is a dramatically different intensity level…
"Christian Wilson, who missed almost the entire month of August with a really bad ankle injury that he had prior to coming here from playing in an all-star game that he played in over the summertime, he's back playing in practice. So hopefully he's another guy along with Jamal Womble and some of the defensive linemen and some of the linebackers – we'll get some of those guys some roles here in the next couple of weeks."
'Butch Davis Live' airs Wednesday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.