"It's obviously way too early in the season to rest on any kind of laurels, but we're making progress, and there's several reasons why. First and foremost is that we've got an outstanding assistant coaching staff. These guys do a great job every week of getting these guys prepared and coming up with game plans that give each of these guys opportunities to make plays in all three phases.
"And then secondly, our players. They're hungry to do well. They're coachable, they practice hard, they prepare hard and they're really starting to focus on the things that give them a chance to win on Saturdays. Obviously, the season is a work in progress and the program is a work in progress, but we're definitely headed in the right direction."
"It's that time of year where I think the adrenaline and the excitement of winning helps heal the nicks and bumps and bruises that maybe would have showed up if the game would have gone in the other direction. We've been very fortunate. The kids showed up in great physical condition to start the season, and I think we can pretty much expect most of the guys to be ready to go on Saturday."
On his vision for the football program:
"I want our football team to be respected throughout the country. I want us to be first class. I want us to be a program that all of the other schools say, ‘Hey, we want to be like Carolina. The way they play with passion, excitement and enthusiasm. They're first class. Their kids graduate and they go on to have great careers inside of football and outside of football.' And obviously, we want to win a lot of games."
On the 146 rushing yards against Connecticut:
"That's one thing that I actually don't like about the NCAA statistics – that when a quarterback gets sacked or you lose the kind of yardage like we did on the muffed punt to Terrence Brown in the Miami game a couple of weeks ago, that comes off your rush totals. I think the sacks, like in the NFL, should come off your pass totals. But all I know is that when we handed it to the running backs, we had 171 yards and that's improvement."
On stopping Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen:
"It's going to be a challenge, because different from the Notre Dame teams that I've seen in the past when I was an assistant coach at Miami, they've got very, very talented wide receivers. They've got guys with big-play capabilities. Golden Tate is an extraordinarily fast athletic kid that they put out on the perimeter, and they give those guys lots of opportunities.
"They take what we call ‘shots' down the field. They're going to drop back and max-protect either off a play-action pass or they're going to keep a tight end in and a running back to go along with the five offensive linemen so that they can push the ball down the field. So the corners have got to do a great job. We've got to do a good job of keeping things in front of us."
On his progression at linebacker:
"What's big for me and Quan [Sturdivant] is watching film – study, study, study all week. Waking up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and watching film before we go to class, and we drop in when we don't have class and we watch film after practice. So I think that's the big thing for us, just studying film."
On breaking down film:
"On Mondays, we study first and second downs. And then we just keep breaking it down on Tuesdays, doing third and fourth downs. You want to not just look at the ball, but also study blocking schemes, receivers' route running and things like that."
On Mark Paschal:
"He's a great motivator for me and Quan. I really appreciate everything he does for me because on the field sometimes we get lost, but we communicate well and that's big for us."
'Butch Davis Live' airs Wednesday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.