"Do we have an hour to talk about it? … Right now, some of the guys that are getting closer but are clearly still not ready to play is Ryan Taylor and Zack Pianalto. They are making some strides, they're making some improvement. Jonathan Cooper has moved the meter [and] he's been able to practice a little bit this week. He hasn't done anything 100 percent at full speed. So we've got some issues with some of those guys.
"We did finally kind of release Dwight Jones to where he's 100 percent. He's able to take part in every single practice drill… Last week he got a chance to get into the game and he played three possessions, so hopefully he'll be available to be used. But some of the guys like Lowell Dyer are still quite a ways away."
Do you see Ryan Houston getting more snaps in the upcoming games?
"Well, I think so. We don't go into it saying, ‘Well, it's going to be 50-50.' You don't know how the game is going to go. But certainly, one of the things that Ryan is unbelievably good at is the short-yardage and goal line stuff. He's extraordinarily good at moving the pile. There's times where we wish that maybe we would have played him a little bit more – last week and maybe even against Georgia Tech. A lot of it depends on the style and the scheme and the things that we're trying to do, but I think Ryan's going to get all of the carries that he's going to need."
Are any true freshmen going to get the chance to play?
"I hope not. I hope not. We're already about as young and inexperienced as we need to be. If any more true freshmen have to play, it's not a good thing for the Carolina Tar Heels."
How is the rotation of the defensive line set?
"During the course of the week, you kind of anticipate the style of offense that the other team is going to play. Is it an up-tempo offense? Are they going to throw a lot? Are our defensive linemen going to be put in situations where they've got to rush the passer, turn and chase and run down field? What's the temperature on the field? Is it 95 degrees? All of those things play a little bit of a factor.
"Ideally what John Blake and Everett Withers and I would like to see is the starters to get somewhere in the neighborhood of about 60 percent to maybe 70 percent of the reps, and the second team guys and even a few of the third team guys, maybe get those guys somewhere between 30-35 percent of the snaps. You want guys to stay fresh and get into the game, and it grows experience and depth."
On Georgia Southern's passing attack:
"It's a lot of crossing routes and there's a lot of intricacy in it. Guys are trying to get to designed spots on the field. A lot of it is formation recognition. It's placement of different receivers. There's a lot of mental things that go into the preparation of [figuring] out which coverages fit best. What's the best way to try to deploy the underneath coverage? Do the safeties drop down into the coverage? So there's an awful lot of repetitions that have to take place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and a lot of film study, because you see a lot of things."
"It's clearly head and shoulders, probably in the 85-90 percentile – who wins the game is who wins the turnover ratio. There are rare exceptions, but you can just go to the newspaper on Sundays or Mondays and watch high school, college and NFL games and forget about all of the other stats. You look at that one statistic and if one team turns the ball over four times and the other team didn't or turned it over only once, you can just about predict which team won the ball game.
"In a typical football game, you're going to get in the neighborhood of 11-14 possessions, and if you're turning the ball over 2-3-4-5 times, now you're trying to win the game on 7-8-9 possessions and its extraordinarily difficult. It's demoralizing to your team and you need to capitalize."
How much of an advantage is if for your former players to have played in a pro-style offense?
"I don't think there's any questions that the schemes and the styles in the way in which we played at the University of Miami was an unbelievable advantage for those kids. And you hear the same thing from pro scouts and coaches and personnel people that came in over the last two years. When they took a look at what Hakeem Nicks had done in his two years here and Garrett Reynolds and all of those guys that got drafted.
"It makes a seamless transition from what they're doing collegiately and they can project easier what they're going to be able to do on the next level. All of those guys benefited… In some respects, it helped them get drafted higher because people made an easier projection than maybe they would have if we would have run different schemes and styles."
'Butch Davis Live' airs Wednesday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.