Wednesday Butch Davis Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina head coach Butch Davis spoke with reporters Wednesday for his weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening remarks:
"Certainly the challenge next week against Florida State is dramatically different than the one that we faced this past weekend. I thought our team prepared and played well last weekend. We did some things that hopefully we can continue to build upon. Defensively, we did the one thing in the game that clearly you need to do in every single game and that's create turnovers. It's one of the things that have been missing in the first five games of the season. We haven't been consistent in creating turnovers and giving our offense good field position and actually scoring some on defense. We were pleased that we made some things happen in the game offensively and took some steps forward.

"We clearly have still got a lot of work to do offensively to improve enough to be where we need to be certainly for the Florida State game. They are a very talented team. They've got a lot of speed and a lot of athletes. They're explosive. Christian Ponder is one of the best quarterbacks that we've faced since I've been here at Carolina and he's got an awful lot of gifted weapons around him. Mickey Andrews' defense, as always, is very talented. They've got speed at defensive end. Their linebackers and secondary kids can run."

Is there any chance that you might get Lowell Dyer back at all this season?
"We have guarded optimism. When the injury first occurred, it was almost like it was 100 percent certain that there was no way that he would return this season. Because at that time, they felt like the injury might be related to tendons and ligaments, and then after they did the MRIs and I think they did an angiogram and they looked at it and shot it with dye and they found out that it actually wasn't that. It was just actually muscle tissue, which no one knows how fast that muscle tissue repairs, but it did open the door slightly that there could be, depending upon how fast he recovers, that he might make it back at some particular point in time.

"But we've had to move on with Cam Holland as the starting center and we've had to make some adjustments… Lowell continues to work out and he continues to go to meetings and he's very involved in trying to help some of our young offensive linemen. If he does [return], it certainly won't be within the next week or two."

What are the challenges of building a football program at a place well known for basketball?
"Well, obviously, the University of North Carolina has a passion to be good at everything. They've been good in basketball for many, many years because they've had the good fortune to have two of basketball's greatest coaches in Dean Smith and Roy Williams. We use that, obviously, as an asset in attempting to recruit. But building a football program is about capturing the passion and the excitement that alumni and the fans have for the University of North Carolina. It takes recruiting and it takes time – it's a process. It's not just something where you can snap your fingers and it happens overnight. We think that we've made some strides in the previous two seasons and in our recruiting efforts, and I think the program is moving in the right direction."

Are there some kids that just won't come to a school like UNC because they want to go to a school where football is the focal point?
"I don't know. The ability to get on television has globalized recruiting. There was a period of time that kids wouldn't go to a school more than 200 or 300 miles away from home. They just didn't know anything about the school and their parents didn't know anything about them. One of the things that is a huge advantage for us is the great academic credibility that the University of North Carolina carries.

"There's an awful lot of parents that realize in today's society that football is a great dream and it's afforded an awful lot of kids the opportunity to get a college education and maybe a brief opportunity to play in the National Football League, but the education is going to be the key to their future. I think that kids recognize that and they're more willing to believe and to go places and be a part of building a program."

What do you make of your 4-2 record?
"What do I make of it? We're 4-2. It's better than some of the other alternatives. We just look at our team and our players every week. Are we getting better? Are we making strides? Are we overcoming some of the challenges and the adversity that we've had? I'm not a person that puts a tremendous amount of stock [on the record]. At the end of the season, you reflect back and you look at all twelve games. Did you accomplish what you could accomplish?"

Do you break your schedule down into halves?
"In some respects, a little bit. We're always constantly looking at ourselves and doing evaluations and self-scouts, just from the standpoint of people [and] personnel. Are we using people the right way that we can? Have the guys that have gotten an opportunity to play, are they making some strides to become a better football player? And is there anything that we can do? Is there anyway that we can think outside the box [or] stretch the envelope? Are there things that would help us become a better football team?

"The one thing that we did last week that I think helped us was that we simplified a lot of things. Instead of trying to grow and push the envelope and add plays and add schemes, we went back to fundamentals, tried to tackle better, tried to create more turnovers, tried to block better, tried to run harder, tried to catch the ball better [and] tried to protect better."

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