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:
"Playing Virginia Tech is always a challenge. Frank Beamer has done an outstanding job building that program. Going to Virginia Tech is always a challenge from the standpoint of crowd noise. It's something that your football team has to be prepared for. I think this is one of the best Virginia Tech teams that I've seen in probably the last eight or 10 years. Tyrod Taylor is an outstanding athlete and an excellent quarterback. He makes a lot of things happen.

"Defensively, Bud Foster's defense is very stingy. They do an outstanding job of taking away the things that you do best. And it's always a challenge special teams-wise. We've had a good week of practice and I think our kids are excited and ready to get on the road and get up there and play the game."

On Virginia Tech's defense:
"They don't compromise their principles. I think that's the one thing historically that you notice about their defense. They are basically who they are. It's a unique scheme. You don't see it. It presents some of the challenges that a 3-4 defense does, although it's structurally built different, but it's pretty much the same. There are four down defensive linemen. They way in which they deploy their secondary guys. They've got outside linebackers and strong safety guys and very athletic corners.

"They can tweak that package to try to take away [your strengths]. They can have an eight-man front to try to stop the run at any given moment because of the way they line up. They can also run people out and they can rush four, they can rush five, they can fire zone out of it and they can turn it into a pass defense or a defense that's built to stop the pass."

After the home Thursday night game last week, would UNC be open to hosting another Thursday night game in the future?
"Absolutely. I don't think there's any question. It went off really, really well. The cooperation from the university and the city was outstanding. The cooperation with the hospital was excellent. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive from just about everybody that was involved with it, with the exception of the fact that we didn't win the game. But just the mechanics of it and the cooperation and all of those kinds of things, I think that it clearly was a very positive step forward for us to be able to do that again in the future."

On the importance of getting Jonathan Cooper, Lowell Dyer and Zack Pianalto back:
"Well, we got some of those guys back last week against Florida State. But the lengthy injury list is probably as big as anybody's in the country, besides the ACC. We lost an awful lot of guys that were extraordinarily important to this season prior to the season ever starting with Carl Gaskins, who we felt like probably would have been one of our starting offensive linemen, and then losing Aaron Stahl. Matt Merletti and Ryan Taylor both were special teams captains, so we took some major blows before the season ever really unfolded.

"But as guys have gotten back, it helped us with a little bit of consistency and a little bit of continuity, but we still are unbelievably young and inexperienced on offense. We have growing pains from time to time and we hope as the season progresses, if we're fortunate to stay healthy, that they can take those game day experiences and continue to grow."

How different is a game with Zack Pianalto in it?
"Well, it's different just from the standpoint that he's got more experience. He's been in game and played more. He's somebody that when you play on Saturdays, or in this case on Thursday night, you want your best players playing."

On Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams:
"I have to believe that he is a significant difference in their offense this year, just because he's an excellent runner and he's got a lot of speed. He has the ability to create big plays. That makes – as it does with any football team – it makes you not be one dimensional. You can't just focus on Tyrod Taylor. You can't just focus on the wide receivers. Now, with a really outstanding running back, it makes them a lot more multi-dimensional and it makes you play a lot more honestly."

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