On Tom O'Brien's claim about having the best program in the state after beating UNC:
"Those kinds of things certainly are resolved every single season. Every season is an entity into itself."
On this game's impact on recruiting:
"In all my years of coaching, I would tell you that recruiting is one of the biggest enigmas. Certainly, I think the wins and losses have an effect on it, but I think kids make decisions based on what they truly honestly feel is in the best interests of themselves. Whether it's educationally where you've got the program that they want to major in, or they've got an opportunity to play immediately [or] they're looking at life after football. What does a degree from that institution mean from me 10-12-15 years from now? Can my family come see me play? There's a long laundry list of things.
"Early at Miami, we built that program and we didn't beat Florida State until Year Six and then I think Miami won five or six in a row. But at the same time, we were getting the players that it was going to take to beat Florida State even when you weren't winning. So go figure in the minds of 17- and 18-year-old kids. I think facilities certainly play a role in it. There are a lot of things that impact recruiting."
Do you expect Ryan Houston to be available?
"Yes. He'll be full-go tomorrow."
Will you use '41-10' as a motivational tool this week?
"I just really have never gotten into previous years and past scores and past games. Obviously, I think our kids are aware of that. The thing that we will do with our players is that you've got to look at that game and you've got to say, ‘Hey, these are the things we didn't do very well that led to that particular outcome.' You've got to use it more as a teaching tool than a motivational tool."
How has the defense handled the burden of having to do more than their share?
"First of all, I would tell you that championship teams, and I would say that this just about true of any sport, the one consistent thing that you should be able to count on as a team is your defense. Whether it's the Chicago Bulls winning all of those championships and Michael [Jordan] being one of the greatest defenders after he made that transition to being a great defender after scoring all of those points…
"Two of the three Super Bowls that I was a part of in Dallas, the defense was No. 1 in the NFL. You go back to the Chicago Bears and their Super Bowl and the defense that they had… You may not catch the ball as well or throw the ball as well, but there are a lot of variables that happen offensively. You can't control the weather. But defensively, if you stay healthy and you play hard and you play smart and play fundamentally sound and stay disciplined, you've got a chance to play good solid defense."
Is the 41-10 score etched into everybody's minds?
"What's that? Payback, I think, is etched into everybody's mind. But it's a new season, new teams. So we've just got to go out there and play our game."
How long did that loss stay with you?
"It hurt a lot. We had to get rid of it quick because we had other games that we had to go out and play. But I think everybody still remembers what happened and how it happened. We've got to make sure it doesn't repeat."
When UNC jumped out to a 21-0 lead against Boston College, did offensive coordinator John Shoop decide to become more conservative in his approach?
"I don't think so. On that first interception, we were calling one of our shot plays down field. We were still pressing and trying to throw the ball deep. When you're up that much, the last thing you want to do is turn the ball over and give them a chance to get back in the game. That's what we did with the fumble and the interceptions, so we definitely can't do that when we have a lead."
Has the loss to N.C. State last season stayed with you?
"Yes, a little bit. But you try to forget it as much as possible, because it was one of our worst games all year long last year. So we tried to get that out of our minds. It was kind of a fluke, I guess. It's always in the back of your mind somewhat, but you try to get rid of it as much as you can."
Have you looked into the NFL Draft at all?
"I haven't really looked into it. I try not to pay any attention, because that can be a distraction. So I've just been trying to play the game and focus on what we've been doing."
On using these last two games to potentially play himself into the NFL Draft:
"You always have to think about that. I'm pretty sure that all of the guys on defense have been thinking about that. But as long as we focus and don't get out of our game and just go out there and play, I think everything will work out."