Wednesday Butch Davis Quotes

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

Opening comments:
"As has been said obviously many times, there's probably people out there that maybe have not been present at press conference and practices. The unfortunate thing is that there are probably questions that people would like to ask that I just don't have the ability to be able to answer the questions, other than things that directly relate to the LSU game. I'd be happy to talk about our team and the game, so I'm ready for questions."

Is there any chance that we may learn something or will you or the university make any decisions in the next 24 hours or so?
"I wish I could answer that question. Obviously, it kind of falls into this entire review thing. I think we're all in the holding mode as far as that is concerned. Right now, we're just preparing for the game."

Has anything changed with the fluid depth chart that you mentioned on Monday? Are you still operating with a bunch of different contingencies?
"That's pretty accurate. We're trying to prepare for all scenarios."

Does LSU remind you of Miami or FSU in terms of the talent they have?
"Yes. I would say that I think it's indicative of teams in the south, to be honest with you. I think there are such dramatic differences in the teams in the ACC and the SEC and probably even in the southern half of what used to be the Big 12. There are a lot of skilled athletes, there's an awful lot of speed. You can make the same argument about Georgia, Clemson or any of the teams in the SEC. They're a fast team, they've got a lot of good athletes. They play a different style schematically both offensively and defensively than say the traditional Big Ten teams and maybe the northern half of the Big 12."

There seems to be a lot of similarities between UNC and LSU – strong defenses and struggling offenses –
"Obviously, teams run in cycles. If you look back at LSU a couple of years ago, when they had JaMarcus Russell and Brandon LaFell, you would probably categorize them as being an offensive football team. But with the particular cycle right now, they've got an awful lot of returning depth and a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball.

"Offensively, they have some really talented kids. Jordan Jefferson, the quarterback, is a kid that is not too different from a lot of the guys that we see in the ACC. He's a good passer, he's a very athletic kid that can extend plays. Russell Shepard at wideout, along with Rueben Randle, those are two kids that can take a ball and they can go the length of the field and they can make big plays. Offensively, one of the things that's been a little bit difficult is that teams are always in transition. They're always looking for ways to prepare.

"In first games, a lot of times, teams haven't developed a personality. They haven't had 2-3-4 games under their belt where you can say, ‘Okay, this is who they are, this is what they're trying to accomplish.' Because last year, they were in a traditional I-formation and had a conventional power running game at times, and then they ran the spread. So it challenges you defense to be prepared with both aspects of it."

How are the players handling all of this NCAA mess? Has morale been affected in any way?
"We had our first practice yesterday for the week and obviously, you could tell that there's definitely a difference that it's game week. Unlike the NFL where you get preseason games and you get a chance to go out and play, there comes a point in time with every football team when you get tired of practicing against yourself. Training camp is exciting and there's challenges and a lot of competition.

"In the first two weeks, there is a lot of enthusiasm and then you hit the dog days of August and it's like, ‘When can we hurry up and play a game?' I think this football team is certainly in that situation. It's time to go and play and put some of the distractions behind us and focus legitimately on an opponent. Practice reps have a more significant meaning than maybe they did two or three weeks ago because of not only who's taking them, but because an opponent actually has a face."

Have you created different game plans with the uncertainty about which players will be available on Saturday?
"In college football, you only have 17 hours. You barely have time to get one game plan prepared. So we've made preparations to play against LSU and whatever players we're able to use in that particular ball game, they're going to have to execute the game plan because you still ultimately…

"LSU is not going to change. They're going to have a multi-faceted offense. They're going to do a lot of different things. We're going to see traditional I-formations and might even see multiple tight ends at times. And then they'll run the gamut of three and four wide receivers and go empty formation. So you've got to be prepared for all of that. They've got multi-look schemes defensively, so your offense has got to be prepared. I guess the short answer is that you've just got to put one game plan together and get your team prepared the best that you possibly can."

How do you hedge against certain players not being able to play?
"We've had to be somewhat prudent a little bit in the number of practice repetitions that certain guys get, so it's something that we almost have to play by ear. Anybody that you think might have to play that maybe has a limited amount of experience, maybe you give them slightly more practice opportunities than you would maybe somebody that has played a lot more."

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