WEEK ONE: Inside with Coach P

Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni talks about UNC and the defense in this week's chat.

(DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO SEE THE UNC/FSU GAME?)
If anyone said Florida State has problems and aren't that good, watch the game and you'll found out that Florida State's really good. What you see on that film is Damien Durant playing very well. He's got a young core of wide receivers. He had some balls dropped on him; I thought he threw the ball very well. The backs are very good. I think you have to take into consideration that they played Florida State. I thought Florida State play very, very well. Defensively I thought that there were plays that North Carolina had that because of Florida State's athleticism, they didn't get as much out of the plays as many plays as they would get. I think that North Carolina is a heck of a lot better than the score would indicate. North Carolina has done some different things on offense. There are a few different wrinkles, but whatever our game plan is, it is.

(WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE THIS YEAR?)
I think the kids have worked awfully hard on getting things better fundamentally, getting the tools that they need to play their position. We have focused very, very hard on what's required, skills, techniques you need to have to be a good football player. I'm excited to play to see how far we've come.

(WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE OFFSEASON?)
Just what I've said. We're trying to work hard to be a better football team. You start at the beginning and work on the fundamentals.

(WHO WILL BE IN AT SAFETY?)
Understand that Troy Swittenburg will play. Diamond Ferri will also be in. There will be a couple of strong safeties on Saturday. I think Anthony has become more acquainted with the system. He's got a lot of range and gifted athletically. It's just a matter of time and experience for Anthony. At this point, we're going to play four safeties. Those two will start, but four will play.

(THOUGHTS ON THE SECONDARY)
I like the secondary. I like the safeties. I like the progress that the corners are making. Obviously Steven Gregory is the older of the two. I think Terrell Lemon is a younger guy who's got ability. I like Tanard Jackson as one of our young guys. You can see Tanard at the game on Saturday. We've got a lot of young guys that are working hard. I think there're a fine group of athletes. I think they're going to have a chance to be good. We've got a lot of people at the right places. I think we're asking those people to do the right things. I think the kids fit the right roles. This core of wide receivers that Carolina has is in some respects a young core. This is going to be a challenge for us.

(WHAT ABOUT THE CORNERS)
In this game you'll see four corners play. We have to go down there expecting it to be very warm there very, very humid there. You'll have to play last weekend when it was one of the warmest days of the summer. They're getting a lot of rain down there. It's possible that there will be more rain and humidity. We're going to try to keep people fresh.

(HOW ABOUT THE KICKERS?)
Thursday of this week we'll settle that competition. We're going to work through it today in PAT field goals. I think they need to continue. Colin's had good says. Justin Sujansky has good days. We'll keep that going and we're going to take it right to the end.

(ANXIOUS?)
We're very excited and anxious and get a game under our belt. Almost everyone in college has played their first game. I think us and Pitt are the only two. We're anxious and excited to go.

(HOW IS RIDDLE?)
There's no question that he can't be as sharp with the practices he's missed. He's doing good, he catches punts, he's consistent. He came in, in good shape. It's just a matter of knocking the rust off.

(WORRIED ABOUT THE HEAT?)
Drink before you're thirsty. I don't know. You have to drink a lot. But our guys are in great shape. We run. We've done the best we can to prepare for this. We've done all the running we can do. We've done that purposely. I think if we just have water and sometimes those fans. We've been to Texas, we've been to Oklahoma where it's been unreasonable hot. We've been there before.

(ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC?)
Each season, you're always optimistic. You're always looking forward to playing. We're starting late and would like to keep going. Keep playing well. The most improvement you see is between game one and game two. I've never been able to figure out whether it's advantageous or not.

(MORE ON THE OFFSEASON)
When you get beat and had the kind of season you had, is to go back on start over. We've done that. We went back and did that. We went back and there isn't one technique, one fundamental that we didn't go over. I think that is the only way to handle it. You go back, and you start over. I think the kids are responding very, very well to that. I think it's time to stop practicing against each other and see how far that's come. So that's where we're at. I'm anxious to see, just as everyone in this room is.

Cuse Nation Top Stories