(A pessimist would say you gave up 47 points, and optimist would say you scored 49)
Well, I would say we gave up zero in the fourth quarter when it really counted. We're obviously happy we scored that many points and I wish we hadn't given up that many. But at the same time, as the game went on, the defense played better and we played better as a team. I think there's some things that we need to clean up defensively. I like the way the kids battled and fought and battled from behind the whole game. We're happy with the way it came out and we're going to move on from here.
(Has the effort improve from this year to last?)
The kids fought their butts off last year. The kids fought every week last year. We lost three overtime games and we lost some tough games. It doesn't mean we didn't fight in those games. I have no problem with the effort last year. We're very proud with the way we executed. Defensively, gave up some plays we shouldn't have given up. The offense kept it within reason. As the game went on, the defense got better and better and that was the key. In the end it was a great team effort. You have to be awfully proud to be down 17, be in their stadium, you can't ask for anything more.
(What did you think of RJ Anderson?)
Robin has a plan as to what he's going to do. He knows what he has to do. He knows that he has to be very careful. Robin has been in a lot of football games here. He's worked awfully, awfully hard. He's sailing the ship here. He's one of the captains of the team. I thought Robin offensively made plays. There was a third down play to Jared Jones where it was awfully, awfully close. Great protection. Great route. Great throw. So, if you're going to win against good teams – North Carolina has good players – you have to make them.
(Was this a kind of game where Anderson would try to do too much?)
Any game is a game where a quarterback could do too much. Robin took care of the ball. When it was time to scramble and throw the ball out of bounds over everyone's head, he did that. When it was time and Damien was open to put a little touch on the ball, he did that. So, he did what he had to do for us to win the game. He did a very good job with it. He has good composure. He has a lot of confidence in what he's doing. He's a little more relaxed out there.
(What did you think of the defense?)
Troy Swittenburg was a lot of fun. Durant was looking for the receiver in the corner. Troy saw him and stayed in front of him and made it throw it to the back in front of him. When he saw that back, he ran as hard as he could to get to him, threw his helmet in front of the ball, got the ball loose and lost his helmet. Then Julian picked up the ball. As he sees Julian pick up the ball, grabs his helmet off the ground, puts his helmet back on and makes a block on the interceptions. If you like football, that was one of those Saturday morning fun plays that you see. It was great. KJ's play on the goal line, what can you say about that? The guy is a big back, he's running full speed for the end zone, he hits him at the one yard line and hits him at the one yard line, takes him off his feet and slams him to the ground. I mean, a freshman, it was a big time play. As I said before, when it came down to it, it was a great team effort.
(Where did Kelvin learn to tackle like that?)
I don't know where he learned it. He's a young guy and has a long way to go but he has a feel for it. He knew how close the guy was to the goal line, and he's a big strong kid. He just made a great play.
(Did you get frustrated by first half penalties?)
It's trying real, real hard. Trying so hard that Steven Gregory got a little carried away on his. Anthony tried to stop. Anthony ended up on his knees and they threw a flag anyway. Josh was trying to make a tackle and grabbed him by the facemask. You're trying to get your feet wet, and those penalties come in there, it's really frustrating for he kids. You have to give those kids credit. They didn't come unglued. The wheels come off the cart at that point. Rich Scanlon and the seniors, they got something to do with that. The kids were great at halftime. They understood everything we needed to do.
(Grade the defense)
There were times when it was very, very good. It was a couple of plays where we had some technique problems, but I would say very encouraging. Going in the right direction. I don't think there are any changes; I just think we're trying to work hard on basic fundamentals. All the techniques involved in the corners and safeties, those kids made some excellent plays. Those kids are going in the right direction. You just have to give them a little patience and a little time.
(Were you trying to sack Durant?)
When you're rushing three, you're not going to sack the QB. We didn't go in the game saying we were going to sack the guy. We made the decision that we were going to try very hard not to let him run all over the field. He had one run of 14 yards. Sometimes, when you try to blitz the guy, you get him on the ground, he's moving around, and you're in single man-to-man coverage, that's the worst thing you can have. The only thing we could do better is when he started to scramble around, is to stay in our coverage. So the play starts, and they're covering, the six seven seconds go by and they start to look around saying, where is the guy? That's when it gets away from them. The one thing I could have done a better job with is scramble plays. Don't start to come up when he scrambles. That's one thing we could've done a better job of. On scrambles they have to be a little more patient.
(How about Morant?)
He's such a big play threat that its hard for the defense to put one guy over there. When you put two guys over there, you don't have as many in the middle so you can run the ball. Having Johnnie out there, he means a lot to the team. He's a talent and he's trying very hard. Hopefully every week he'll get better and keep making those plays.
(More on Morant)
Johnnie's always been a good kid, a very respectful kid. He hasn't always had success on the field, but on Saturday, we saw it. What Johnnie's got to do is keep his nose to the grindstone and keep working and keep humble. Johnnie had an excellent week of preparation last week and had his best game ever. There's a correlation.
(What did you think of overtime?)
You may as well shut it down and have a redzone scrimmage. Get your best red zone runs, passes, defense, blocks, grind away. What I really liked about it is it's really fair. Both teams have got an equal opportunity. It's good for the fans. It's good for the players. It's good for the coaches. It's worked out. In preseason camp, it forces you to work a little more in the redzone.
(How much did conditioning play a role?)
You get tired of all of those plays. That was a game and a half. Coach Hicks got the game ball. It tells you how important conditioning is.
(Talk about Reyes)
I would say that Walter Reyes performance on Saturday ranks up there. Give some credit to the offensive line. Those guys all blocked. Walter ran well, but he'll be the first to tell you that the QBs the guy that gets you in the right direction. Then those guys have to block. It goes back to the team effort. Walter made some great runs.
(How about Louisville?)
They're a very, very good team.
They're real big. Tough. Strong.
Left hander. Throws well. Runs well. There's a lot of similar concepts. He runs around. We're going to have to contain him.
WEEK TWO: Inside with coach P
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