Listen to Audio (10:39)
“Obviously, it’s a good win for a program getting started. [We] had some things that were really positive. I thought we had a good game week of preparation. The kids were focused from the time we got to the hotel to the time we got over here for pregame warmup.
“I don’t know if you guys know: we played 21 freshmen today and ten true freshmen. We’re trying to build this program and we felt like we need to get those guys on the field and playing.
“We played the three main tailbacks today. We felt like those guys had a really good day – Gio [Bernard] with 65 yards, Ryan [Houston] with 62, and A.J. Blue at the end there with 38. A.J.’s probably pushing for some more playing time.
“Obviously, everybody knows Bryn Renner, he was 22-of-23 [passing] with one errant pass being an interception. I don’t know if that’s an ACC record, but it’s got to be close. Ninety-seven percent completion percentage so that’s pretty good.”
On Renner’s post game hug:
“I think Bryn understands me and respects me as much as I respect him. We have a pretty good relationship. He’s a son of a coach and he understands what coaches go through and how things affect coaches and their families. He’s a pretty special young man.”
On awarding the game ball to Butch Davis:
“I don’t know when I plan on doing it, but I just know we’re going to paint one up and give it him. I’ll tell you guys this: Tuesday, about 1:30, Coach Davis called me. And I know why he called me at 1:30, because at 2:10 we start a special teams meeting and it hit him for the first time that he’s not going to be sitting in on that special teams meeting. It hit me – it hit me. So, I told the kids on Thursday, I said ‘We’re getting ready to paint this ball up for Coach and give it to him.’”
Did today’s play exceed or meet your expectations, especially with a first-year starting quarterback?
“Obviously, I’m proud of what happened out there today. Hopefully, we can continue to get better. We’ll talk about meeting and exceeding when this [season] is over with. I want to get better each week – that’s all I care about.”
Listen to Audio (5:25)
On the confidence scoring on the first drive provided:
“I think it was essential... Dwight made a heck of a play on the first touchdown – it was a poorly thrown ball, if you guys look at it. But he did a great job adjusting to it.”
On keeping the plays alive with his feet:
“The o-line made a great pocket – all I did was step up. A couple times I made a couple moves, but they did a phenomenal job all day. I can’t say enough… It allowed a first year quarterback to have confidence.”
Listen to Audio (2:08)
On being out there after missing last season:
“It feels good. Not being out on the field for two years [and] get back into the motion of things. The game is still fast. It’s still a brutal game.”
On the mood of the locker room:
“It was excitement – so [much] excitement. Before the game, we were talking about [how] we were going to paint the ball up for Coach Davis, because Coach Davis made us and recruited all of us. Tears came into the locker room, because we were like ‘Alright, we’re going to do this for Coach Davis. We’re going to win and give a great effort.’ We just played our heart out and just to come away with the victory and give the ball to Coach Davis is a great feeling.”
Listen to Audio (3:35)
On the effects of today’s outcome:
“I think it gives us a lot of confidence going into our next game. Bryn coming out and playing a tremendous game – I didn’t know he played that well. Bryn came out and played like he’d been playing for four years. The scary thing is: he’s so young – he has a lot of work to do. But, he’s going to get better every week. We’re going to get better every week. I think we’re going to do some big things this year.”
Did Renner’s play surprise you?
“No, he didn’t surprise me not one bit. I had a lot of confidence in him. We have to catch his balls. It’s like any quarterback – you’ve got to catch their balls and give them confidence. He’s been doing wonderful in trying camp. He’s just been getting better and progressing every day. He came out and did big things today. It didn’t surprise me one bit.”
Listen to Audio (2:29)
On stopping the run:
“We definitely wanted to stop the run and make plays and keep them to as less yards as possible as far as rushing and then that would give us the opportunity to get to the passer – that was the whole game plan and we just stuck with it.”
On needing this performance for confidence:
“No. Overall, we always knew what we were capable of doing. We just had to go out and execute. There was no doubt in our mind.”