Listen to Audio (10:19)
“It’s good to be 5-1, 4-0 in nonconference and 2-0 against the Big East. People talk about throughout the early part of the season us starting fast but not doing well in the second half. I think we reversed that today. We worked on a bunch of things at halftime and I thought over 200 yards [of offense] in the second half was huge.
“This defense was ranked in the top 15 in the country and for Gio [Bernard] to gain 109 yards against this defense is pretty good. So we’re excited about that. Obviously, we have got a lot of things to go back and work on. But any time you can go back and work on things and come out with a ‘W’ it’s important. Gio’s the first ‘back since ’84 – since Ethan Horton – to [rush] four straight 100-yard games. So that’s a pretty good stat. We need to keep that going.
“I’m pleased with the kids. I thought their attitude at halftime was great. There was no panic [and] the score was 0-0. We talk about being 0-0 at halftime whether we’re up or down and we were at 0-0. So it made it real easy for us to go in there and correct some things and come out and play better in the second half.
“My hat goes off to Charlie Strong and the coaches at Louisville. They’re going to have a really good football team. They play really good defense and [have] a good young quarterback. This was not going to be an easy test and we knew it coming in.”
Would you have liked to have seen your offense run Gio more in the first half?
“I think we wanted to try as best we could to gain yards, whether it was running or passing. Any time you’re playing a good defense, you have got to figure out where they are weak at.”
On what UNC did differently in the second half defensively to stall Louisville’s offense:
“I think our coaches did a good job at halftime figuring out protections. We had a little bit of an idea of what they might do in this game offensively. A new signal caller for them calling plays, so we really didn’t know totally what they would do. They ran a little bit more ‘wildcat’ than we thought they would. So it was just a matter of figuring things out.”
On Dwight Jones’ making big plays:
“I think any of our wide outs that get single coverage – and we know they’re going to get single coverage with no safety over the top – if we can throw it up to them, we feel like they’ve got an opportunity to make plays on single coverage. Some of the coaches Dwight was making outside was because of the formations and what people are giving us.”
Listen to Audio (2:34)
How does it feel to top 100 yards again?
“It feels great. Once again, it’s not even [just] me. It’s the o-linemen, the tight ends, and our fullback. I feel that they’ve done a great job all season opening up those holes for everybody that’s running the ball. I’m just so grateful that I have such a great offensive line, a great tight end core, and a great fullback in front of me.”
On not scoring in the first half:
“We knew it was just a matter of time. I think that’s our mentality. We have so many explosive players in our offense and Coach [John] Shoop [how] explosive players make explosive plays. It was just a matter of time [before] we get the ball to one of them.
“Dwight Jones did an amazing job on that catch. It was unbelievable. Guys were trying to strip [the ball], but his mentality is to get into the end zone.”
Listen to Audio (2:10)
On his touchdown reception:
“I really just thought they were trying to tackle me – I really didn’t know they were trying to strip it. At the same time, I was just trying to keep my feet moving. I didn’t think I was going to spin out of it. I was lucky enough to spin out of it.”
On the lack of offensive plays during the first half:
“You really can’t find a rhythm and you really can’t get into the flow of the game… It was difficult. But we had the mindset of come the second half we were going to step it up.”
Listen to Audio (3:01)
On dealing with the extrea pressure when the offense is struggling:
“We basically have to keep doing what we’re doing and our offense is going to make a big play. Dwight made a big play, Gio [made a big play, our field goal unit [drew] an offsides. And that’s all we’re waiting for is a big play to happen.”
On allowing Louisville to score a touchdown in the final minutes:
“It was a heartbreaker for me. We were looking for a shutout [and] we were talking about it late in the fourth quarter. [But] somebody missed their assignment, they scored, and we just have to go back to the next play.”
Listen to Audio (2:45)
On Louisville’s offense:
“They really came to play – that’s the big thing. When you’re [going against] a team that’s well coached and they came to play, you’ve got to go away from what you’ve watched in film, because their offense is going to come with something different. We had the game plan to go with the flow.”
On his play this season:
“The biggest thing with me is I want to help my team in any way. The first couple of weeks, I felt like I had a slow start. So the biggest thing is: I want to step up. I still don’t feel like I’ve had my best game yet – I still feel like there’s more to come from me.”