Listen to Audio (7:43)
"I thought our kids tried to compete and fight the entire game. It's hard to beat a good football team when you spot them 17 points. I think, the big plays and the turnovers are the difference in the game. You can't give up the big passes in the game and then turn the ball over on special teams and fumbles to beat a good football team. I take my hat off to Coach [Al] Golden and his staff. That's a good football team. You can say what you want to about the record and I told our team in the locker room, you start talking about a team's record, that's wrong. A good football team is a good football team. They deserved to win the game today."
On being ready to play:
"I'll take the blame for that if they weren't ready. I don't feel that we practiced any different this week. Maybe it's the nature of the Miami game. But, I felt like our kids prepared well. I thought that we did everything we've done in previous weeks. But, if that was the case [that the players weren't ready], then I'll take the blame for that."
On previous week's mistakes catching up to this team:
"It doesn't matter what game it is, whether it's a past game that you made a mistake, you're trying to correct them every week. I think that the mistakes that we made today were critical – the early mistakes. I think we played better in the second half and we were able to capitalize and get off the field more in the second half, so we did overcome that a little in the second half. Anytime you make mistakes, they're going to come back to bite you. The old saying is it doesn't hurt you until it hurts you and that's what happened today."
On the inability to get pressure on the QB:
"I don't know if it was inability to get pressure. We didn't blitz a lot early in the day… We did a great job of stopping the run – our first emphasis was to stop the run – we held them to 44 yards net on the day. If you've got to blitz to do that, you're probably going to get creased at some point and time. Our deal was the four-man rush and stopping the run. [Miami] did an excellent job of throwing the football in the first half – I give them all the credit for throwing the football. Our emphasis was to stop the run and they made some plays in the passing game."
On the last play of the game:
"It's a play we practice every week. We've got about three or four last plays that we use. We look at the defense and we see what they do on the last play of games. We study that just like we study first and second down on run defense. If they put three guys in the end zone and cloud up the corners, there's no use in taking a shot at the end zone because those guys on the outside are not going to get off the line of scrimmage. You have t work the middle of the field and then get the ball on the outside with pitches. We work that every week in practice."
Listen to Audio (3:04)
On being down 14-0 early:
"It's tough. But we just didn't play the way we needed to play to win and it's in all phases. And we just need to watch the film and really just assess where we went wrong. But going down 14-0 is tough."
On UNC's two-minute offense:
"I just can't take those sacks. I don't know what we could do in practice to make it any better. We [work on it] every day. I guess the more experience I get in those situations, the better decisions I'll make. But that falls on my behalf – I just can't get sacks in those situations, that's twice."
Listen to Audio (2:45)
Was the plan to run the ball more during the last drive of the first half?
"It's all up to Coach [John] Shoop – he's the offensive coordinator. As an offense, you're going to do to the best of your ability whatever they call. We talk about it all the time – if Coach Shoop calls this, we're going to do that play to the best of our abilities. It's whatever Coach Shoop likes – he's up there reading their defense."
On the inability to score touchdowns in the red zone:
"It's times like that where when you get into the red zone, you've got to score. Coach always stresses that when you get into that red zone, you have to score – you can't settle for three points. In this game, if we would have got that six instead of the three, it would have made a pretty big difference in the game."
Listen to Audio (3:06)
On the slow start:
"I think the team was ready to go – you don't need motivation for games like this. I don't know what it was – maybe we'll find out tomorrow when we go and watch film. We just have to have the mindset of taking off fast. I feel like once we take off fast, our defense can play off of that and make more plays."
After being down, was it reassuring that the team has made half time adjustments in the past?
"Yea. We were down at half and we already knew what the mistakes were. We just kept speaking to everybody, ‘Let's go. Pick it up. We can come back.' We just kept putting that in our head and not let them score."
Listen to Audio (3:38)
On being down 14-0 early:
"It's definitely disappointing, because you work hard all week not to make mistakes and do everything right, and then you make the simple mistakes that we made early in the game it sets you behind the eight-ball and it's really hard to come back from – especially a good team.
On stopping Miami's running attack:
"We thought they were going to run the ball, run the ball. We knew we had to stop the run, because they have a really good running back and they're a really good running team. It really wasn't a big surprise knowing that we worked all week to stop the run."