“After getting a chance to really break down the film and look at our team I think it was confirmed what I said the other night. I don’t think that we’re that far away. We have to play much better than we did and that was the disappointing thing was in our execution in all three phases. There were some really bright spots in the film. There were some good things that happened. Some young kids got to play. I would just think we’re going to have to play much better to be in a game with the No. 6 team in the country if we’re going to try to compete with them.”
What were some of the bright spots you saw against South Carolina?
“I would say you had Bug Howard come in the game and make some really nice plays for us. I thought Romar (Morris) ran hard when he ran. I thought we did a fairly good job of handling a great defensive end that played multiple positions. I thought defensively if you look at what we did other than four plays we did some really good things. We just gave up four big plays. If you don’t give those four big plays up then you’re sitting in here talking about a different defense. We understand that’s part of the game and you’ve got to play every play. Special teams wise we had some great effort. Now we had some major problems when you drop a punt and things like that but we had some tremendous effort on that field on our special teams. I think our guys can see from the film we’re not that far away. You know we just gotta keep working.”
On Norkeithus Otis and the bandit position:
“Norkeithus was all over the field. He really was very productive. I believe he had one missed assignment where he didn’t take the quarterback one time and it led to about a twenty-yard run by the quarterback and that was his biggest mishap of the game. Other than that he was all over the field.”
Any determination made yet on Mack Lloyd’s status?
“Not yet. We have a MRI coming sometime here whenever everybody goes back to work.”
Was there any disciplinary action taken out on Kiaro Holts after his clip on Jadeveon Clowney?
“Yeah, we talked to him. He got a personal foul. He clipped but it was within the play. It was not after the play. We disciplined him just like we do with all of our players who get a personal foul that hurt the football team. But if you really look at it, Kiaro got beat and he got beat bad. He’s trying to recover and trying to cut the player. I don’t think he cared who it was but he was trying to keep that guy away from Bryn (Renner). He doesn’t know the ball’s already been thrown. He doesn’t know the guy is already turning to look down the field. He’s just trying to recover. There was no malicious intent. All of the conspiracy theories that are out there, there was no truth to any of that. The kid was just trying to make a play and he made a poor choice.”
Did your offense get away from what it routinely likes to do in an attempt to compensate for the capabilities of Jadeveon Clowney and the South Carolina defensive front?
“A little bit. Yeah. You want to try to get the ball out quick so that prevents you from throwing some routes that are going to tend to make you hold the ball a little bit longer and try to push it down the field. Yeah, we had to alter some things. Again I thought for him lining up, I think he lined up against every offensive lineman across the field. Every single one of them. He lined up on James Hurst. He lined up on (Caleb) Peterson. He lined up on (Russell) Bodine. He lined up on Landon Turner. He lined up on (Jon) Heck. They did a nice job with their game plan with him and moving him around. That makes it virtually impossible to set up a protection. I thought when the backs were able to chip they did a really nice job on the guy. I thought our tempo was kind of the equalizer for him. It didn’t mean we stopped him but it obviously caused him some problems. I would have hate to have seen what he would’ve done if we had been a huddle offense and he had time to breathe in-between plays.”
On UNC's offense after struggling to find success against South Carolina:
“There’s not any panic within the offense or the offensive staff or the players or anything like that. The offense is proven. If you just play within the system and you don’t shoot yourself in the foot you’re going to make plays and explosive plays. It’s built that way. There’s no panic. There’s just go back to work and let’s execute better than we did this past week.”
On UNC's struggles in the red zone and how to alleviate those issues moving forward:
“One of them was I think around a 17-play drive. You need to make a few big plays along there. When you go 17 or 18 plays I think any defense will tell you if they can make you snap it one more time they know the chances are you’re going to make a mistake. When you go 17 plays and you end up kicking a field goal nobody likes that and we do need to finish them off. We had some opportunities to finish the drive off and we didn’t. The other one was an 18-play drive that we took it in and scored. That’s tough to do now. That means your doing it four or five yards a pop. To do that without making mistakes and putting yourself behind the chains that’s hard to do. We need some explosive plays in there is what we need.”
Comments on red zone philosophy:
“That’s an old school attitude that when you get down into the red zone you need to have big personnel in there and you need to pound it away. If you follow college football in the last five years I think people have proven that wrong. You can be a spread offense and be good in the red zone, score zone and on the goal line.”
Thoughts heading into Saturday’s matchup with Middle Tennessee State:
“I wouldn’t think we have anything to be flat about. We have another opponent coming up. We have an opportunity to get a bad taste out of our mouth and that knot out of our stomach and we’re playing in the Tar Pit. That’s really all it should take.
“You need to understand this team that’s coming in here they’ve beaten ACC teams. They did it last year and they’ve done it before. They’re not going to come in here thinking they can’t win the football game. We’ll have all of our focus on Middle Tennessee. We won’t be worried about the bye week or what’s coming down the road. It’ll be all about Middle Tennessee.”