Comments on what went wrong against East Carolina:
“There’s an old saying in coaching that it’s never as bad as you think it is and it’s never as good as you think it is. When you go in and look at the film, it’s as bad as I thought it was. It was pretty bad. Just overall it was hard to find the positive things in the game. It was really was. You know it was very disappointing. It was disappointing for our fans because we had a great crowd. It was awesome. The setting was tremendous. We just didn’t perform as a football team and that’s my responsibility.”
How do you handle your team after suffering a tough loss like Saturday?
“Well, because I’ve done this so many years, we really don’t change anything. We’re critical when we win. We’re critical when we lose. We point out the good things and we point out the mistakes. We try to learn from the mistakes and get it corrected. Win or lose we really work the guys the same way. You can’t do it any other way. You can’t go in there and say we’re really going to work hard this week. Well if you’re saying that what have you been doing the other weeks? We’re working hard every single week and we’re trying to get those mistakes corrected and get better from them.”
What have you found throughout your career to be the best way to make sure players play with the energy level you expect?
“I can assure you it’s not a pregame speech or a halftime speech that does it. It comes from within. It’s something that you have and it’s something that’s instilled in you and it’s something that you understand when to turn it on and when to turn it off. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get them to turn it on. From the very beginning, we just didn’t have it. I tell you, people ask all the time, ‘Well what’d they look like in the pregame?’ Well they look the same to me as they do most of the time actually. First of all, they’ve got helmets on and it’s hard to see. You look in their eyes and I think there’s been times when I thought we’re going to play like gangbusters and then we didn’t. Then there are times I thought you know what I’m not sure we’re ready and we played like gangbusters. I don’t have the answer for that one.”
Comments on offensive improvement:
“We started making a few things happen. We had some guys that made some plays and that’s what you have to do because the players have to make plays. When you get into situations like that when things aren’t going your way you’ve got to have guys step up. We had some guys step up in those situations so that is one of the positive things.”
How do you make sure the rough start is behind you and move forward to face a formidable Coastal rival in Virginia Tech?
“One thing is having a routine that we do and treating it the same way whether you win or lose. It doesn’t matter for us. We get it all put to bed on Sunday before we go out to practice. We go out to practice. We get the things corrected and then we move on. We can’t look back. I’ve been in it long enough to know that one team can beat you twice if you’re not careful.”
Thoughts on Quinshad Davis after his best performance of the season:
“Quinshad’s a player for us. There’s no doubt about it. The guy is very unselfish. All he wants is for us to be successful. There’s been some games where they’ve taken him away. That’s opened up (Eric) Ebron inside or other guys. This game they concentrated a little bit other places and he was the guy that hurt him.”
How do you clean up the personal foul penalties that have plagued the Tar Heels this season?
“I’ve always said that personal fouls are nothing but being selfish. I mean they really are. You lose your head. You do something that you shouldn’t do. Your team’s got to be more important to you than that. We stress it. Our guys do a little something extra for a personal foul. Hopefully we’ll get the idea here pretty soon.”
Thoughts on A.J. Blue’s comments about taking East Carolina lightly:
“I didn’t feel that way. If I ‘d felt that way, I would’ve addressed it before we ever got to the field. In the situation we were in coming off a loss at Georgia Tech, I don’t know how we would take anybody lightly, any time. There’s so much parity in the game today that you’ve got to go out there and play at a high level every Saturday. I promise you anybody can beat you on any given Saturday. So you better go out there. You better prepare yourself. You better have a pretty good personal plan and you better go play ball.”
Thoughts on a reported players-only meeting after Saturday’s loss:
“I didn’t know we had one. If the players call a meeting, I think it’s great. That’s what leadership is. If the leaders on the football team think they need to talk to everybody then I think it’s a great way of doing it. You don’t need coaches in there to run it. If that happens then that’s great. I’m all for it. A.J. Blue talked to the team afterwards in the locker room. I just caught the second half of what he had to say and I thought, ‘Heck, I don’t need to say anything.’ He said it all. He did a great job and obviously A.J. is one of the leaders on our football team and it means a lot to him. He spoke to the team from his heart and said some things that maybe some guys didn’t like what he had to say but he was telling the truth. It was a good thing so if the leaders call a team meeting I don’t have a problem with that at all.”
Thoughts on Virginia Tech’s highly touted defense:
“It’s a Frank Beamer football team. I have the utmost respect for Coach Beamer and what he’s accomplished at Virginia Tech and what he’s going to continue to do there. Defensively, I’ll be surprised if they don’t finish up in the top two or three in the country. Bud Foster is the mastermind behind it and always puts a good defense out there. He’s got them playing really hard. They’re having fun playing the game. They really are. When you turn on the film and you watch them play, that’s the way you’re supposed to play it.”
"Larry Fedora Live" airs weekly during the season on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates, including UNC's flagship station (WCHL 1360AM/97.9FM).