What is the main focus of your team during the bye week?
“Well today it was all about us. It was just about us going back and working on the fundamentals of the game in all three phases. Just getting better. Then probably the second half of the practice we scrimmaged all of our young guys. All the guys that are redshirting and any of our guys that are young that aren’t maybe getting a lot of reps even if they are playing. We had some fun with that. Those guys got to get after it a little bit today. The game plan will start being installed for Miami tomorrow and Thursday. Then we’ll give them a break on Friday and Saturday. Then we’ll get back at it on Sunday.”
Were you surprised at how well Marquise Williams threw the ball against Virginia Tech?
“No, not at all… Marquise can throw the ball very well. He proved that on Saturday, but he does that every day in practice.”
How does Williams's play on Saturday affect things moving forward at the quarterback position?
“I wouldn’t hesitate to put him in the game. There’s a good chance that he’ll play in each and every game the rest of the way out to be able to use both of them and the skills that they both have.”
What did you think of T.J. Logan in his debut for the Tar Heels?
“First of all, it was good to get him out there. To get him some live reps and to get him hit, get him tackled and all those things. He made a lot of mistakes and he’s just going to get better. We’re glad to have him back out there with us and going a hundred percent. He’s going to play more and more as we go.”
Comments on a third straight week with a penalty resulting in called back touchdown:
“Yeah it’s definitely at me. That’s eating at the staff. That’s eating at a lot of people. We have got to be disciplined in everything we do. We’ve got to be smart about the way we play and we can’t make mistakes like that. There’s no excuse for it.”
How do you make sure your team continues to stick together as you move into the second half of the season despite the tough start?
“Well you have to zero in on the team. You can’t listen to everything that’s going on outside the program. These guys are the ones putting in the work each and every day. They have to understand that there’s going to be a lot of things being said outside of that room and so they have to pull together. This is the time when things are tough that you pull together and you get even tighter. You do things for each other. You work even harder and good things will happen. When? I don’t know. I wish I could say that but they’re going to happen.”
What’s the biggest difference between last year’s team and the current team?
“That is really hard to pinpoint. I would say every team that you have is different. There’s so many differences because it will never because you have some guys leave and new guys step up into positions and a lot of things happen. I think the chemistry of this team is obviously different than last year’s team. We have not had the success we had early on last year. When that happens that creates a lot of problems for you. It magnifies every problem that you have.
"As a coach, you start looking under every rock and everything to try and fix every little detail. The next thing you find out is when you look up you don’t have a hat hanger. You don’t have something that you feel really good about. That’s what we’re in right now. I don’t know offensively if we could pick out two or three of our base plays that our guys really feel good that we can do against anybody.
"Same thing defensively and same thing in special teams. We have got to get that consistency before we’re ever going to get back there. Last year, we could always hang out hat on the inside zone. We knew that and we also could on the power read. Right now, we’re not having success with those plays. Offensively, we’ve got to get back to be able to run our base offense.”
Thoughts on the matchup with Miami next Thursday night:
“You know you couldn’t ask for it to be any better really. To have a Thursday night game in front of the entire country and to have the number 14 team in the country coming in here. All eyes will be on Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina. What a great way to showcase our program.”
Thoughts on the Miami Hurricanes:
“They’ve got a lot of speed. As I look at them, their offensive line has gotten so much better than what I thought it was last year. They really have improved quite a bit. They’ve got great speed in the backfield. They’ve got great speed at receiver. The quarterback can throw it down the field. They love throwing the deep ball. Defensively, they’ve got all of their returning starters. They’re a much improved football team.”
Senior Cornerback Jabari Price
What are the next steps that need to be taken to improve as a whole defensively?
“Well we have to keep working. Nobody gives us a chance coming into this University of Miami game. I don’t know what they’re ranked. They have a lot of good players and we do too. It’s a matter of mindset. Guys wanting to make the tackle. Guys wanting to cover their man. It’s on us so I feel like we’ve beat ourselves up until this point and it’s time to stop.”
Sophomore Quarterback Marquise Williams
What is the difference knowing you’re starting quarterback and the ball will be in your hand throughout the game?
“He doesn’t know if I’m going to run the ball or throw the ball. Like I said, I came down with 277 passing yards. I’m a dual threat so you never know what Marquise Williams can do. He can pass the ball or run the ball so that was something I felt very good about going into the game against Virginia Tech. It felt good coming out.”
What were your thoughts on your performance after reviewing the film?
“Just got to play at a faster pace. Our offense is faster and we can speed up the tempo. I probably say I graded out at a C- myself. It’s a couple of things I want back like the interception down the pipe. As a quarterback you can’t float the ball through the middle. You have to have a tight two ball. It’s a couple of things I want to have back but when my time comes I’ll just be ready to go next time.”
"Larry Fedora Live" airs weekly during the season on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates, including UNC's flagship station (WCHL 1360AM/97.9FM).