“First off of all, I just want to say our thoughts and prayers are with Sylvia Hatchell and her family with the situation we heard about today. We’re thinking about her and we’re all praying for her.”
Have you spoken to Coach Hatchell?
“No I haven’t. I was on the field. I just was told about it. When they released everything I had not talked to her.”
How do you explain the lack of explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball so far this season?
“Some of it’s by design. There were some games where we weren’t pushing the ball down the field. Some of it is effort. Some of it is tempo. Some of it is not making the plays that need to be made. There’s a lot of things that come into play. You’re right. We need to be making more explosive plays. There’s no doubt about it. We have the people to do it and we’ve got to get it done on Thursday.”
Is your team where you expect them to be right now with this being a Wednesday practice essentially during a normal game week?
“Yeah. We had a great Tuesday practice yesterday and a great Wednesday practice today. Tomorrow is our Thursday practice so we’ll polish it up. I think everybody understands the game plan. I think there’s not any confusion out there so a couple of extra days helps.”
Is it disappointing at all the 1-4 start may be taking the luster away from the Zero Dark Thursday event?
“It doesn’t matter what’s going on. That’s disappointing being 1-4 but it’s not going to take any luster off what we do Thursday night. We’re focusing on the next game. We can’t worry about what’s happened in the past. We have to learn from the mistakes and the corrections we’ve made and move on.”
How do you feel about your offensive line at this point in the season?
“We’re making progress. We’re not where we want to be but I’m not sure were where we want to be at any position on the field right now. If we were, we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in. We’ve got a lot of improvement to make across this team. I can tell you that these guys are working really hard. They’ve got great energy at practice and hopefully it’s going to show on Thursday night.”
What’s the goal right now for this team moving forward into the second half of the season?
“We haven’t talked about any of them. The only goal that we’re focused on right now is being 1-0. That’s it. Just 1-0.”
Ideally, how would you like the running back position battle to be solidified with four players getting carries?
“Ideally I’d like one guy to step up and be really productive and stay on the field. We’ve always said, at that position especially, it’s about production. If you’re hot and you’re producing then you’re going to get the reps. We’re still waiting on somebody to do that.”
Comments on Miami’s offense:
“Big plays. They can throw the ball down the field. Their offensive line I think is tremendously improved. They’ve had success running the ball and being physical upfront but they’re going to throw the ball down the field and they’ve got a couple of guys that can really go.”
What did you learn last year after seeing the Miami defense?
“I remember they had a lot of young guys on the field that I thought were going to be really good players. They might make a call and they might defend us. Then on the very next play make the same call and we may do the same play and they may do something totally different. That’s just youth out there. You can see the experience they got from last year has really paid off for those young guys. They’re playing really well together.”
Comments on Miami running back Duke Johnson:
“He’s got great speed. He can make you miss. He can run over you. He’s a complete back. He can catch the football. They can do a lot of different things with him. He’s pretty special.”
Comments on his first night game in Chapel Hill:
“I expect lights to be turned on. That’s always fun when you turn the lights on and play under the lights. It’s going to be a lot of fun. The whole thing around the Thursday night football. It’s kind of the thing to do. People go home. They get off work and they watch Thursday night football. It’s college football and all eyes are on you. It should be a lot of fun. I think our guys are jacked up and excited about playing.”
What is Bryn Renner’s status for the Miami game?
“He’s doing fine. He’s moving around well. He hasn’t had any pain in the foot. He’s doing really good.”
Will Renner start on Thursday?