UNC-Clemson post-game: John Bunting

UNC coach John Bunting addressed the media following Saturday's loss...

Opening Statement:
"I really feel bad for our players and our coaches. We came back from a 13-0 deficit. We never got down. Our kids played their hearts out. I told them that if we keep playing like we did today, then they will be rewarded. Now we just have to get ready for next week's game."

On the special teams' play:
"I was just disappointed in the one kickoff coverage. We had been covering their return guys well, and then we had one breakdown and it really hurt us."

On the defense's play:
"We played well on defense. We had very few missed tackles and we got some good pressure on the quarterback. We need to make big plays when we have the opportunity. We need to create turnovers. We had two dropped balls that should have been interceptions. But the defense stepped up and stoped them when we made turnovers, and I'm very proud of them."

On the offense's play:
"Our offensive line is very talented. We have a quarterback who is very good, and he's a tough kid. I thought that we did a great job of running the ball, but we had a few execution problems. We tried to force some plays that we shouldn't have and ended up turning the ball over."

On holding Clemson to field goals instead of touchdowns down the stretch:
"That was good. And we forced them to punt a couple of times. Our defense rose up and did a fine job."

On the difficulty of the loss:
"This group of seniors will remember this game and remember last week's game. We'll have to make a promise to them that the next time we come to Clemson, we'll come through for them. There is an element of football that happens every single Saturday that is very special. There is a great deal of emotion and a great deal of preparation. You want to be able to execute and you want to be able to play with a great deal of energy. Our kids just played with a tremendous amount of courage. One of these days these guys will be rewarded with a win. They can only be rewarded today with the fact that they played hard. That's tough on them and that's tough on me for them, because I care about them."

On the Hamilton kickoff return for a touchdown:
"We normally have one or two different kick coverages. I'll be very curious to see where the breakdown was. I'm sure that there was at least one. We've been doing a great job on coverage most of the time this year."

On Durant's mistakes:
"One of the interceptions, he probably should have tucked in under and ran. Sometimes what is a strength for you can work against you at times. He is such a competitive playmaking type quarterback. He's always trying to make a big play, but on some occasions he needs to be more poised. I feel really bad for him, but he'll bounce back. He's a tough kid. He's a real tough kid."

On whether the team is getting better:
"We moved the ball against a ranked defense. Defensively, we were able to hold up against some adversity. We forced some field goals. There will be some good things that will come from this game."

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