“It was a very competitive football game. Offensively and on special teams, with the exception of that punt return, we outplayed them. We weren’t very good in the second half on defense, we all know that. We couldn’t stop any of their runs, whether they were perimeter runs or inside runs. They had a lot of third-and-shorts, and were able to convert them.
“We had an opportunity to make a play or two, and that’s when we’ve got to do it, particularly with a young defense. We’ve got to get to the hole, hit the runner quickly and make a big play – cause a fumble – and we miss.”
On Tech’s long drives in the second half:
“Our offense had no chance in those situations where our defense just stays out there, stays out there and they grind us up. Once again, we’re playing some young players out there. Give credit to Georgia Tech’s offensive line. They got the best of our front seven, and they made some plays on our corners with some of their fades.
“It’s a team effort. Right now, we know where our problems are. They are maturity, strength and stamina. We’ve just got to keep trying to get those young kids better and play better this next week against Duke.”
On the two UNC turnovers:
“We had a time when the ball should have been caught, and unfortunately we may have tried to run before we caught the ball. Then we have a time when we’ve gained a first down, and they we put it on the ground. You can’t afford to do that in any game, especially in a game that was tight for so long.
“Hopefully our kids will learn from this. They certainly competed very hard, particularly on the offense and special teams side. We’ll learn to be more competitive, learn to be stronger, learn exactly how to fit plays and take on people. We can’t stunt blitzes every time. We’ve got to be able to take some people on and maintain our gap control, stop big runs and get after the quarterback on the perimeter.”
Why did you kick the ball away on the play where Smith returned the punt for a touchdown?
“I wanted to see if we could go out there and stop them on a long field and get the ball back.”