Q&A with Ronnie McGill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Sophomore running back Ronnie McGill spoke with reporters Tuesday afternoon. Here is a transcript (text and audio) of the question/answer session with the media ...

AUDIO: Ronnie McGill

How does the injury to Seagraves change how the offensive line goes and how does it make your job more difficult?
"It really doesn't change things. I mean, he was a starter, but we've got other players that were in the lineup that have put some minutes in the game. It's not really going to change much. We've just got to get that other guy just to step up a little bit more."

Coach's message to you guys is to ‘Keep sawing wood.' How do you interpret that message?
"Just keep grinding and doing what we're doing, and eventually everything is going to fall into place. We've just got to keep our heads up and just keep sawing."

Is it at all difficult to keep your head up right now?
"No. It's early in the season. I mean, it's not like we're the only team that's losing games. Everybody else is losing. We've just got to keep on keeping faith and just hopefully everything will fall into place and we'll get some wins and get to a bowl."

Ronnie, what are your memories of the Georgia Tech game last year?
"Those two linebackers (Keyaron Fox and Daryl Smith) that have graduated. ... They were very fast. They blitz a lot, and they're going to blitz a lot more from what I understand because they did lose those two. But those two made a lot of plays last year."

It just seemed like everywhere you went, that's where they were too?
"Yes, they played the line real well, and, I mean, they were athletic linebackers. They watch you, and when you take a step, they're right there with you."

Was that the game right after Wake Forest?
"Yes sir."

So they were kind of keying on you, I guess?
"I would guess so, seeing that I came off of a really good game. But, I mean, they did it all season long. So you can't really say they were just keying on me. They just were really good."

How's the hip feeling?
"The hip feels fine. I played Saturday and didn't have any problems with it."

How do you feel about being rotated out with [Jacque] Lewis and [Chad] Scott? Does that get you out of your rhythm?
"No. I get more carries than what I was last year. But I'm fine with it. It just keeps a fresh back in and it keeps the defense on their toes – not knowing what to expect. As long as it's helping the team, I have no problem with it."

Ronnie, what's got to happen for you guys to get a win Saturday?
"We're just going to have to control the ball and have no turnovers. And just drive it down the field every time we get it and score when we get in the red zone."

With having one ACC loss already – you say it's early – but is it getting close to where you have to have a ‘must win' this week? To be 0-2 in the league is going to be really tough.
"Yeah, we were going to say that this was a ‘must win' anyway. But, since we did get that first loss in the ACC, we feel like we're really going to have to get this win just to get things rolling and to put ourselves in the picture for a bowl game."

How would you assess the mood yesterday in practice?
"It was still upbeat with all the fellows just focusing on Georgia Tech, and working really hard to make sure that we don't come out and have a good level of excitement out there going into this week and this preparation for this game. So everybody is going 100 percent, just to make sure we get all of the small things done."

Here on campus the last couple of days, do you sense a negativity about the football team? If so, how do you block that out?
"I really don't ever go up into campus really. I just go up there for classes. I don't like sitting around up there, because I know people are going to talk and I don't want to hear it. I just try and focus on the game and not worry about what everybody else around us has to say."

I was wondering how you got to classes?
"I go to classes. I walk to class, and I walk straight back here. I look at the ground and I walk fast."

Is that kind of one of your goals to get to the point where you can go out on campus?
"No, there are too many people up there. I'd rather come back here and just chill."

Do you get the feeling that some of the defensive guys are more down than some of the other guys, and do you try to give them any words of encouragement?
"No. They gave up some points, but now they're looking so down on themselves. They're looking like they're stepping it up some, because they know people are talking about them. I feel like yesterday they came out and they practiced real hard. So they're just putting some more pep in their step to get some of the attention off of them."

As you start to become more of a known name around the ACC, how do you plan to evolve your game to adjust to the defense?
"Just by watching film, going to practice and practice like it's the game. And not just practice just to do the plays, just practice and think about what the defense might do in a situation."

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