Bunting Radio Show Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina head coach John Bunting touched on a number of topics during his live call-in show on Thursday evening. Here are some excerpts of what he said ...

"I feel very well about the way we are prepared – all through training camp – and I feel extremely good about this week of practice, particularly tonight. I think we had a really great practice this evening, a very spirited practice. And of course there are always some unknowns and anytime you play in your first game there is always some anxiety about this or this and you try to keep that from the players as much as you can … you'll drive them crazy and you can drive yourself crazy. I'm thinking about all the positives we've got going for this football team – the leadership, the way they've practiced, the way they're prepared. That's what I'm going with and I'm ready to go."

"[The announced series with South Carolina] is great news. I'm hopeful that we have some other announcements soon. We've been working hard on that, Dick Baddour, Larry Gallo working hard to get the schedule together after the formation of the ACC. We've got some great games, some great home games. We'll have the home-and-homes with a couple teams like Rutgers and South Florida and we'll have a couple I-AA opponents in there which we need to have in our schedule seeing the way the ACC is. Each year, outside the unbelievable ACC schedule, we'll play some type of marquee opponent or go some place I think the players will have some cultural experience. I'm looking forward to it – love the fact that we got Colorado to stay on the schedule and now we've got South Carolina. We'll play Notre Dame and then Notre Dame will come to Kenan Stadium."

"It's a long day at the office if you cannot stop the run. We've seen that happen to us. We saw ourselves play a little bit better towards the second half of the season and played three quarters of a game against BC stopping the run. When you don't stop the run, you basically don't have much of a chance to win. In order to stop Georgia Tech's run game, you must stop No. 45 P.J. Daniels first. You've got to put multiple hats on him, you cannot arm tackle this guy, he will not go down. It will be tough to tackle him with one man. What you need to do is be absolutely coordinated, try to blow up some plays if you can, make some negative plays for him and try to get them into third and long. You've also got to tackle the quarterback. Reggie Ball can run himself. He's going to have some bootlegs, some sprints, he's going to break containment. We've got to do a great job versus him. You have to stop the run, we'll have eight men up there as much as we can, like everyone else tries to do. We've got to have great gap control, get after people on the offensive line, and dominate up front. We have more players to do that than we've ever had before between our defensive line and linebackers. Mahlon Carey will be starting at strong safety – he is similar to Gerald Sensabaugh in the way he can tackle."

"[When Marvin Sanders says he wants an ‘attacking defense'] that means to have people that get upfield, hit gaps and control blockers. It means being aggressive in everything we do. … Larry Edwards has had a great training camp and he has really come on – he worked as hard or harder than anybody has worked on the defensive side of the field since I've been here and that's a tribute to him and his coach Tommy Thigpen."

"The offensive line, Hal Hunter does a tremendous job and we've done a good job recruiting that piece of our program. Calvin Darity has come back and not missed many practices at all through training camp. … Brian [Bishop] has practiced some, he's still have recurring back problems, we're having that looked at, it's a day-to-day situation for him and he will not be making the trip because of that injury. Scott Lenahan the same – we knew going that the surgery, his second, was going to have to be carefully monitored, we've done that and he's practiced some, but neither one of Scott or Brian will be making the trip to Atlanta. But I'm really pleased with the progress of the freshmen offensive lineman – Andre Barbour, Kyle Jolly and Garrett Reynolds. Those guys are going to be really, really good players. They are how you build them – very bright players."

"Barrington Edwards is going to play a lot of football. Cooter Arnold is going to get out there and play, Riki Cook is going to play tailback at some point in this game. That's the way we've been practicing all through summer camp and that's the way it's going to be. I have high expectations of Barrington Edwards starting Saturday at Georgia Tech. Everybody that comes to the practice field are amazed at how quick [Arnold] is and how he has really good vision, but once again he's a freshman and has never done it before at this level. … This young man is going to be a 200-pounder probably before next year."

"[Arnold] is on the depth chart for kick returns … but we will go with Mike Mason and Wallace Wright back there deep to start and Brandon Tate will also be part of that unit so we may use him on kickoff returns and I'm real anxious to see how he does on punt returns. He's going to be a freshmen out there playing from Burlington – great young man, and I'm telling you he has some breakaway-type speed."

"I think we're going to have somewhere around seven or eight [freshmen] travel to Georgia Tech and I think we've got about five or six scheduled to play – that's Starcevic, Tate, Cooter, Engram and Garrett White, who goes by the name of ‘G White.' He's another guy who is so much fun to be around – he's got so much energy."

"This is obviously a big game for both of us. They are playing their first ACC game, it's a home game for them and I know the crowd is going to be into it. If you've been to our practice field, you've seen we've had the crowd noise turned up – we've probably deafened everybody's ears in Chapel Hill the last three days. It's going to be an exciting game."

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