John Bunting Radio Show Quotes

- Inside Carolina
Posted Oct 28, 2005

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'm anxious to play, we've had a great week of practice ... our kids are relaxed, they know what they're up against, they know the type of talent Miami has. Let's go down and play. ...

"I'm hopeful that we play our best game. I know this - in the six games we've played, we've played extremely hard and very emotional in five. You can't win ballgames when you don't play hard and don't play emotional. ... We have not [played a complete game] yet. ...

"In order for us to [beat Miami], we need to do a lot of things right. We need to run the football - we were able to do that last year, but that doesn't mean we can do it this year. They're the No. 1 defense for a reason - they've got speed, size, they get you to third down, their special teams are incredible. ... They have a new quarterback, he's a good quarterback and is going to be a great one, but he's not as good as he's going to be. They've got tremendous receivers. They love to run the ball and we've got to be able to run the ball ourselves. ...

"Our linebackers played extremely well [vs. UVa] - probably the best three linebackers have played since 2001. We had some good linebacker play last year, but we had some contributors that were a little unexpected [on Saturday]. Durell Mapp comes in - he's our third middle linebacker. We may have found somebody really special. He's got great speed. He arrives with a frown on his face. T-Rich had a good game and Larry [Edwards] played outstanding - he's having a tremendous year. ...

"Larry Edwards is playing like an All-ACC performer. He has really gotten so much better under the tutelage of Tommy Thigpen. He's playing fast, he's getting downhill on running plays on the perimeter, he's able to take on the fullback and escape outside to make plays, he's able to jam plays up inside. He's been extremely aggressive. Really, really turning into a great football player ...

"Bryan [Bethea] has played a lot this week and is ready to go. We'll go with Quinton [Person] and Ced Holt in base defense and we'll probably have a mix either of Mahlon at safety and Trimane down as the nickel or slip Bryan in there and move Ced back to nickel, which is his natural position, on third down. We've got to be good on third down - but we've got to get there first. ...

"[Coach Tranquill] is a tremendous football coach. I know he has a lot of fun out there on the practice field and a lot of fun on game day. I've spent a lot of time with him. I'm really thrilled with what he's done with our offense. When I hired a new wide receivers coach, I hired a guy that had a quarterback background so that one day he'd take over the quarterback duties, so if that happens I've got a guy who is really, really good. ...

"David Wooldridge was our MVP for the special teams [against UVa]. He had a terrific day with the hangtimes. Almost every one of them was over 4.2, 4.3. You want those hang times as you get over 40 yards to be at least a tenth in addition to 4.0. He had one under a 4.0 and that was the one they returned for 13 yards. We have some of the best gunners in Mike Mason, Wallace Wright and Trimane Goddard and this week they'll really be challenged with Devin Hester and we need David to do a terrific job hanging that ball up. ...

"[Shelton Bynum] has come a long ways in this football program and I'm so proud of him. Kenny Browning has gotten him playing. There were signs last year that he could become a good player and this year he's taken it to a whole 'nother level. He has gotten some of that baby fat off him, Jeff Connors has made him a quicker, stronger, much better conditioned athlete so he can play fast all the time ..."

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