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“Well, it was a hell of a first half and a hell of an opportunity to do something really special. That was the theme of the last 48-plus hours after leaving Chapel Hill at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday… To go to Greensboro and spend Thanksgiving together… To come up here and spend a couple of days getting ready for this game. Obviously our kids responded in the first half playing with a lot of emotion. It’s an incredible environment up here and their first time exposed to something like this. This reminds me of Kansas City and Arrowhead [Stadium], where I was for four year. It’s a great environment for college football. Unfortunately, like has happened several times this year, in the third quarter we don’t get started very well. I wish I had an explanation for it, but I just don’t know, and it’s very, very frustrating to me, the staff and the players alike. I can’t put a finger on it – don’t know. It’s something we’ll have to try to figure out, because it happened over and over this year. When we get off to a poor start in the third quarter, things start snowballing the other way…short fields, backed up, a penalty or two, a missed pass or two… Looking back on the first half, we could have had seven points or maybe 10 points. A field goal blocked, a dropped ball for a touchdown…those are the plays you’ve got to make in a huge game like this against a really good opponent.
“But I’m really proud of this football team and the effort they’ve given all year. I’m really proud of this football team and the seniors and the way they’ve conducted themselves and tried to give the maximum effort in both preparation and the effort on game day. It’s been a disappointing locker room in there to say goodbye to all of those seniors. I think I’ve hit everyone of them – the Bakers, the Pages, the Tommy Davis’s, the Tommy Richardsons, the Skip Seagraves’s, the Steven Bells, and Wallace Wright, who wasn’t able to play today. Great kids. I wish they could have gotten to play in another big game. It would have been great to do it for them. It breaks my heart.”