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Listen to Audio (7:02)
Opening remarks -
Well, I’m 0 for 2, 35 years. Great to be back here for being back here, my daughter’s second birthday, 35 years, two weeks ago. And I think we gave a great effort. I applaud the efforts of many of the players that came here and competed extremely well. And I told them so in the locker room. Always disappointed to lose. I hate losing. And I’m looking forward to the three games that are left on this schedule, see if we can get these kids a win. I’m not going to focus on some of the crazy things that happened in the fourth quarter, extremely disappointed in what our participation was in that. I’ll be very interested to find out more about the melee that happened over on the other sideline and who the participants were and how that was called. I want some explanation on that. We did a good job keeping our guys on our sideline. I’m not sure if their guys stayed on their sideline. Brady Quinn is a hell of a player. I knew that coming in. They do a terrific job. Congratulations to the Notre Dame team and their staff. As I told Coach Weis at the end, good luck the rest of the way and I’ll take some questions.
On what happened on the sidelines -
Were you just hear when I talked about it? I do not want to talk about that again. I did not get an explanation of what happened over there on the other sideline. I got one that was not sufficient and I’d like to have one.
Having seen all that you’ve seen this season, does Notre Dame seem like a Top 10 team to you, particularly defensively?
I think defensively they are very, very good. They are a sound team. They are well coached. They have some playmakers on both sides of the ball.
Can you talk a little bit about the play of Hakeem Nicks and what you saw out of him in the third quarter?
He’s a freshman player that we knew coming in had an opportunity to be a really, really good player, not only as a freshman who will really develop into a great player over time. He’s got a tremendous work ethic in my opinion and I’ve said this several times. He’s a warrior. He has a warrior mentality, which is what you need to be a good football player. He performed like I thought he would. We missed him for a couple of games with a high ankle sprain. He’s come back. I’m sure that he loved being in this atmosphere like a lot of us did.
Your players said that they thought they kind of restored North Carolina’s name today on a national stage, that type of thing. Do you feel the same way?
Right now I’m a little frustrated with the way the game ended and frustrated with some of the big plays we gave up defensively. As I said earlier, maybe you weren’t here yet, very proud of the efforts of many of these players and I applauded them in the locker room for their efforts and their play and their performance. I’m looking forward in some ways to finding out about some of the things that we did that were not so good and either trying to correct them, because I don’t like excuses. Because I heard a couple excuses on the sidelines and I’m going to look into some of those things as soon as I possibly can to see if we can get it corrected because it’s not a good habit to have.
You guys have played a very difficult schedule this year.
That’s nothing new. We’ve done that for five straight years. Nobody has played a tougher schedule than us over the last five years. Somebody did a study might have been one of the folks in the room right here. They studied it. Was that you, Nolan?
Does that help keep your kids focused, playing spoiler?
I think our players over the last two weeks have gone through a great deal, as has the staff. And for them to work hard in practice and try to stay focused during all this, has been somewhat difficult with 18 , 19 year old kids. And I’m proud of those kids that have been able to do that. We’ve got three games left and so we’re going to try to get them right back on track again next week. Once again, there was some very really fine efforts out here tonight and they should be commended.
Can you talk about what you saw out of your two quarterbacks and the decision making process that went into allowing Joe Dailey to finish the game out in the second half?
Well, myself and Frank Cignetti will talk about it sometime tomorrow. It will be earlier rather than later, I can assure you of that, and we’ll decide what we’re going to do next week. We felt that and I talked with Frank at half time, actually after half time as we were taking the field about what to do and we decided that we go with Joe. Notre Dame has a great front. They play extremely hard; they have great efforts. And they started getting after us a little bit, and we felt Joe can move a little bit better in that pocket and maybe come up with make a couple extra plays for us.
Special teams today, Connor had the perfect year going in, what happened on those two extra points; do you know?
All week I talked in tune in practice about pressure in the A gap. They do a great job, and we did not do a great job in those A gaps in protection, and we also, I believe had a couple low kicks. Talked with Connor about that on the field a little bit. I think they were low kicks. But also, we knew that they were bringing great pressure. Tremendous effort by those Notre Dame defenders in those eight gaps on their field goal blocks.
Any thought to going to Joe and setting the rotation after he had the first touchdown drive?
Did I think about that? No.
Was there something Samardzija was doing to cover your back inaudible?
No. We’re not going to double cover number 83. He’s a really good player but we’re not going to double cover him. We just need to go make a play on him.