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Listen to Audio (16:38)
“The most appropriate thing to share is a little bit about what we talked about in the locker room. I told the players I was very proud of them. Our coaching staff did just an unbelievably great job of getting this football team prepared to play a first game in a short time. I though our players were unbelievably poised and into the game throughout the ball game. Lot of things were transpiring, personnel groupings that were changing, guys getting injured. I was really pleased with the efficiency and the way we handles issues that came up during the course of the ball game.
"I don’t know what more you can say about T.J. Yates and the first start. He just really truly played well. He managed the game well. Managed the game well, got us in and out of some plays. We talked all training camp long about how well the receivers had been doing. That we needed guys to step up to be complimentary guys opposite Hakeem Nicks, and what can you say about Brandon and Brooks tonight. They just really stepped up and played good. Running backs – it was a good job by those three guys. It was a total team effort. Special teams contributed – I thought we did a nice job covering kicks. Terrence Brown got off to a great start. He really delivered [and] he kicked the ball well. He took some of the return game away from them by being able to directional kick the ball.
"I told Mickey Matthews [that] they are a very good team and they will win a lot of games. I was proud of the way our team played. We were proud that we won, but we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
On what he learned about the team:
“They love to play. They’ve been so excited, [and] it was almost hard to keep them from getting too hyped too soon. They were chomping at the bit. We kind of backed off them on the contact aspect of it in practice on Tuesday or Wednesday, just trying to be fresh. We wanted to be fresh, [and] we wanted to be fast. You could tell they were eager to play. These kids have a lot of pride. They want to prove that Carolina can play football.”
On the atmosphere and fan support:
“I was beyond impressed and amazed. This was just a great, great atmosphere. Our fans, not only being a packed sellout, but the Old Well Walk, the entire day.
“You could not have scripted a better environment for a college football game. The environment was absolutely outstanding. The student body in the end zone… They screamed and yelled, they showed up and yelled in mass. Our players, when they got to the locker room, they were geeked. They were like, ‘wow.’ That’s what college football should be like. I can’t tell our fans thank you enough.
“I loved it. It was fun being back and being a part of it. Our coaching staff, I can’t tell you how proud I am of them. They worked so hard to get these kids prepared for this ball game in all three phases. We were efficient. We had limited penalties through the first three quarters of the game.
“We got an opportunity to play quite a few players. We got a lot of second and third unit guys in the game. There’s a few kids I’m really sorry that we didn’t get in the game. Our sideline management was very good. Every single time we plugged someone in, they did their job. We never had to remind guys. They were so locked in on who was in the game. You’re always nervous as a coach that you’re going to have 12 guys on the field.”
On Yates avoiding mistakes:
“You have to give John Shoop credit about teaching them to be good quarterbacks. I think everyone of our quarterbacks felt like if they got into the ball game, they were prepared to orchestrate our offense. When T.J. threw the interception, he didn’t come over and alibi – he just said ‘I made a mistake.’ He came back out and lit it up and threw a couple more touchdowns. You have to be pleased with the way he played tonight.”
On the defensive line play:
“With this offense, the read option offense, it is absolutely critical that you get a lot of penetration with your defensive line. You’ve got to get guys in the backfield. When we really attacked the line of scrimmage, we really made it difficult for them to be effective and efficient.”
Listen to Audio (3:33)
On how well the team was prepared:
“We knew what was coming before the snap. We felt great. I know for the offensive line that none of the guys were nervous at all. We were confident and ready to roll. Frankly, the offensive line – we were about to go crazy sitting in the hotel all day, so we were ready to get out there and get rolling.”
On the excitement level surrounding Davis:
“I had an idea of what it was going to be like, so I’m glad it kept to my expectations.”
On what he learned about this team:
“It’s just the beginning of the season, and we’re still working. We’ve got a lot to offer – the potential is endless right now so I’m just excited to start preparing for next week’s game.”
Listen to Audio (5:15)
On the interception:
“It was my fault – just a bad play. I knew I messed it up, so it wasn’t like a bad throw or anything, just a complete mental error by me. I just wanted to come back the next series and get on track again.”
On going for the 4th down and 2 at the goal line in the first quarter:
“We wanted to get a score before the end of the half. When Coach Davis told us we were going to be in four-down territory, it gives you a lot more confidence about the play. You don’t have to think about it being fourth down – I didn’t really even realize that it was fourth down until I walked up there. We just wanted to go up and make a big play.”
On what he learned about the team:
“It’s a whole new team – a whole new energy to everybody. Everybody came out hyped. There’s a different energy in the team. We went out, we knew what we had to do, we knew we could do it, everybody was confident and no one was iffy about it… We knew we could come out and win today.”
Listen to Audio (4:42)
On being ready for this game:
“We were excited. We knew they were going to throw a lot at us because it was the first game of the season. They were coming in as the underdog, and I knew they probably wanted to make a statement, but I think we were prepared. We had a good scheme this week, we practice hard on a lot of different things and it paid off tonight.”
On the defensive line:
“As far as the defensive line executing, I think we did pretty good, but there’s always room to improve. We’re going to sit here and be content with one win – it’s a twelve game season, and hopefully fourteen for us, so it’s a long road. We’ve got to stay focused and keep working hard.”