On winning the turnover battle for a chance
We’ve been lacking in turnovers all season. We knew that if we could force them to turn it over, we could take advantage of them. Early on, we took advantage of their mishaps. When the game became crucial, we capitalized on it.
On the lead changing nine times
It seemed to be a shootout. That’s the kind of game we needed to show is where we are at offensively. This game really told a lot about us as a team and how we never gave up. They had a tremendous defense, but we wore them out down the stretch.
On staying positive despite ASU’s offense
The coaches did their part by telling us not to worry about what just happened, to get ready for the next play. I think them constantly banging that into our heads really made us look forward to the next play and not to worry about what just happened.
On The final TD toss to Chesley Borders, in which Durant opted not to run and instead pass to Borders
I could hear him (offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill) in my head, all week when we were practicing the two-minute drill, I would step out of the pocket and run, and he just said to throw the ball because we have the best chance of making a play and that’s what I did. I was like, ‘wow, he was right.’
On the final, game-winning TD
The call was streaks. I saw Durant out of the corner of my eye scrambling. My instincts told me to try and get separation (from the defensive back). I didn’t know that he was going to throw it deep because I thought that he was stuck in the pocket. It was up to me the try to make a play on the ball. My main focus was to score and try to win the game.
On not catching many balls prior to this 9-catch, 192-yard, four-TD outing
They tease me a lot about my number of catches. When it was my turn to get in the end zone, I got the job done.
On the defense making some key plays late
Our defense won that game for us. I’m very excited. After that fourth quarter drive when they took it back from the 10 to a touchdown, I was very angry. But we responded. A win is a win and we’re excited about it right now.
On facing ASU’s prolific attack
It was a huge challenge. Against Stanford they were able to throw the ball down field and their offensive line did a good job protecting the pocket. Coming into this game, we knew we would have to get pressure on the quarterback and stop the run. They don’t run as much as other teams do. When they do run, they’ve been successful.
On gaining confidence with the win
This is a very big win for us. It’s a big confidence boost for us. It would have been a big letdown. Our defense would have lost that game for us. But we prevailed, and I am just happy with a win. We can go back to practice this week and rectify what went wrong, and it is easier coming off a win, especially against a good team.
On the difficulty of the last few weeks being criticized and even benched last week
It’s been very hard. I have not been playing to my potential. The defense has played well at times but not enough. It feels great that we came out, and as a team got the victory.
Once we settled down we were okay. It was hot at first, the atmosphere kind of got to us and a lot of us couldn’t really breath right at first. But once we got our breath we were able to settle down and become more patient.
On ASU constantly moving the ball
We were lucky with their field goal kicker missing a lot of field goals. We played good at times, but not good enough. We gave up way too many, entirely too many yards.
Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He hosts a late afternoon radio show on ESPN Radio, WMFD AM630 in Wilmington and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.