What happened on the played where Tommy Davis got to Rivers and hit him as soon as he released the ball at the end of the third quarter?
They made a heads-up play. Derrick Johnson had good defense. The ball was tipped up and #82 came up with a big catch. He was already on the ground and he caught it. It was a heads-up play.
What happened to the run defense in the second half?
They were able to run the ball on us. We are disappointed in ourselves for that. You have to stop the run in this game, and we didn't stop the run in the second half.
Were you surprised to see them not try to pass any more than they did?
I was kind of surprised. I didn't think they would come out and run the ball like that.
How did you feel when you caught the pass that led to the touchdown?
I felt pretty good after the pass, but I'm a team-oriented person. I would much rather the team win than for me to score a touchdown. Fullbacks don't get much of a chance to score—we are more about blocking for the guy behind us and helping him get a touchdown. It feels good to score, but I would rather win the game.
From your touchdown on, what happened to the offense?
We went in at halftime and when we came back out, we really didn't play as hard as we should. We could have focused more, and I could have blocked a lot better and got out on my passes a whole lot better. We could have done some things better as a team. We have to come back next week and do the best we can.
What happened at the middle of the field after the game?
After the game, we wanted to protect our symbol in the middle of our field. We didn't disrespect them last year when we beat them - we went over to our crowd, and our crowd gave us congratulations. They wanted to run on to our emblem. We weren't all about that. There wasn't going to be a big fight or anything. It was just more for protection. We were trying to protect our home turf.
What do you think you learned from this game?
We look at it like we could have won. We look at every game like that. We don't look at it like NC State beat us. We look at it like we have to make better plays on offense and do better things on defense. We aren't going to point fingers at anyone. We are just going to come out and work harder.
What happened in the middle of the field after the game?
The year before last, I wasn't here – in 2000 – when NC State came here. After they won, they stomped on our emblem in the middle of the field. We weren't going to let that happen today. We weren't trying to start a fight or a riot, but we have to protect our home. This is our house, so we weren't going to let anyone disrespect us.
When Donti Coats made the sack at the start of the second half, the crowd went nuts. That was quite a crowd reaction to a defensive play. Do you all feed off of that?
Definitely. That's something that defensive players feed off of. Someone makes a big play, and the crowd gets into it. There were times that I couldn't even hear the defensive call, the crowd was so loud. They were excited to see our defense playing well. They haven't seen that much, this year.
At halftime, did you feel like you were in control?
Yeah, I thought we were going to come out and win the ballgame.
How did they get their running game going in the second half?
I think we didn't play very good perimeter defense. They were getting out on the edges on some plays. Maybe there were some missed tackles. They were cutting it back, into the holes. We were over-persuing and people were on the ground because they got cut [blocked].
Did it surprise you that they ran as much as they did?
It did. I expected them to come out and pass the ball, but you have to be ready for anything.
You've been on the winning side of this rivalry, what is it like to be on the losing side?
You don't want to lose to [NC] State. It's tough on players, because you have a whole year. It's tough on the seniors, who never get to play them again. You want to win this game for bragging rights because our schools are so close. You go somewhere, you're going to see State fans and Carolina fans. Now they have the upper hand.
What went right in the first half that didn't in the second half?
Basic execution. We didn't execute well.
What happened on the fumble play?
I was trying to get rid of the ball, and it slipped out of my hands, trying to make a play?
What was the play designed to do, was it a designed roll-out?
Nah, it was a bootleg, and I got flushed.
Did someone trip you up on that play?
I'm not sure what happened. The ball was wet out there all day because of the perspiration. It just slipped out of my hand.
How demoralizing was that play for you?
It was devastating. It's one thing to fumble in their territory, but it's another thing to fumble in ours. And then to fumble inside the red zone is really bad.