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North Carolina head coach Butch Davis postgame quotes vs. Duke
I told the players in the locker room when the game was over with, certainly
you're very, very proud any time that you win. I think you have to give
some respect and credit to Duke. They played one heck of a football game.
The one thing I told our players, sometimes you never know during the course
of the season why do all the games have to be so close. All the tough
perseverance going through the Virginia game, going through the NC State
game, Georgia Tech game and all the games coming down to the wire, sometimes
the answer doesn't always get revealed to you immediately. Sometimes it
gets revealed like today. Their perseverance and their attitude this season
has been absolutely remarkable and it¹s been admirable.
As tough as some of
these Sundays and Mondays were to come back after some of these tough
disappointing losses, a great deal of credit has to go to this senior class.
There's not very many of them, but those guys this year, the glue they held
this team together and inspired them every week to hang in there and remain
a family, to keep competing, you can't say enough about those seniors.
Every one of them somehow, someway really impacted not only the season and
the team, but really impacted a lot of these younger players. Those guys did
a great job of picking (the young players') spirits up.
The second half, the most dramatic improvement was the ability to run the
football. We challenged our team at halftime, and I talked to the offensive
line and the running backs and the tight ends and the fullbacks. I said,
'Guys, if we are going to win this game, we have got to generate a running
game. We're going to draw a line in the sand and we're going to see how
tough and how physical we are. Because if we can't we aren't going to win
this game. If we¹ve got to go out there and throw 50 to 60 times to win the
game, it's probably not going to happen.'
I love the challenge and the way
our offensive line responded. You can't say enough about Greg Little and his
performance. He made a great run on the sidelines and in his youthful
exuberance getting the unsportsmanlike penalty. Two plays or so latter, he
came up to me and said, 'Coach, you give me the opportunity, I will help us
win this game.' Don't you love it when guys can deliver on their promises?
It was a great performance by him. He ran hard, he ran physical, he ran
tough. It was a good way to end the season for a lot of reasons.
On heading into the offseason with a win:
There's no question that ending on a positive note, beating a rival,
winning an ACC game. All of those things are certainly positive. The mood
will be 1000 percent better on Monday and in the locker room. It was
pandemonium in the locker room. It's the springboard that helps you get
into recruiting and into offseason. There will be a time here in the next
few weeks where we will get together as a coaching staff and reflect on how
far this team has come. I'm excited about the opportunity to teach them
Mark Paschal, what an unbelievably awesome game he had today. He did a great
job on some of those short to intermediate passes. I'm excited to what they
can learn in the next seven months that have nothing to do physically.
On keeping Little at running back:
Let's put it this way, he'll probably stay there unless there becomes a
better option. He's such a great kid. He is so unselfish. That's
something you love about him.
On not going for it in regulation on 4th-and-1:
I think it¹s a combination of a lot of things. One is how much success
you've had on 3rd and 1 and 2's. I think after 12 ball games, it's been a
little bit of a dicey situation with us. Fundamentally, I think you can't
coach with a crystal ball, but the one thing I thought about was if you
don't make it you¹re going to give Duke the ball somewhere around 2 minutes
left to go near midfield with three timeouts and maybe one pass out of four
downs loses you the game.
Transcript provided by UNC Athletic Communications