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Listen to Audio (12:48)
“As I told the players in the locker room after the game was over with, a lot of times the character of your football team and the perseverance is tested. We have an enormous amount of respect for Miami’s football team. We watched the way they played against Florida. They’ve done an outstanding job. They just totally dismantled Texas A&M. We knew that we had to respect them…
“And that we had to find a way to fight through the early barrage. That we were going to get big plays, adjusting to the speed of Graig Cooper and some of the receivers. We were fortunate that we were able to hang in early. We were struggling to get them [off the field]. I almost cost us the game, being greedy and a 4th down and [five], going after a punt pressure in a punt block situation [and] roughing the kicker. That allowed them to drive down and it gave them three points on just a foolish call on my behalf. The players, fortunately, were better than the coach is, and they bailed me out and got me off the hook.
“But I was proud of our team. I was proud of the way our coaches made some adjustments during the course of the game. I think our running game was a significant contributing part of having some success today.
“You can’t have any kind of conversation without talking about how Cam Sexton played. He played very well. He played composed. I thought that he and Mike just handled it terrifically during the course of the week. We prepared both of these quarterbacks to play. Both of them did play. We had a preconceived plan that Cam was coming in on the third possession of the ball, regardless of if the score was 0-0, up 14 or down 14 – didn’t make any difference.
“And we didn’t know exactly how it would play out. If one of them would get hot or if one of them was playing well, that we would ride that particular quarterback for a period of time. Cam came in on his very first drive and drove the team down and scored a touchdown. He got another opportunity and kept moving the ball and having some success, so we just stayed with him. It had no reflection whatsoever on Mike. It’s just that Cam did an excellent job.”
Has Sexton earned the start next weekend?
“You have to say that probably Cam has earned a slight bit of an edge. But I will tell you this – I still believe that Mike [Paulus] needs to play next week. I think for these next four games now until we find out that we’ll get T.J. [Yates] back – it’s conceivable that we may not get him back after five games. We’ve got the open date coming up in a couple of weeks. But for right now, we’ve got two quarterbacks that our team believes in that can go out and move this football team and they’re both going to get prepared and be ready to play.”
Listen to Audio (3:47)
On his play today:
“Let me tell you this – two years ago was really the last time I really played. I’m older, I’m wiser [and] I’ve seen a lot more, but I’ve got to give a lot of credit to this coaching staff coming in here, because they taught us how to play. They taught us how to play well. I just went out and executed. I knew the game plan perfectly. [Offensive coordinator John] Shoop put together stuff that was going to help me be successful and help our team be successful. We just executed. The credit doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to [my teammates] and my coaches.”
On his thought process entering the game down 14 points:
“My thoughts are always the same. It’s just one play at a time. I don’t get into the ‘we’ve got to score here.’ It’s just one play at a time. That’s all that counts. I think that you just keep doing what you do. You don’t change because you’re down and you don’t change because you’re up. We didn’t do that. We have some experience to know that’s how we’re going to play and we did.”
Have you stayed at UNC and persevered to do what you did today?
“Absolutely. There was talk of transferring, he’s third team, he’s scout team and I just kept plugging and plugging. I always dreamed that this was going to happen. I don’t know that I’ve ever thrown a game-winning touchdown before on a play like that. I’ve just always dreamed about it and I knew that it was going to come. I knew that it was going to happen and I believed it, and it did.”
Listen to Audio (4:19)
“He’s a fighter. He’s been through a lot. Cam – that’s my man, right there. I know he feels good. I’m proud of him. But it shows that he’s a hard worker, and even though he gets down, real down, he can come back and come out there and help us win.”
On enjoying this victory:
“It’s definitely a great feeling. I don’t think I’ve had this feeling before. Back in high school, we didn’t win too many ball games and being here, I haven’t won that many ball games. It’s just a great feeling.”
Listen to Audio (1:34)
On his interception as time expired:
“I saw him and he was reaching back to catch it instead of going at the ball, so I had a chance to just go and take the ball… I just had to snatch it real quick before he could gather it. I got my feet inbounds and just ran out of the back of the end zone.”
On winning a game most people had penciled in as a loss:
“It’s very satisfying. It just shows the character of the team. We never gave up. We knew we gave them that one drive, but we didn’t give up much after that. We just continued to play good defense and pick the ball up.”
Listen to Audio (2:52)
On the 74-yard touchdown pass:
“Actually, I told [wide receivers coach Charlie] Williams that they were playing quarters, so I knew I could get a post right up the middle or a go route right up the middle. And as soon as I said that, he called it on third down. When they call on me, it’s just my job to make big plays.”
On the team’s confidence level in Sexton:
“It definitely builds a tremendous amount of confidence in Cam. But Cam’s confidence level has never dropped. Not even from when he went from second [team] to third [team] or whatever. Cam always keeps his composure and does what he has to do in practice and gets it done, and he puts God first and he knows that one day his name was going to be called. And it happened.”