NOTE: Transcripts are excerpts of the audio.
Listen to Audio(3:35)
When did you find out?
That I wasn't starting? He told us on Wednesday morning.
No. Uh-uh. [I'm] upset about the loss. Look, I'm in this thing for whatever is best for the team, and I'm not being politically correct with you. I want to win first, and uh-- Of course, I'm upset about starting because I'm a competitor. I want to be out there playing; I want to be out there with my teammates.
I'm going to do what the coaches tell me to do, but I want to win. If I'm not playing, I want my teammates to win. I love those guys; they have been there for me. I really mean that. I'm not just being coy with you guys. I wanted to win for them, and I wanted T.J. to play well because he has been there for me, and I really mean that.
I'm upset I didn't start, of course. I don't know why I would be okay with that. Nobody wants to sit on the bench; it's just a disappointing loss.
Did Davis say why you did not start?
I mean--he just told me he felt like that was what was best for the team.
What was going through your mind while you were watching Yates struggle?
I'm just trying to rally and be supportive of him. I'm just trying to rally the team. It's just hard to see your teammates not play well.
Do you have any explanation for why the whole team was so flat? Did you have a bad week of practice?
Nah, we really didn't. We had a good week of practice, just from my perspective. We were ready to play as we've always been. We didn't change anything this week. We just didn't come out and play well.
Do you think you should have come in earlier?
That's not up to me.
What did he say to you at halftime?
To me, personally?
Nobody said anything.
Did John say anything to you?
Nope. Just stay ready.
Do you think he'll open it up again?
I have no idea.
Listen to Audio(3:56)
…They gave us a chance to stay in the game, and we came out in the second half and didn't do anything.
What did Butch tell you at halftime, only being down seven?
Exactly that--we were only down seven, we were still in the game. Even though we were playing that bad, we still had a chance to win.
It's obviously not what you wanted to be saying, but what can you say about the play of Russell Wilson, your opposite number?
Ah, he played great. He played absolutely great. He scrambled, bought himself some time, worked his offense, and he did a great job.
How did you feel physically out there?
I feel fine, just, you know.
Did you feel rusty?
Yeah, a little bit. I haven't been out there in about a month or so. I definitely felt out of sync.
Do you think you guys can regroup after a loss like this and get back at it?
How much trouble was their defense presenting you guys up front?
You know, they didn't do anything out of the ordinary. They didn't do anything that we hadn't seen before, and we were ready for it. We just have to execute.
With how big of a game it was and since you hadn't had any significant playing time in quite a while, did you feel a little extra pressure on your shoulders with the start, knowing that you were going to get the ball today?
Yeah, a little bit, but, you know, it's just stuff that comes with football so, I mean, I don't think that factored into my play today.
The crowd cheered for you when you got into the game. Were you surprised to hear some boos there about the end of the third quarter?
I wasn't surprised, the way I was playing--no.
Listen to Audio(3:31)
…this one hurt. It hurt. Got to get ready for the next one.
How were they able to run the ball so effectively?
They've got two good running backs. They did some stuff that caught us off guard a couple of times, and they just ran the ball well. It was nothing special. They just played good football.
Do you feel like NC State came out with more intensity than you guys did?
I wouldn't say they came out with more intensity; they came out very intense. I wouldn't say they came out a lot more intense than we did. They just, they made plays, and we turned the ball over too many times.
At the half you were only down seven, and you probably should have been in a bigger hole than that. You have got to feel like you are in a game that is out there for you that maybe you don't deserve to be in at that point.
I wouldn't say we didn't deserve to be in the game, but we turned the ball over way too many times. We have got to get that fix in. Defensively, we have got to get off the field on third down. They did a great job of converting some long third downs, and we just didn't answer the bell today. We've got to get ready next week.
All the talk this week was who you were going to roll out there at quarterback. You knew who they were going to roll out, and like a lot of other people this season, you couldn't stop him. Is Russell Wilson the best you've seen this year?
I wouldn't say he's the best we've seen. He's very good. Jimmy Claussen was pretty decent. Overall, he probably was the best that could make plays with his feet and make plays down the field. Not taking anything from him, but we played terribly, and we didn't play our best football.
Did you have any idea that Wilson could be the kind of nightmare that he was out there today?
Yeah, watching film, you watch him play against other teams and he did some amazing things out there. We knew he could throw the ball, we knew he had a cannon, and he is an intelligent kid, so--he could be a nightmare. Definitely came in, he was the grim reaper today.
Listen to Audio(2:28)
…evidently, I felt like we came out, came out wanting it, you know, but I guess they just showed up and felt like they wanted it more.
Did you feel like NC State came out with more intensity than you all did to start the game?
I don't think they came out with more. I feel like, as the game we on, they just kept clicking with what they were doing and we weren't
Why do you feel like you guys weren't clicking out there today? You all have talked about wanting to get better each week and play you best game at the end of the season, and you didn't do that today.
I mean, I don't know. It's just one of those times where we didn't capitalize on the opportunities we had, and turning over the ball, you can't win games turning over the ball.
Overall feelings about the game?
It's a tough loss. It's a rivalry game, and everybody tried to put their all in the game so. Just to come out with a--I know it's going to leave a bitter taste in a lot of people's mouths. Letting the seniors go out with a loss against NC State, I know that is going to hurt them. Overall, it's a game; we have to get past it.
You looking forward to Duke next weekend?
What do you guys do to regroup from this. You lost last week at Maryland, you lost this week. How do you keep it from snowballing and continuing down that path?
The same thing we've been doing--just go back to practice with a positive attitude and just work on the things we did wrong in this game and fix them.
What things do you think that you did wrong that you will work to fix between now and the Duke game?
Taking care of the ball, mainly, for offense. I don't know what it is for defense, but for us just taking care of the ball and capitalizing on opportunities.
Listen to Audio(10:40)
OK, I will share with you what I told the players in the locker room. I said it is extraordinarily disappointing and very frustrating to play as poorly as we played today. The things that we did today during the course of the game give you absolutely no chance to win the ball game.
There will never be a football game ever played that you can lose a turnover ratio as dramatically poorly as we did today and give yourself any chance to win. Six turnovers--you can almost totally disregard any of the other stats. Now, once you get past the turnovers, then there are other things that certainly contributed to today's loss--giving up big plays in the secondary, balls being thrown deep not contested, guys being open. All of those things certainly contribute to the way that we played today.
I thought that our defense initially got off to a decent start, being put in some just absolutely horrible field position and that they rallied early given how poor the field position was. [They] forced a missed field goal; they forced another missed field goal that they got a delay of game [penalty] and got a chance to kick the ball [again].
We felt like going into the locker room, with the score being 10-3, that as poorly as we played we weren’t out of the football game but that WE had to effectively do something to change the outcome of the game. We had to start to play better. We needed to convert more third downs, we needed to run the ball better, protect the football. Unfortunately, we continued to turn the football over. If you are going to do those things, you are not going to win.
What did Yates do in practice to earn the starting job?
Well, again, the starting quarterback probably is always going to be judged on a body of work. How have they done, not just in two and a-half days of practice? T.J. was a 12-game starter for us last year. He was off to an outstanding start at the start of this season, playing extremely well. When he did return to practice there was a certain period of time immediately that we weren't sure health-wise when can he really, truly go in scramble, get hit, get sacked, get knocked down, get back up, continue to play? And that probably really didn't happen until probably last week, to be quite honest with you, even though we put him in at the end of the game. We were really managing the game with him just getting the butterflies out of the situation.
We gave him the start based upon the things that T.J. has done--he has made good decisions with the football. That's how he got to be the starter in 2007. Does that change? You never know. I've told the quarterbacks, you are always going to be the victim of how have you played? In light of the fact that someone is eventually going to ask this question, what does that mean for next week? And the answer to the question for next week is that the quarterback that gives us the best chance to win that game. I really don't care--and going into this week I didn't care about next week, next season, next spring, 2010. It really doesn't matter. Every game for a football team is all predicated on [the fact] that you want to win the game at hand. It is the only one that really matters, and that is how we will look at it this week.
Neither of the quarterbacks particularly played very well today, but they also had some really good help in that performance today
Looking back on this game, did you make the right decision?
Yeah, you can't look in the rear view mirror and say, 'God, I wish--' How do you know? Based upon what T.J. has done and what Cam has done, we feel that both of those guys are pretty good quarterbacks. They both, at times, have had some success, and there are things you have to look at--preparation, chemistry, leadership, in-the-huddle, all those kinds of things. Then, how do you truly in your heart believe that they are going to play in the game? Was T.J. nervous coming back for the first time? Conceivably. Maybe so, and that is one of the reasons with the score being 10-3 we thought okay maybe he is a little bit off, but let him play, let him get back into it an see if he is the guy.