Postgame Quotes • Nov. 9, 2013
North Carolina 45, Virginia 14
North Carolina Head Coach Larry Fedora
"It was fun to get back out here in a conference game in front of our fans, our students in the Tar Pit. I thought we had probably played one of the more complete games we have played this year, and I'm talking in all three phases. I do believe this team is getting a little bit better each week. As a coach, that's what you ask for in your players. You ask for them to keep doing things that we do, keep working hard, and hopefully we get better each week. I do feel like we're getting that done."
On starting QB Marquise Williams
"Just for me, watching him pregame, watching him in the locker room, watching how he interacted with the guys, he was as comfortable as he ever is. Nothing was changed about him, and he got out there and he managed the game very well. He took care of the football really well, which is, in your first start or second start, I should say, you want to watch a quarterback who doesn't have that type of experience as to how he's taking care of the football. The one that he got hit and the ball was floating up in the air, and they got the pick, you can't really blame him for that. But I thought he really did a great job of taking care of the football and then moving the chains for us, which means he's managing the game really well."
On the freshman class
"This class, I really do think this freshman class is going to be pretty special. Not only are they playing for us, they're making plays for us. Each and every one. We'll be able to go back, and you watch these kids on defense, Mikey Bart and [Desmond] Lawrence and Dominique [Green] and Brian Walker and those guys, and they're making plays for us. They're not just out there. They're making plays.
"Then the guys on offense, it's obvious they're making plays. Again, Lucas Crowley. I don't know how many series he played. I don't even pay any attention to it because you don't see a change. [Ryan] Switzer is continuing to make plays. Bug [Howard] is making plays. Now you've got Khris Francis getting into the end zone. No. 8 [T.J. Logan] a good job. I think what you're finding out now is they've adapted to college football. So now you see their athleticism come out. You see them just starting to play ball, not worry about everything, not worry about making mistakes. They're just playing ball, and they're having some fun out there."
On UNC's improved defense
"If you continue not to give up big plays, you give yourself a chance. We stopped the run today. Overall, they've come a long way. I'll put it that way. They've come a long way. Every week they're gaining more confidence. They feel better about themselves. That helps you. You start getting some confidence and you feel good about yourself, you feel good about each other, and you feel a little bit more accountable to your teammates, so you work a little bit harder. And that's what they're doing."
Kareem Martin, Senior, Defensive End
On the dominating defensive performance
"Yeah, on defense this is the best game we've played this year. We finally got a score on defense, something we go in every weekend trying to get, and we finally got it accomplished today. We had a lot of three-and-outs, and I thought that was a big thing - getting them off the field. That first route was really long - about seven minutes, ten or so plays - so we knew we had to bow up at that point and from then on everything went well for us."
On defense feeding off the offensive momentum
"Yeah, definitely. This is the first game where I think all three phases were in sync with each other. The offense was able to drive down the first drive and score, we came back and bowed up and allowed them to score. But I think that momentum, everybody just fed off it, with (Ryan Switzer's) punt return, everybody just fed off each other and it showed with such a big margin in the victory."
Ryan Switzer, Freshman, Wide Receiver
On how the punt return touchdown felt
"It's good. It's my second one but my first one that counted, and it almost didn't turn out too good. Thankfully the ball dropped into my lap and I was able to make a couple guys miss and some guys had some great blocks, so it was nice."
On whether he was worried it would get called back
"As soon as I started celebrating, I was up against the wall - guys were pressing me up against the wall. But when I turned back and started walking down the sidelines, I saw Coach Fedora wasn't very happy and the screen said there was a flag. I kind of started to get hesitant but thankfully it was after the play."
Quinshad Davis, Sophopmore, Wide Receiver
On how Marquise Williams played
"He prepared well, so I figured he was going to go out there and do his best and he did. He wasn't nervous at all, he knew he had to step up and that's what he did."
On the trick plays
"Everybody is excited about those kind of plays and when we connect on one of them, it's just a great feeling on the sideline."
Virginia Head Coach Mike London
"It's obviously disappointing not being able to early on make something happen offensively. They got up on us quick with some scores. We were in third and long situations and we weren't able to convert. They were in third and long situations, and they were able to convert. Obviously that always hurts when you stop your own drives, and you allow teams to extend their drives.
"They executed well, and we didn't execute well enough. They had a big play on special teams on the punt return, which we definitely could not have. They did an excellent job doing what they needed to do, and we did not. The results are as they are."
On preparing for the game:
"When you mix your runs and your passes, they had shown reverses when you run the ball. The reaction to that is responsibility of the secondary guys and making sure you don't bite up on reverse.
"When they have the opportunity to throw the ball behind you because you're thinking it's a reverse. You know they stick those kind of plays in there, they're called trick plays or gadget plays. And they executed the trick play off the gadget play that definitely caught us not where we needed to be.
"You know you practice and you practice and then have to go out and execute in the game, and we did not execute."
On the mood in the beginning of the game after Carolina repeatedly scored:
"Initially, the first couple of drives they scored and then came back with the next drive, the play that was the reverse pass touchdown, and they did some nice things on the special teams. So it just looked like they kept executing their offense and we were a man short or a guy not in his gap or not executing the defense that was called. So they did a nice job of doing what they needed to do, and obviously we didn't early on.
"I go back to the third down situations, where I think they were like five-for-five or six-for-five in third down situations and we were not. Those are critical points to get off the field and extend the drives. Early on they executed well, and we couldn't stop them."