Coach Larry Fedora
Press Conference - Sept. 23, 2013
"First of all we're really privileged to be able to honor our armed forces. It's a very special day and I'm glad that we can do that again this year. I know our guys are looking forward to it. We went back and evaluated all the film from the previous week and were able to find where our mistakes were made and the opportunities that we had but didn't capitalize on and hopefully we'll get those corrected this week and we'll play a better game here in Kenan Stadium. We're looking forward to the Pirates coming to town. We know that it will be a very hard-fought game. Ruffin McNeill always puts a very good product on the field and those guys will play hard for him. So we look forward to it."
On not reaching 400 total offensive yards in two games this year
"Well we're not playing as well offensively. We're just not playing that well it's as simple as that. It would be easy if it were just one thing. If it was one thing and we hit that one thing correctly, but there's a lot of things involved. We're still just not gelling as an offense. Some of it is the continuity up front and the young guys up front are still...I just think there's a lot of different pieces. We're not getting in flow. You've got to keep moving the chains to get in a flow offensively for everyone involved. We're just...from a penalty here to a missed block here to a misread here; it's always one guy. That's the thing on offense you've got to have all 11. All 11 have to be willing at the same time.
On Bryn Renner's struggles in the second half
"Our entire offense was struggling in the second half. I don't necessarily feel like it was just Bryn. I don't think anybody made that happen on offense in the second half, I really don't. We just, whatever we could do to shoot ourselves in the foot and just to hurt ourselves, we did. That's kind of been are Achilles heel this year."
On feeling like the team would be further along three games in
"I did. I really did. That's disappointing. So we've still got a lot of work to do. We've got a long season and we're going to...we'll get there."
On the running game in its current state
"It's not up to our standards, I'll put it like that. So we've still got a ways to go. We've got a ways to go in our passing game, our screen game, our running game, and I don't know if there's an aspect of what we're doing offensively that we feel good about yet."
On Shane Carden, East Carolina's quarterback
"He moves the ball around all over the field. I think he does a great job of distributing it, putting it where it needs to go. He's got some weapons out there at wide receiver. And I think he's very comfortable in what they're doing and Lincoln [Riley] has got him coached up well. They spread it around really well. So they're not afraid to put it in multiple receivers' hands and I think they're executing pretty well. You look at the three games they've played, they move the ball and have done a nice job."
On the in-state rivalry with East Carolina
"I don't know where they rank, they're all...when you play in state, as many in-state opponents as we do, they're all very important. They're all important to the state of North Carolina. Just the regional rivalries that we talk about, how important that is to [NC] State fans, our fans, all of us. It's always important and always means a little bit more. As far as ranking it, I don't know if we have a ranking."
On the defense's play against Georgia Tech
"I was pleased with the way they played, really, for about 54 minutes actually. And we knew in that game, if you say 'You need to get off the field on third down,' and when they get into their flow and get into some third and shorts, it's going to be tough to do. And then if they don't and they go for it on fourth down and short, so we knew that. Now nine for 16 isn't something that we would call success by any means, especially the third and longs that we gave up. But if you go back and you really look, the culprit in all of our game plan, we had guys where they were supposed to be and they were there to make a play but we had 21 missed tackles in the game. There were probably about five of them that would have shut down third down and got us off the field. So unfortunately we didn't make those tackles and the tough thing about it was that those were tackles that were missed without a blocker on them. We had some guys with some incredible effort with some blockers on them making tackles, and then we had some situations where we were in the open field unblocked, right where we were supposed to be, the way it's drawn up and we don't make the play."
On countering the cut block
"Go back and look at it on film. We were on our feet the majority of the game so I thought our guys did a really good job against it. Not only staying up but just defeating the block and still making the tackle. There were time and time again the effort on our defense was phenomenal really for those 54 minutes. They really ran around, they made plays, and they were excited and there was a lot of energy."
On many of the athletes from each team growing up together
"I guess you could say that, it's always more fun when you're playing against somebody that you know, maybe grew up with, maybe you went to school with, maybe you played with or played against and that brings a little bit more juice. For me it's the next game and it's a game right here in Kenan Stadium in front of the Tar Pit. It's the next game. That ought to get your juiced up enough."
On East Carolina players who might have wanted to play at Carolina
"Might be some players here that didn't go there."
On his thoughts about some of the questionable calls vs. Georgia Tech
"I looked at every play. You know, I can't comment on what I thought about those calls."
On the team's execution surrounding penalties
"Well, you know we, it's something that we've spent a lot of time emphasizing and talking about. There's no real penalty that you can ever say is not important because as soon as you do then that's the one that bites you in a lot of situations. We look at, well, we had an 80-yard pass called back because of a holding call, if you hold and you don't have a complete pass it's still an important penalty. They're all important. That's why we've spent a lot of time emphasizing playing smart. That's what it is - it's playing smart. There's going to be some situations where you get beat. It's going to happen, that's college football. If you play at this level there's going to be some mistakes made and you're going to get beat in some situations, but you can still play smart, you can play fast, and you can play physical without committing those penalties.
On East Carolina's defense
"Ruffin [McNeill] has them playing hard now. They're flying around, they really are. I know he's a defensive guy and I think he's got those guys juiced up pretty good. You look at their three games, which is what we're doing is watching film and going back and looking at some of last year's game, those guys are going to come in here and they're going to play extremely hard on defense. They're flying around; you've got a lot of guys getting multiple hats to the ball. They've created some takeaways. So I think they're playing really well."
On Eric Ebron
"I think he made some plays. That touchdown catch was a pretty great catch. I would have liked for him to make a couple more of those catches later in the game. But we didn't have the depth there that we've had to spell him a little bit. He played probably too many plays, start doing a couple special teams, and then every snap on offense, we probably spent him a little more than we should have. But yes, he played more at the level that I expect from him."
"He's a good football player. He brings another element to the game that we don't have with Bryn [Renner]. As you know, Marquise can really run. He can run and he can run through you and make you miss and do some nice things. He's got a good touch on the ball. He understands what we're doing. We try to have packages for him each week that we can utilize in a game."