Carolina Football •
Sept. 22, 2012
UNC 27, East Carolina 6 at Kenan Stadium (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
UNC Coach Larry Fedora
"We've got a much better taste in our mouth tonight than we have had, so it's been good to get that taste out of our mouth. I thought our guys played well. I would say we played a complete game. I wouldn't say it was a great game, but we played a complete game. We played hard the entire game. You've got to give a lot of props to our defense - the way they played in the second half. Anytime you're going to get seven sacks, you hold somebody to 230 yards of total offense, they did a tremendous job. They kept them out of the end zone the entire day."
On dominant third quarters
"I don't know. It's not the halftime speeches, I'll assure you. But it's guys trying to come out with the same intensity level that we do at the beginning of the game. That's always a struggle for any team - to come out just as intense in the second half as you do in the first half. I think our guys have maybe done a better job of that than we have in the beginning of the game."
On Giovani Bernard
"I think you have to give (ECU) credit for some of the things they were doing. They were getting an extra guy down in the box and moving people and bringing a guy quite a bit of the time. But I was really happy to see Gio get back out there - to see him get hits, see him make people miss, see him jump, see him catch the ball, see him get in the end zone. That's just going to give him more confidence. This week in practice he felt better the next morning each day after practice than he had the week before. I was really hoping it was going to feel that way. The good thing is just talking to him a few minutes ago, he said he felt fine and felt really good."
On sacks and the secondary
"There were some coverage sacks, no doubt about it. Especially when you rush three guys and you still get sacks. That's a heck of a job - first of all by the coverage, then second, for those three guys out front fighting their rear ends off to get to the quarterback. You're getting basically two double teams and one guy singled up, so that's a tough deal. But we had a lot of guys get sacks, too. It wasn't just one guy. There were a lot of guys that got their first sacks of the year. When you start getting that it's kind of like a feeding frenzy for sharks. When there's blood in the water, they start coming from everywhere, and that's a good thing."
UNC Player Quotes
Junior QB Bryn Renner
On the team's first half performance
"We didn't get off to a great start, but our defense picked us up. They didn't allow a touchdown all day and they forced a lot of turnovers."
On Giovani Bernard's return
"I think it was huge. He's one of the best backs in the country. It was good for his psyche just to be out there with the guys. He made a lot of great runs today and I thought he did a great job coming back."
Sophomore TB Giovani Bernard
On UNC's performance
"They (ECU) did a pretty good job of stopping the run, but obviously when they stopped the run we had to pick it up somewhere else. Bryn (Renner) had an amazing game."
On returning from his knee injury
"I knew coming into today that I would be ready. I told myself that I wasn't going to go back to playing unless I felt that I could play at my potential. Last week and the week before I felt that I could get better. Obviously, today I came out and played. The fact that we won - that was the biggest thing."
Senior LB Kevin Reddick
On playing ECU
"It was personal for me because it's back home, ECU. I told them I couldn't go home unless I beat ECU."
On overall execution
"I would say that we've been killing ourselves offensively and defensively. We had a good week of practice. We just came out and executed the plays that the coaches had for us. In the other games, we weren't executing or we were waiting until the second half to turn it up. We kept it going all the way through the game today."
ECU Coach Ruffin McNeill
"It was a tough, disappointing loss for us. I thought we prepared very well as a team and thought we were ready to go. And we were. I thought some important things were to come out fast, start fast, sustain it, and finish. We held tight. I wish we'd gotten some touchdowns there at the beginning where we had to settle for field goals there in the first half. Going in 10-6 I felt pretty good. We thought it was important to get started in the second half and we went 3-and-out on defense. I thought that was a good start. From that point on we had some mishaps happen that really set us back a little bit and against a team like that, as talented as there are, you can't have those set-backs."
On Carolina's defense
"They did a good job being able to get pressure with four and defend. If you can do that against any offense and leave seven in coverage you're going to be good. I saw them blitz some and get to us a little bit."
On coming out after halftime
"One thing we've learned traveling and being on the road is that you have to start fast and sustain it. There's not any room for error, especially against a talented team. ... They did a good job of capitalizing. We had a mental mistake there coming out of the end zone on the return and they had us backed up in there. Those things start to multiply. Little things turn into big things and against teams as talented as UNC and the teams we face you can't have those mistakes."