Postgame Quotes • Oct. 6, 2012
North Carolina 48, Virginia Tech 34
"We had just a great overall team effort today. Whether it was the offense, the defense, special teams. We constantly made plays when we had to make plays. We gave up some plays in some situations, but what our guys did - they never blinked in the face of adversity. The just kept playing. They kept going. Nobody got down when something bad happened. They just kept going. That was probably the best thing about today."
On game-changing plays by special teams
"No doubt about it. You go - I don't know what the distance was - but you take it the distance on kickoff return team. We felt like this year we're just one player away, one block away. They bounced the ball back there, and I'm sure that threw their timing off a little bit, and he handled it clean and our guys got on everybody. He made one guy miss, and then he outran them. That does - that ignites your team. Our guys, they expect to make plays in the kicking game now. They expect it. They expect a big time play. That's half of it. That's more than half of it because if you believe it's going to happen, it usually happens."
On making a statement
"It's still early in the year, but this was a great measuring stick for us. This is Virginia Tech. They've dominated the Coastal Division. We needed to go out and play a complete game against them and really, we talked about it being error-free. I don't know, we had, what, 87 penalties and we still came out on top. I can't say enough about the effort of our football team."
On scoring 48 points and rushing for 339 yards
"That's just a great overall effort by our offensive line, our tight ends, our receivers, our running backs, our quarterback, our offensive staff. They just did a tremendous job. They really did. We talked about fighting and scratching and clawing for every inch of soil out there, and that's what they did today."
On containing Logan Thomas
"I thought they did a great job all day. There were some times where they didn't get to him and it seemed like he sat back there, but let me tell you, that guy's a big guy now. Y'all see him down there on the field? When you've got Sylvester standing up next to him and Sylvester looks small, you know, that's a big guy. He really is and he's a good football player. If you give him time, he can make some plays on you. He can throw the football. He's shown that. But I thought the guys did a nice job getting to him when they did."
"We got beat by a team that played really well. I thought we helped them with a kickoff return, but they (UNC) did a nice job. We've got to continue to build on things we are doing well and keep on fighting. We can be more consistent than we were today and that's what we're really looking for right now. I think we are still in the conference race. We've got to get ready to play Duke next week and get on a roll going the other way."
On the play of UNC
"They've got some skilled guys. They've got a veteran quarterback and they've got running backs that are very good. Twenty-six (Giovani Bernard) had (262) yards today. That doesn't happen against Virginia Tech very much."
On how much of Virginia Tech's struggles are due to their youth
"I don't think it's time for excuses, I think it's time for results. We need to kick off better so we don't get a ball taken across the field. We need to hold on to the ball. We need to make some catches in critical situations. We went for it on fourth and 10, and we had a play and didn't quite make the catch. We don't need to make excuses, we need results."
UNC Player Quotes
On only having 10 yards receiving, while rushing for 262 total yards
"I think we did a great job up front. For the most part, the passing routes weren't there for me too much, but the running routes were definitely there. It was all phases. We did a great job out there today. All credit goes to the offensive line. They protected me and Bryn tremendously today, and it showed out there."
On the game being a statement for the team as a whole
"Definitely. It's definitely a statement game. Such a great team like V. Tech, I mean, people are probably going to say they're having an off year or whatnot, but for us it doesn't matter. We just wanted to show everybody what we can do. We knew what we could do and it definitely showed out there. We came out with a 'W' and that's what we wanted."
On the 4th and 1 play
"They just came in crashing. They were expecting a QB sneak because earlier in the game we did a QB sneak with Bryn. They kind of jammed it up a little bit, but we knew we had someone off tackle and we took it 60-some, I don't know how long it was, but we did a good job up front."
On having 15 penalties but still putting up 48 points
"It means we're clumsy, but for the most part, things like that happen. It's part of football. We're definitely going to go into film tomorrow and try to work on the things we need to work on. For the most part, we did a great job. We came out with a win and that's number one. We just wanted to win this game and be 1-0 after it."
Bryn RennerOn his block for Bernard
"I wanna give some credit to the offensive line, Gio, all the backs, A.J., Romar, they ran the play great and really kind of bailed us out because we weren't connecting in the passing game. That's what you have to do in these types of games, and do whatever it takes to win."
On the protection from the offensive line
"Coach Foster did a great job scheming some blitzes and we really had to rely on them to protect and really carry the team on their back. Week in and week out they do that, regardless, they do their job. Can't give enough credit to them."
On expectations going into the game
"They're such a good defense, but we did have our best week of practice, and everyone kind of had that feeling coming in this game, that we're playing at home and need to step up and win a big game."
On his brother Connor being on the sidelines
"I asked him for help sometimes on the sidelines. It's just nice having him there. It's kind of like your coach, for me, he's always been there for me, kind of set the standard, so it's nice to have him here."
On surpassing Connor's UNC records
"It's always good to have a name here. I think I was lucky to be on teams that were a lot more high-scoring than he was on, so I've had a lot more opportunity. We've been blessed and lucky enough to be playing for so long. Both of us played since our freshman year, you don't see that happening too much."
On the momentum change after his kickoff return for a touchdown
"It was a big play. We were down, so I wanted to make a play, and I did. I think it really helped us start getting in a rhythm...After we started making plays and they would get down on themselves, we started to push."
On his progress throughout the year
"I'm getting better every week. It's one play at a time, one game at a time. As I'm making more plays I'm gaining more confidence, so it's really helping."
On the emotion in the locker room postgame
"Like I was telling some guys during the week, we win this one and it'll be a big confidence booster for the team overall. I think it would help out a lot and just give us some confidence, being able to know what we can do against a pretty good team. Locker room after the game: excited, after every win. Guys had fun out there today."
On the energy of the fans
"I feel like our fans gave us great emotion and great noise out there today as far as on defense. It was pretty good. Congrats to our fans for that."
On adjustments after Virginia Tech scored first
"Just that one person has to make the play. When they scored, we came to the sidelines and stayed focused. Let's go. That's just one touchdown. That's nothing. We came back and regrouped, and we were on from there, I think."