Press Conference: UNC football coach Larry Fedora

unc logoUNC football coach Larry Fedora talks with reporters. The #17 Tar Heels (4-1, 2-0 ACC) host #25 Virginia Tech (3-1, 1-0 ACC) on Saturday.


Opening Statement: “We got a chance to evaluate the film and we’re able to get some of the things corrected, some of the mistakes we made. I think our team realized that we’re happy to get a win but we’re leaving a lot of things out on that football field. If we can get those things corrected and make the ordinary plays, we can be a really good football team.”

On if it’s tougher to get the team to believe they can beat their opponent when the team keeps making mistakes: “No, it doesn’t get tougher. We’ve been saying the same thing every single week. I would much rather do it with a win than with a loss. There’s some simple things that we can get corrected that would make us a better football team.”

On some of the mistakes that were made during the game: “Offensively, it was third and short and fourth and short and we didn’t convert. That’s unacceptable. There were some plays in the third quarter that we left out on the board that could have been six points for us if we just execute. There were quite a few things, actually, on offense that we could have been better in, much more efficient.

“Defensively, we held them to 14 points through the first three quarters of the game, which no one else had done up to that point. Then we go back to making some simple mistakes that we hadn’t been making all game. We understood that they were going to make some plays. They’ve got some talented guys over there, but we felt like that if we just kept playing and didn’t make our mistakes we’d be okay. In the fourth quarter we made plenty of mistakes.”

On the roughing the punter play UNC sustained: “That was a drive that we got a phantom safety. It was a punt block that we thought we could get it off the edge and we didn’t execute it. That’s my responsibility because I coach that group.”

On what quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been doing well behind the scenes: “I’ve seen him every day for the last three years. I think if you’d ask our players or coaches, they’d tell you that Mitch is doing what he’s done since he’s been here. Really, he has. If you think back to the times that he went out on the field and played, he’s pretty dang good. In every one of those situations – and we put him in meaningful situations. Now, you’re just seeing him become more comfortable week after week after week. He’s just making the plays he makes every day in practice.”

On Mitch Trubisky’s vision: “His eyes are in the right place. You watch. Anytime there’s a questionable decision, usually you can see his head’s not in the exact same place we want it to be, but by far the vast majority of it now, his eyes are right where they need to be, so he understands what he’s doing.”

On if Elijah Hood will be ready to play Saturday against Virginia Tech: “I expect him to, yes.”

On Mitch Trubisky’s decision making: “I think what he’s done is that he’s settled in and staying within the system. The system is designed to complete balls if you take it where the defense dictates. I think he’s done a really good job of that. That’s easier said than done, especially with the rush and all the different things that are happening. I think he’s done a really nice job with it.”

On if there’s enough tape on Virginia Tech to understand the schemes they run: “Yeah, I think so. I’d be lying to you if I told you we’re not watching Memphis and we’re not watching last year’s game because we do. We’re worried about leaving a stone unturned. We probably overdo it. We’ve got enough tape this year and we’re focusing in on that.”

On winning several games within the last minute over his time at Carolina: “Since we’ve gotten here, we’ve preached finishing. That’s everything. In the offseason program and everything we do is about finishing. And we practice it, we really do. We spend a lot of time on twominute situations. We spend a lot of time on four-minute situations. I also think that because of the nature of our offense, and the way we run our offense, the guys… It’s just what they do. It’s not… I make a big deal to our players about this. If you go back to the drive in the Pitt game, how many of those plays were extraordinary? Think about it. It’s just throwing and catching. It’s what they do. The situation, the atmosphere, all the things on the outside… Switz (Ryan Switzer) has made thousands of catches for Mitch on that route in practice. Bug has caught that ball in the corner of the end zone thousands of times from Mitch over the summers. Those are ordinary plays. If we make ordinary plays, we’ve got a chance to be really good.”

On the connection between Ryan Switzer and Mitch Trubisky: “They came in together and were roommates. They know unique things about each other. They’ve been friends since the day they stepped foot on campus. I think Switz probably got off to an earlier start just from the position he plays and the things he’s able to do with the punt returns early on and had a lot of success. I think Switz probably is enjoying it more for Mitch now than he may be for himself because he’s been wanting it for his friend for a long time.”

On ordinary plays late in the game not being ordinary for most people: “My point is, for us, our guys think, just make the routine plays. We haven’t had to make any acrobatic, flipping catches. It’s just make the routine plays. They’ve done it so many times in practice as far as twominute situations against our defense all through camp, numerous times through camp. Every week we do it. They know on Wednesday we’re going go against our defense and have a different situation that we’re going to come up with. I’m going to give it to them right before they go and they’re going to have to figure it out. I got a new one now. 23 seconds on the clock and two timeouts. That’s a new one to work in the future. I’ve never used that one. Nowhere even close to that one. I think it’s because they are comfortable in the situation because they’ve done it so many times.”

On what he thinks about Virginia Tech: “Justin (Fuente) has done a great job with them. Bud Foster’s defense is just like it always is every single year. They’re stingy, it’s tough. They do a tremendous job. Justin’s brought in a more wide-open offense with a quarterback that can beat you with his legs or his arm. I’m going to compare it to some of the things we do on offense. They’ve got a really good football team. A really good football team.”

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