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October 18, 2013
Following North Carolina's heartbreaking 27-23 loss Thursday night in Kenan Stadium to Miami, UNC head coach Larry Fedora and several Tar Heel players broke down the game, and some of the things that went both right and wrong for the Tar Heels, who drop to 1-5 and 0-3 in the ACC with the loss.
"We have a bunch of guys hurting in that locker room down there. A bunch of guys that played their tails off and gave everything they had. They did everything we asked, they're continuing to practice hard, they're believing in each other. They're working hard and playing hard. Give Miami credit for what they did tonight. They made the plays when they had to make them, and won the game; it's a tough one to swallow."
On defense's inability to make a stop late.....
"The defense was making plays throughout the game. I really thought we would stop them I really did and we came up short.? We didn't make enough plays in the end."
On the performance of TE Eric Ebron.....
"He had, what, 200 yards basically. I don't know what they did to slow him down. We didn't get the ball to him as much (in the second half). There were a couple times when they covered him up pretty good and left the wide outs open. He made some catches that not many other people are going to make. He played his heart out tonight."
On why drives stalled in the red zone....
"We're still hurting ourselves with penalties and still making mistakes offensively that are still crushing us, that are too hard to overcome or that we're not capable of overcoming right now."
On the blocked field goal for a Miami touchdown in the first half.....
"Guy came off the edge so if he's coming off the edge and your splits are good then it has to be operation time."
On the delay of game penalty in the last six minutes, and subsequent sack that allowed Miami to get ball back for final drive.....
"Well I was hoping to pick up a first down. It was 3rd and 1 and we substituted and they felt like they needed to stand over the ball and we couldn't snap it. I'm not sure I understand that yet, so I'll have to get an interpretation there. Again, that's my responsibility, that's my fault we didn't get that off. On the sack we got beat, I don't know what to tell you, we got cornered and we got beat.? We were going to try to pick up the first down."
More on the delay of game penalty......
"I didn't think they were going to hold it up all the way to the end, but again, that's my fault, I should have called a timeout- it's my responsibility. We just didn't make a play when we needed to make a play. I know that those guys gave everything that had tonight all the way to the end, and that's something to say about this group. There's a lot of people counting them out, but they're still believing and believing in each other. "
On the Miami loss.....
"It's deflating. We put our heart and soul into this game. We had a great bye week of practice, the best week of practice we've had, and you come up a little bit short. It's very frustrating, but we have to move forward and we'll get better from this."
On his senior season.....
"It's coming down to the end, and it's definitely tough to lose a game like this. We had such an opportunity, and we let it slip away. It's tough for all of the team."
On Marquise Williams getting into the game....
"We worked on it all week, and he did a great job with his packages. I think we managed that really well. He obviously got off to a hot start, hooking up with [Eric] Ebron for a touchdown. I think it was good for our football team, and it was good for our offense."
On his career performance.....
"I feel all right. I'm not satisfied. I'm not happy. It's good accolades to have amongst myself, but football is a team sport. It's good for me but not for the team."
On the locker room after the game.....
"It was real emotional. Myself and a couple of other leaders on the team really just found out how much this game- football- meant to not only us, but it's our life. This is what we live for, and to leave everything we have on the field and to come up short. It just hurts."
On the positives from this game.....
"We know how to play football. We've proved that. Our record speaks lower volumes than our performance. We are a good team. We just have a lot of young people in a lot of really important positions. To keep maturing as a team, that's really what we've got. We got a maturity out of our young players this game, and the more and more we play, the more and more they develop."
On the loss.....
"They're a top 10 team in the nation, and you take away a couple of plays and we beat them. Defensively, we were flying around better than I've seen. We didn't have a drop off from last week when we played Virginia Tech as far as intensity. I feel like we've improved our effort and intensity. Defensively, we can keep improving week by week, just work on missed tackles and stuff like that."
On the atmosphere inside Kenan Stadium.....
"It was good. The last time I saw the stadium like this, I was being recruited. I came to the '09 Florida State Thursday night game. I'm just happy that Tar Heel fans, especially the students, it's their fall break, and they decided to stay and come watch us play. We just fed off of their energy. Unfortunately, we couldn't pull out the win in the end."