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October 23, 2013

Fedora Weekly Teleconference Quotes

UNC head coach Larry Fedora spoke Wednesday in the weekly Atlantic Coast Conference teleconference about this past Thursday's narrow defeat at the hands of Miami, as well as this Saturday's opponent, Boston College. Kickoff between the Tar Heels and Eagles is 3:30 pm from Kenan Stadium.

Fedora Opening Statement:

We are preparing for Boston College this Saturday, a team that we know that's going to be a physical, hard-nosed football team that's going to play-- they're going to run multiple formations and multiple shifts and bring the ball downhill at you and be physical on offense.

On defense they're going to use a lot of movement, a lot of -- try to confuse you in a lot of different ways on defense and put a lot of pressure on you. I know they're going to be very sound in their special teams.

Steve Addazio has done a very nice job with his football team. Their three losses are to three very good opponents, and we understand they're hungry to win out as we're hungry to be 1-0 this week.

Just wanted to ask you, following up on your impressions of Boston College as being a physical team, what concerns do you have about facing a team that brings that kind of brand of football, especially after coming off an open date and playing a team such as yours who's been in a tough battle the week before against Miami, and what are your impressions of Andre Williams, the guy who does all the downhill running for them?

Well, first of all, I've been very impressed watching them on film. They are a physical football team, and they are bringing the ball downhill. Like I said, a lot of different formations, a lot of different shifts, a lot of different motions. To create problems for your defense, to get you out of a gap, misaligned, have miscommunication, all those things.

And then the running back is pretty special, obviously. He's, what, No. 5 or 6 in the country in rushing, and they are going to bring it downhill and try to beat you with a play action pass.

What do you feel good about your rush defense right now that makes you feel like you guys can stop him?

Well, what we're going to have to do is we're going to have to commit ourselves to stopping the run. That's for sure. We're going to have to play extremely well with a lot of energy, and we're going to have to match the physicality, and we're going to have to bring it all on Saturday.

How has your team bounced back mentally from Thursday, and how has morale been since they got back in Friday morning?

Yeah, well, their guts were ripped out Thursday night. I mean, that's tough. Any way you cut it, that's going to be a tough situation. But I think our guys have already put it behind them. We've moved on. Win or lose, we try to do that very quickly, and our guys have moved on, and we had a great practice yesterday. People were bouncing around, and we're going to take the things that we learned from the game and make the corrections, but we're also going to build off the good things that happened in this game.

Is this a strong team in that regard, or are you concerned about them maybe being a little frazzled because of the way things have gone the past four weeks?

You know what, I'm really not. Mentally I think our guys are fine. They know we're extremely close. We've just got to make a break for ourselves. We can't make the mistakes that we made and win a close game like we did the other night, and we can't -- we have to overcome whatever mistakes we made, and we just didn't find a way to do that. But I think mentally our guys are fine. I think they're pretty tough mentally, and they're going to continue to fight and scratch and claw and find a way to get it done.

Obviously your team gets to be one of the lucky teams to not have to face Florida State this year, but if you were to try to help write a game plan out for this year, looking at what you've seen from him, obviously just on broadcasts, what types of things do you think are one of the biggest things you'd have to game plan against him?

Well, you know, I mean, I haven't really studied him, but the kid is -- the thing that has impressed me probably the most is how poised he's been in every situation, in any crossover film I've seen. He just seems very poised and handles every situation very calmly and just kind of matter-of-factly, like he's a third- or fourth-year starter. Jimbo has done a tremendous job with the kid just with his poise and his presence as a quarterback.

You know, I think -- I mean, the first thing you've got to do is you're going to have to stop the run. That's number one. You're going to have to stop the run and you're going to have to try to make him one-dimensional, but then they've got great receivers and he can throw the ball extremely well. I would say they're pretty balanced offensively on ways that they can beat you, which makes it very, very tough for a defense, and therefore you're seeing the success that they're having.

Maybe any words of advice for (N.C. State head) Coach (Dave) Doeren having to go down there this week to face them?

Good luck.

I wanted to ask you about Eric Ebron. I see he just won the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end this past week. He's the only tight end on the ACC receiving loaders. Can you talk about what he gives you, to have a tight end with that kind of receiving ability?

Yeah, I've been very fortunate to have those type of players in this offense, and those are the kind of guys that we develop in this offense. Eric, when we got here, we realized that he was going to be a pretty special talent, and it was teaching him what we needed him to do as quickly as possible and then find multiple ways to get the ball in his hands.

We're not the typical attach a tight end and throw him a boot or a naked every blue moon. We believe in utilizing his skills. He's a big-bodied guy that is very, very skilled, very talented. He can run routes like a wide receiver. He obviously can catch the ball like a wide receiver. He's got great body control. He can also -- he does a great job of blocking on the perimeter and blocking at the point of attack. So he creates a mismatch for the opposing teams, whether they're going to try to match him up with a linebacker that he's going to be faster than or maybe a smaller DB that's going to match him speed-wise, but he's then going to be able to out-body them.

I think that's the reason we like that style of player in this offense, and we're going to continue to take advantage of our guys that can do those things.

In the NFL that's become a very popular kind of player, too, when you can find them, starting with the (Rob) Gronkowski type. Would you put him, at least on the college level, with the new trend in the NFL for the mobile pass-catching tight ends?

I'm just going to speak from the experience that I've had, and I've had, what is it, four or five of them that have played in the league out of this offense. He is the best pass-catching tight end that I've had, when you combine his body control, his ability to focus on the ball and his speed, because the guy can really run. He can run away from people.

I was just curious if you either had asked for or received any kind of clarification from the league or Doug Rhodes about the whole three-second call......

You know what, I did ask for and receive clarification, and I would prefer not to comment on anything about the officiating in that game from the other night.


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