UNC head coach Larry Fedora spoke with reporters Wednesday afternoon, just a day after it was revealed that fifth-year senior quarterback is out for the season with a shoulder injury, and three days before the 118th gridiron meeting between North Carolina and Virginia---the oldest football rivalry in the South---in the ACC weekly teleconference.
"We are looking forward to coming back to the Tar Pit and playing a well-coached Virginia team. I think probably both teams are better football teams than the records indicate for various reasons, but we're real excited about getting back into the Tar Pit, playing in front of our fans and our students, and looking forward to a great game."
What was the response from the team on Bryn Renner's season-ending injury?
"It's not really something we've talked about as a team. We've never really talked about anybody's injuries as a team, so there was no reason to do that in this situation. The word gets around, guys know what's going on, but there was no real reaction, but there never really is. Nobody was, 'Whoa is me. We're not going to be able to make it.'"
"In this sport, as physical as a game as it is, guys understand everybody is one play away, and it's so important that the next guy be prepared and be ready to go. It's kind of the nature of the beast in this business."
"I think the kids handled it well, and I expect them to play well Saturday. The fortunate thing for us is Marquise (Williams) has played in the last three or four weeks. And I'll be honest. A lot of times the offensive line doesn't even know that we've changed quarterbacks out in a lot of situations because we roll them in and out so many different times. They didn't even know, and so that's probably a good thing.
What has been some of the things you've seen out of Virginia's offense and defense this season?
"FIrst of all, offensively they're really quite a bit different than they were from the other years I faced them. They're doing much more with the quarterback. They've got a kid (David Watford) that can run and throw. They've got a very talented running back (Kevin Parks), and they're finding a lot of different ways. There are a lot of different formations, a lot of motion shifts, a lot of movement, to get you out of position and create problems for you."
"Defensively, it's a Jon Tenuta-coached defense. They're blitzing somewhere around 55 and 60 percent of the time. Probably a little bit more man-to-man blitzing than he's been in the past. He was more of a 'zone blitz' team. But he's going to blitz you. He's going to come after you and put some heat on you. So we know that and we're trying to prepare for that. And I think it does help a little bit that we do have some experience with Jon."
It looks like Marquise Williams is more of a running quarterback. Is that so? Is that perception correct? And if so, do you hesitate to risk him in the running game with no experience behind him?
"First of all, I consider Marquise a dual-threat quarterback. He can throw the ball. He throws it very well. But in the situations that we were using Marquise in a lot of times, to bring a compliment to the offense that we didn't necessarily have with Bryn (Renner)--- we brought more of the quarterback runs into the offense."
"That's not necessarily changing what we do---we're going to do what we do---but I don't know that we will sit there and decide that we're going to run the quarterback a majority of the game. We've got very good running backs that we can put the ball in their hands and make plays, but I'm sure there will be some opportunities where Marquise will run the football and we'll take advantage of some things."
What is the situation behind Williams on the depth chart?
"Kanler Coker would be the next guy that could go. He doesn't have any experience in games, but a lot of times your No. 2 or No. 3 guy doesn't have experience. He's been preparing himself and he will be the No. 2, and we would have to be make a decision after that."
Do you play Coker at all to try and find him situations to give him a taste of it?
"You would love to be able to do that, and we're prepared to do that. We're just going to see how the game plays out and what's going in the game. But we're not afraid to play Kanler Coker in the game, I can assure you."
Talk a little bit about Quinshad Davis and the kind of threat that he is....
"Quinshad became a playmaker for us last year about midseason as he grew into the role as a true freshman and made a lot of plays for us, especially down the stretch. He has just walked right into that role this year and done a really nice job."
He's got nice length to him. He's over 6-3. He plays up above the rim. He'll go up and get the ball. He's definitely a threat down in the red zone, in that area where the space is condensed. He uses his body well. He runs well. He runs good routes. And he's a very competitive guy. That's the one thing that a lot of people don't know about Quinshad. He is ultra-competitive."
"When that ball is in the air, he believes its his ball and he's going to come down with it, and that's a great characteristic to have as a wide receiver."
T.J. Logan got his first career touchdown against NCSU. I would assume you think that's the first of many.....
"Yes, I do. And it was great to see, finally. He's been through a lot with the injury early in the year that kept him out of so many games. And then just trying to get his legs back under him as we've progressed. I think the offensive staff has done a nice job of feeding him a little bit as we go, and he's really starting to feel comfortable. It was good to see that big ol' smile on his face."