PAUL JOHNSON QUOTES
“We had to overcome a lot that was self-inflicted stuff today. We fumbled the ball on about the 4-yard line going in. We missed a short field goal. We didn’t do as well getting the ball into the end zone down once we got in the red zone.
I was disappointed at halftime, because I thought the game should be more out of line than it was. We hadn’t punted the ball. They hadn’t really stopped us. I think we missed maybe one third down, yet we’re not up like you’d think we should be.
And then we come out, hit a big play on third down to Stephen (Hill) on the pass and get down there and bog down again and have to kick the field goal. So it was disappointing.”
On punting on 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter:
“I was kind of kicking myself on fourth and one for not going for it, but you’ve got to try to kick ‘em down inside the 20-yard line and make ‘em go the length of the field. If you go for it (and) you don’t make it, (then) you give ‘em a short field. Our defense was, at that point, struggling a little bit anyway. The last thing we wanted to do was give ‘em a short field.”
On kicking game:
I sound like a broken record with our kicking game. It’s an enigma to me. It’s just an enigma. We work on it, it looks fine in practice. We clearly have to change some personnel on the return team. We’ve got to get involved. I’m sick of watching that on the kickoff return.
On play calling:
“We hardly ran any triple option today, very few times. They were geared up to stop it. They were rolling secondary off the motion, which gave us some opportunities in play action. We hit the one for a touchdown, we had another one wide open that we didn’t finish but it’s a base offense and you can adjust it to what your guys can do.”
On what pleased him:
“35 is more than 28. That’s what I was pleased about. I don’t get hung up on yards and all that. I could care less. I just want to score more than they do.”
On UNC running back Giovani Bernard:
“He’s a tough kid. He’s a good running back. They’ve got good players. I’ve said all week that’s a pretty good football team. They’re pretty talented. Big on the offensive line. The defensive line’s really good. I think No. 90 is probably a first-round draft pick for sure. Those inside guys, 91 and , they’re good players. We had a hard time blocking them. Our guys fought ‘em. They hung in there and fought ‘em.”
On offensive line play:
“I though they did some things. Certainly, they were battling in there. Everything was hard-fought inside. It was really to know what they did, you’ve almost got to watch the tape and see how they played. I know they were battling. They were mad at me on fourth down when we didn’t go for it. And that’s good. It’s like I told them. You had three downs. If you can’t make it in three, get your butt off the field.”
On Stephen Hill’s play:
“He had a [heck of a] game. Stephen Hill played the way we thought he would play. He’s a great athlete. He’s a tough guy to cover one on one now. They were having to roll the coverage. They were committed (that) they were going fire the corners to the motion. They were rolling and when that happens, you’ve got single coverage on the backside with nobody underneath. Their corners are on an island.”