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Larry Fedora Postgame Quotes

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- North Carolina coach Larry Fedora spoke with reporters following UNC's 27-10 loss to South Carolina on Thursday night.

Opening Statement:

“We played a really good football team tonight — the No. 6 team in the country. They’ve got some really good players, good coaches. We didn’t play the way we wanted to play. We knew it was going to be tough coming in here into their stadium and playing a game in this situation, and I just was disappointed in the way we played in all three phases of the game. But, you’ve got to give South Carolina credit. They’re a good football team.”

On allowing big plays:

“Yeah, we worked a lot on eliminating big plays. You can’t give up two big plays like that. You can’t do that, and you can’t drop a punt at the 50-yard line. You can’t do a lot of things that we did. Those were disappointing.”

On the battle in the trenches:

“I’d have to go back and look at it and really see. We knew they were good on the defensive front. There was no doubt about that. Everybody has been telling us how good they were, so it was obvious. We knew we had our work cut out on that side. Offensively, on their side, they’re big, and they can mash you, and they did a nice job of it tonight.”

On lack of offensive execution:

“I don’t want to take credit away from what they accomplished. They won the football game and did a great job. But, we have to execute. If we execute like that, it doesn’t matter — we don’t have a chance. We have to make better decisions with the ball; we have to block better; we have to run harder — all the different things. You have to make plays, and we didn’t make those tonight.”

On frustration of dropping the punt:

“I don’t think it was a good thing. We had made a nice stop on their end of the field, and we were going to have the ball at about midfield. You have to feel pretty good about that, and we turn around and put the defense right back out there on the field. You can’t do that and win games like that. It’s just not going to happen.”

On defense’s resiliency:

“They went back out there and didn’t let it bother them. They went out there and played the next play. There was never a situation in the game where I felt like our guys gave up. If that was the case, when we went back out there after the rain delay, they wouldn’t have gotten back out there and fought. That’s who we are. We’re guys who are going to fight all the way to the end. They believe they can win a game no matter what’s going on.”

On positives to take away:

“There were some good things out there. We had some young kids who made some plays. Bug (Howard) got out there and made some plays at the end of the game. We had some other freshmen who played tonight, and they got a game under their belt in a hostile environment, so that’s going to pay off for them. You’ve got Norkeithus Otis — it seemed like he was all over the place, and he was playing hard. It was good to see Darius Lipford out there in live action. T.J. Thorpe, even though he made mistakes, it was good to get him back out there. Those things were good. We’ve just got to get better as a football team.”

On the Clowney factor:

“We felt like if we moved the chains and executed, we could tire him out. If you go back and look, there were times that he was tired out there. About what we expected. He can make plays when he wants to make plays. He’s definitely a hoss. There’s no doubt about it. He’s a great player. We didn’t really change much. We chipped a little bit with our backs. I didn’t feel like he was a huge factor in the game, actually. There were other guys who I thought made some plays. Now, that could have been because we were overconcerned with (Clowney). I thought James Hurst did a pretty nice job against him. They moved him all over the field, which makes it difficult for any offense when you’re trying to take care of a guy like that.”

On the defense’s confidence:

“I didn’t notice anybody’s head going down. We talk a lot about body language. If you make a bad play, you’ve got to have body language, and you’ve got to move onto the next one. That’s the game of football. It’s going to happen. You’re not just going to shut a team out. You’re not just going to dominate a team on one side of the ball or the other, so you’ve got to be able to not worry about it and move onto the next play.”

On South Carolina’s offensive line:

“They’re bigger than we are. That’s all I could tell you. I want to give the running back a lot of credit. There were a lot of times that he broke some tackles. We hit him in the backfield, and he’s still picking up four or five yards. We’ve got to do a better job of tackling.”

On adjusting the offense:

“That was part of the game plan. We wanted to give our offensive line a chance and get the ball out quick, try to spread out the ball and make some plays in the open field instead of pushing it down the field as much. That was part of the thing to try to help our offensive line with Clowney. Try to get the ball out a little bit quicker, try to get him a little frustrated because he’s not getting those big sacks.”

On lack of execution:

“We’re in year two, and I wish we were further along than we are, but we’re not. This was a good measuring stick for us. I didn’t look at tonight and say, ‘Gosh, we’re so far away, we’ll never make it.’ That’s not the way I look at it coming out of the game. I don’t think we’re that far away, we just have to execute.”

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