News and quotes from Mack Brown’s press conference
CHAPEL HILL, NC — North Carolina head coach Mack Brown met with reporters for his weekly press conference Monday morning. Here are our running notes of what Brown said …
* OLB Tyrone Hopper (top) will not play Georgia Tech on Saturday. Recall that Inside Carolina reported this weekend that Hopper’s injury was to his upper body, according to a source, and potentially ended the season.
* “Offensively it was our sixth-most yards in our program history. So we’re getting back on track and getting an identity and we’re more of what we want to be. Fifty-nine points two weeks ago in a row is impressive. “
* The offensive players of the match were Josh Downs and Ty Chandler. Downs was also the special teams player of the game. The prize went to Kaimon Rucker in defense.
* “Josh Downs played really well again. The catch he made in the corner of the blue zone made a difference in the game. But what a catch; not many people can make that catch and hang on to it. He really blocked well and intelligently during the game. “
* Good night for Stacy Searels in developing her offensive line against Virginia.
* “Sam is playing as well as he has ever played.” Said the team didn’t help him much at Blacksburg.
* Ty Chandler has his best game by far. It takes time to create chemistry with offense. He says he’s like a freshman coming in.
* Note that with the release of DJ Jones, this allowed Caleb Hood to get some shots. Looks like Jones took over the role of backup RB at the end of the preseason.
* Scored six touchdowns in seven trips to the red zone. Howell threw a touchdown in every game he played in his career.
* Praises special teams and jokes that Ben Kiernan is going to have to reimburse the team since he didn’t have to punt. I must be a fan for the night.
* Emphasizes the effectiveness of Jonathan Kim on kickoffs.
* On Georgia Tech: “They have 14 players in defense who have either started or played a lot.”
* “After half time I have never been so proud of a team. We are playing against a team that no one in the locker room has beaten. They trust us, we don’t. They have taken total momentum. Last five minutes of the half with a 14 point swing. Our body language wasn’t good. Confidence didn’t look good. And the guys were able to get up, come back and dominate the second half, which is really, really hard to do. “
* A surprising amount of praise for the defense. Note that there were four potential interceptions that the secondary failed to take advantage of.
* Should win the game if you win the rushed battle, the kicking game and the turnover margin. The UNC is improving in all three areas.
* Asked about so many ranked teams that have lost this season and what has changed. Note more parity and the impact of the transfer portal. This is the reason why the UNC disciplines the breads, etc. “In our lives, we have to create an advantage every day. And it’s the same with football.” Says Georgia Tech has done UNC a favor with their match against Clemson. “It should wake them up, at the very least.”
* GT Recruitment Coordinator Patrick Suddes is one of the best in the country. He worked for Mack in Texas and Mack tried to hire him at UNC, but when he turned Mack down he proposed Billy High.
* Asked what defensive statistics against UVa tell us about how the role of defense has changed in the modern age: “It’s all about winning. Believes it’s essential to make teams one-dimensional, especially if you are able to limit a team’s ground play. “21 yards rushing?” It’s really good in modern football.
* The key to the offensive turnaround was Sam Howell’s ability to run. “I never want a quarterback who can’t run again.”
* Says Searels is happy with the way William Barnes and Ed Montilus are doing.
* On beating UVa and overtaking: “Seniors have accomplished something they’ve never done and that’s really cool … Forget that. It’s a lifetime memory, not a Saturday evening.”
* OC Phil Longo adds that Ed Montilus played his best game against UVa.