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September 13, 2017

Larry Fedora

Greensboro, North Carolina

LARRY FEDORA: We've had two games that we have been disappointed in the outcomes and the way that we played. So we're looking forward to getting back out on the field this Saturday and hopefully playing much better than we have in the past.

Q. Where do you need to see the defensive improvement this week? Have you been able to get a sense of how much it's your defense versus just who you happen to draw on the schedule early in the season like this?
LARRY FEDORA: No, I think the majority of it is the problems that we've created for ourselves. The improvement we need to see is we just need to execute the call, the base calls, make the ordinary plays that come to us and do a great job of communicating.

Q. Did you privately go into the season and see some warning signs in practice and think we might have some bumpy spots on the defensive side early in the season?
LARRY FEDORA: No, I didn't.

Q. Bobby Wilder was very complimentary of how you handled the situation in 2013. Had you ever been on the other side of a game like that? And were you pretty quick to agree to his suggestion about the fourth quarter?
LARRY FEDORA: Well, I had never been in that situation. I had never been on the other side of it. But I could only imagine what that would feel like. I was, and I did agree with him when he made the suggestion. I had no problem with it. I don't think you play the game to try to embarrass someone or embarrass the other team. You just go out to play to win. So there was no need for it.

Q. I'm curious on a couple of thoughts about Clemson versus Louisville, but particularly Lamar Jackson and that defensive front at Clemson. How do you see that playing out having fresh experience against Lamar?
LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, I got a chance to see Clemson-Auburn that night. Watched them, and their defensive front is as dominant as it has been the last few years. I think he matched up pretty well with him last year, so you would anticipate that he would this year. I mean, the guy is very, very special. I don't care who he plays against. A lot of that is going to depend on the offensive line and the running backs for Louisville as far as what kind of success that Lamar has against him.

Q. Sorry to follow-up with another Lamar question, but talking to Brent Venable this week, he said it's probably his closest comparison for Lamar was Vince Young. I know you got to see a little of Vince Young in the Big 12 as well. Is that a fair comparison for you? Is there anybody else that would jump out at you as somebody you've seen in the past that was a similar weapon to what Lamar was?
LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, I think that's a great comparison right there. When I was at Oklahoma State at the time when he was at the University of Texas, and he was able to dominate a game the same way that Lamar has. He was a big guy. In fact, I remember a distinct play just like what happened this Saturday. We blitzed the corner and Lamar sidestepped the corner and threw a 75-yard touchdown. If I remember right, our corner bounced off of Vince Young and he ended up throwing a long touchdown pass. So that's a great comparison.

Q. I'm sure you watched a good bit of film last year on Lamar before this game. Did you see a player that had developed more as a passer compared to maybe what you had seen on film?
LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, I think he's much improved as a passer, and he's proven that in his first couple of games. Where last year he was more apt to take the ball down and just take off and make a play with his legs, now he will, even with pressure, he will set in there and find the open receiver. So I think he's vastly improved as a true quarterback.

Q. Talk about Old Dominion. You played them years ago, what do they look like this year compared to the last time you played them?
LARRY FEDORA: Well, there's no comparison to what they were like in 2013. I can tell you this, I think they are extremely good up front. Defensively they are really strong up front. They've got a lot of quick-twitch guys, guys that can really move. They're playing really hard. I think they have 15 sacks in the first two games which is pretty much unheard of. So, their linebackers play well.

Their secondary is extremely solid you know, offensively they're breaking in some new guys, but they're a good football team. They're 2-0, and they've got to be jacked about us coming to their place and playing them at home.

Q. I know you had two tough games in the opening season, and you're 0-2, what do you have to do to turn it around?
LARRY FEDORA: We have to take care of the Tar Heels. That's with a we've got to take care of. We don't need to focus on anybody but ourselves in making sure that we execute the play that is called both on offense and defense. We have to continue to play at a high level on special teams, which I think we've done in our first couple weeks, so I've been pleased with that. But the other two sides of the ball have to pick it up.

Q. Being this is the first road game for your Tar Heels, what is the biggest thing you're going to preach to them as far as come going into Norfolk?
LARRY FEDORA: We try to make all of our preparation exactly the same, whether we're on the road or at home. That's all the way up through Friday. Then we'll have some new guys that are learning what it means to go on the road and what they have to do and the focus that it takes. I mean, you've got hostile fans that you have to deal with. You've got all kinds of distractions. So the thing is that just focusing on us and not so much what's going to happen but really just focusing on us and taking care of ourselves.

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