Maryland vs. UNC Football Postgame Quotes
Sept. 1, 2001
MARYLAND HEAD COACH RALPH FRIEDGEN
On Maryland's overall performance:
"Obviously, I'm very happy with the win. I was very proud of the way our kids hung in there. I was very proud of our defense. I think they played an unbelievable game, which I thought they would. And we had some senior leadership today. We have a lot of seniors on this team who are tired of losing."
On special teams:
"I thought we played very, very well. Brooks was late for our pre-game meal today, and it's my policy that I lock the doors after a certain time, and I'm really thinking of having him miss pre-game meals all the time. What a punting job he did. Not only did he punt with average, but he kicked inside the 10-yard line. The difference in field position, especially when we were struggling offensively - combined with our defense - was really responsible for the victory."
On containing North Carolina's defensive line:
"I knew we had some match-up problems coming with [Julius] Peppers and [Ryan] Sims, and it proved to be true. It's tough to double both of them and even when we did, we didn't do a good job. We have a young offensive line, and we have to get better and we will. I told them at halftime that they would win the game for us in the fourth quarter."
On the running backs:
"I thought Bruce Perry ran very well. When Jason Crawford came in at the end, I was concerned playing him in such a close game, but he had some success so we'll be seeing more of Jason in games to come. I like a guy who runs north-south [like Perry does] and he was making guys miss. I think in the last three scrimmages we've had, he had gotten better and better. I thought we were going to be able to run well. Running at Carolina is better than running sideways because they have great speed."
On celebrating his first win as a head coach:
"It was special. Hopefully it will be the first of many. What was special was that I felt like the kids responded to me. That was a little out of character for me to go over on the platform and sing the fight song, but I'm going to do anything I can to put people in the stands. It's my school and I'm very proud of it. I want the students involved and the alumni, lettermen and any Maryland fan, I want them to know that the guy leading them went to this school. I've waited so long for this. I knew I had the confidence to do this and so many times there was disappointment, so it's definitely special."
On his reaction after North Carolina's touchdown:
"I tell you what I thought - 'That's the last time they're going to score today.' Other than, 'This is a great way to open up.' But I wasn't going to get down on that team. I related that to the players and they said the same thing. That's what I like. I don't know if you would have had that in the past."
MARYLAND QUARTERBACK SHAUN HILL
On the team's overall performance:
"We came out with a 'W' but we can't be satisfied with that. We're going to have to get better every week, still. It's a great way to start the season."
On Bruce Perry's performance:
"That's typical Bruce, right there. He's hard-nosed for a little guy, runs hard, so quick, so agile, hard to bring down, has a low center of gravity - everything you look for in a back. He played a heck of a ballgame. I'm so proud of him. He came in so pumped up, so confident, and I know he was ready for this game being redshirted last year, not being able to play."
MARYLAND TAILBACK BRUCE PERRY
On the team being more conditioned than UNC in the second half:
"We just weren't that tired. The tempo of our practices are fast-paced and it paid off. It's ironic because we look at Coach in practice and say 'What are you doing?' but it paid off in the end, because we weren't that tired in the fourth quarter. We weren't struggling and it felt good."
On Coach Friedgen joining the team at the end of the game to sing the fight song with the students:
"That was great. It's all for the fans and it's just a great feeling knowing that we have a coach that's behind us."
On winning the first game in Coach Friedgen's head coaching career:
"We wanted to win it for Coach, but more so, we wanted to win it for ourselves. It's self-pride knowing that we could go out and get that 'W.'"
MARYLAND LINEBACKER E.J. HENDERSON
On winning the season opener:
"A lot of weight is off our shoulders. We're 1-0 with Eastern Michigan next week and we have got to come out and do it again."
On gaining fan support:
"It was a good turnout today and I think we put on a good show offensively and defensively. We hope to bring them back next week."
On winning the field position battle:
"Every time Brooks [Barnard} booted it down there, it made us feel good. We're playing defense out there at their 20. If we can't hold them there, then we don't really need to be out there. "
On the defense's performance:
"I knew we were going to come out hard. I didn't really know we would shut them out like we did, but I knew we would come out hard and put an end to that so-called fast offense."
MARYLAND CENTER MELVIN FOWLER, JR
On the offensive line:
"We struggled a little in the beginning, but we made a couple halftime adjustments, and we got the right hats on the right people. We were effective in the second half."
MARYLAND WIDE RECEIVER JAFAR WILLIAMS
On his touchdown catch:
"It was basically a little under route we run. I just caught the ball and made sure I looked it all the way in and burst up the field like the coaches teach us."
On the touchdown as a confidence boost:
"It boosted my confidence a lot. That's the main thing Coach Friedgen says that I need. Right now, I'm feeling pretty good. North Carolina had a pretty good defense and if we can score points on them, we can score points on a lot of people."
NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH JOHN BUNTING
On Ronald Curry:
"I still believe in him. We didn't block very well or pick up the inside blitz. That certainly hurts his confidence and the whole team's confidence."
On Brooks Barnard:
"He did a great job. He kept us pinned down. We never really had good field position. When you're inside your one-yard line, you are limited as to what you can do. We have a young offensive line trying to work hard and make holes. We just couldn't punch it out and get some breathing room. My hat is off to their special teams. They did a great job keeping us backed up."
On Darian Durant:
"I thought Darian made some great plays. I thought he played very well. Can he play better? I think so. He had a couple great throws and the ball got tipped around and intercepted. Once again he showed he could scramble to make a play. He showed he is evasive. That is a great quality to have, particularly with a young offensive line."
"We certainly don't feel very good about [the loss]. I don't think there is a guy in [the locker room] that feels good about it, but we can't look back, we have ten games to go. By midnight tonight we have to stop thinking about it, look at the tape, make corrections and go on from there. We have a huge football game next week against Texas in Texas. We have ten more games left, ten more rounds to fight."