North Carolina State put together one of its best defensive performances in recent memory in shutting out North Carolina Saturday afternoon 13-0---NCSU's first shutout victory over the Tar Heels since 1960.
After the game, UNC's Everett Withers and NCSU's Tom O'Brien spoke with reporters. The two coaches had some sparring words back and forth during the week, but things were tame afterwards.
North Carolina head coach Everett Withers
"I want to give N.C. State a bunch of credit. We didn't help ourselves, we helped them a bunch. With our offense, I do have to give them a bunch of credit. I thought they were efficient on defense, which caused us to have a bunch of 'three and outs.' We didn't make enough plays on offense to make it a game."
"We got a week off, got a chance to go back to work this week to get better to try to correct some of the things that happened today, and hopefully we will be better against Virginia tech on Thursday night."
"We felt like we wanted to get the most efficient punter on the field. Every day in practice, it's a competition. If a guy doesn't play well, then we play the best guy in there. That's for every position.
"He obviously had some (issues) today. There was some things, I guess we can talk about halftime, we tested him out twice for concussion symptoms at halftime and we felt like he was okay. Then we went out there and he went to one series, just didn't feel like he was 100 percent, so we pulled him."
"They tested him twice and he passed both tests and he went out in the first series and he developed more symptoms out there, this is a game. I'm not going to stick one out there and get hurt."
On exactly why UNC didn't seem ready to play against the Wolfpack......
"When you're dealing with 18-22 year-olds, you don't know what you're going to get sometimes. It bothers me an awful lot to lose any game. I think in this state, this is a big game in this state."
"This is supposed to be a rivalry, and it's supposed to eat at you. It's supposed to get to you when you lose it, and you're supposed to remember it and get better and come back the next year and do something about it. Any defeat bothers me."
On whether the loss could be attributed to a lack of intensity or emotion......
"I felt like we tried to play harder. I don't think it had to do anything with intensity, emotions. It was about X's and O's and not blocking them and not tackling them and not doing those things."
N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien
"This was a great win. It's a great win for this football team. Kids in that locker room and even coaches on this coaching staff have never lost to North Carolina. But all we did today was tie the record (five straight wins over UNC). Next year, we get to go try and set it."
On the play of the NCSU defense......
"Coming off of the way we played last week to play this way is a great credit to our coaching staff, kids and our fans. it was great preparation all around. Our fans were great today. But, as I told our guys, be humble in victory. Just smile, wear your red, and everyone will know."
On stopping North Carolina's running game......
"We knew that was going to be key. We had to stop their tailback (Giovani Bernard) and their running game. We also got to their quarterback (Bryn Renner). I think we hit him more than we've got a quarterback all season. We did a great job of keeping pressure on him and getting to him."
On winning again over UNC......
"It's a great win, but there is still a lot to accomplish. We can celebrate tonight, but we need to move on after that and focus on getting ready for Boston College. But, we get an extra hour tonight to celebrate."