WHAT THEY SAID: Georgia Tech-North Carolina

“We were having trouble with reads and, that first series, we missed a couple guys that were open or didn’t make the play. There weren’t a lot of possessions. There were five possessions in the first half. In games like that, you’ve got to max it. We still struggle running the option. We’re not very good at it, to be quite honest with you. We’ve got to get way better at that than we are right now, but we found a way to make enough plays to win.”

— Georgia Tech Paul Johnson on the team’s slow start

“We’ll have to try to rest up. We’ll come back (Sunday), clean up this game and get an evaluation of where we are physically. We’re pretty beat up. … We’ll have to adjust practice and see what we can do.”

Johnson on playing Virginia Tech on Thursday

“Charles has worked really hard. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s come back from what was a major, major surgery on his shoulder and worked his tail off and just came to practice every day, and I am so happy that he’s contributing and playing the way he’s playing right now. He’s a great kid.”

Johnson on A-back Charles Perkins, who had a career-long 26-yard run

“That was what we’ve been waiting for. Use that (6-foot-6 frame), go up and get the ball.”

Johnson on wide receiver Darren Waller’s second-quarter touchdown reception

“He’s a big dude with good hands and good routes. Really, we had to fight. We had to fight and dig deep. You can’t go in there soft against him.”

— Cornerback Louis Young on North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron

“I think we just got a lot more aggressive, instead of waiting to get a punch to them. There were a couple balls in the air that, early, I think we probably could have made plays on, and I think the second half, we just kind of dug deep and leaned on each other and got aggressive in the passing game.”

Young on the defense’s improvement after falling behind 20-7

“The football was slippery. It’s been awhile since I’ve played a whole game in that type of condition, probably 11th grade. What helped us was we scrimmaged in it, we practiced in rain. That’s why we were able to throw the ball efficiently. I wish we could have held onto it a little bit better. We had, like, four fumbles, but we did enough to get the job done.”

— B-back David Sims

“We were kind of struggling offensively and defensively. I was just trying to get the team going by my play, whether it be blocking or running.”

— A-back Robert Godhigh

“It’s great to hear your fans rooting you on. It always adds to your energy, so it was a great feeling.”

— Safety Domonique Noble

“Some of it was shooting ourselves in the foot. We didn’t make every catch that we needed to make. We didn’t make every throw that we needed to make, and we didn’t make every block that we needed to make. They got better pressure on the quarterback, and that was really disappointing.”

— UNC coach Larry Fedora on the team’s second-half struggles on offense

“I don’t know the answer. I know this, I thought our staff put them in position to make plays. I thought guys were there. It’s not like we didn’t have the answers to what they were doing. I thought we had guys where they were supposed to be, and then you just have to make the tackle.”

Fedora, on the Tar Heels missing tackles

“That was big, because it was third down and momentum was kind of shifting both ways. We really didn’t convert a lot of third downs like we wanted to because I missed receivers and getting hit and stuff like that. That was big. DeAndre kind of ran, like, an 8-yard stop route. He’s a guy that we’re really counting on this year.”

— Quarterback Vad Lee on a third-down catch by wide receiver DeAndre Smelter in the second quarter

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