Jay Bateman breaks down UNC's loss at Virginia Tech, looks ahead to a well-coached Duke offense

Brant Wilkerson-New

On anything he was surprised with from his defense

I think we made two really, really bad mistakes. Two really bad errors. First one, was on a coverage that we practiced a bunch. I stressed to them yesterday, every game we’ve played has come down to -- whether it was the last play of the game, whether it was the six overtimes or the last play of regulation. We can’t give up a 55-yard touchdown pass. You look back at Wake Forest and a very similar mistake, so I’ve got to do a better job coaching it. We’ve got to have a little bit better attention to detail.

I feel like we talked to them about this the last two weeks. There’s been a dip in the second quarter, I think, focus-wise, and I think that’s something we’ve got to do a better job coaching.

Can you break down the error?

We had our eyes on the wrong spot. With the alignment that they were in, we should have been a little bit different leverage outside, and I’ve got to coach it better.

The long run?

The long run was a really bad call by me. We had gone up by a touchdown and I was trying to protect the throw game a little bit. They had banged some throws on us the drive before -- really the two drives before, and credit to Virginia Tech, they had a really good play against what we had called. And we didn’t get it tackled. It was kind of a rotation into cover 2.

Myles (Dorn) got a little bit too wide, ball kind of popped on him, couldn’t get back over top of it. Credit to them. That kid is a good player. Wish I had known a little more about him.

On Quincy Patterson 

No. 1 I think he’s a good player. Any time you’re that committed to running the quarterback, it’s hard. It’s 10 guys blocking 10 guys. So now if you miss, or one guy gets leveraged, there’s nobody left.

In the normal run game, somebody is handing the ball off. So there’s always an extra guy. So I think they did a good job of getting everybody blocked and getting us into some formations where we didn’t have an extra defender a lot. And I think once we settled down -- I’ve got to do a better job of getting us into a defense where we could go play, against whatever the formation shift is. We were in some defenses where the formation probably mattered too much. . Once we settled down with it after the long wrong, I think we were pretty good after that. So that’s the challenge with a quarterback that committed to running it.

On the defense being worn down

In overtime, we gave up the one fourth-and-three for a touchdown, other than that they didn’t get a first down. So I think at the end, I don’t think we were tired. The early part of the game, our offense did a great job controlling the football. And we didn’t play many snaps. And at halftime I was mad at them, because we didn’t finish the last five minutes very well, and we talk about that.

But we hadn’t played that many snaps. I think we’re in good shape. It was just the flow of the game. It wasn’t hot. They weren’t tired. And we’re going to listen to them too. They weren’t ready to come out.

So they probably played a little more than what I would have liked for them to played. But I didn’t think we’d go into six overtimes. I think that’s where the reps kind of got added on.

But overtime you get to rest. It’s like 10 minutes between possessions with all the TV timeouts.

On how he preps to defense two-point conversions

We have a handful of things we kind of go to. I kind of tell them going out, I’m calling this because I’m expecting this. The first two-point play was a redzone coverage alignment that we use a lot. And I thought we did a really good job. Storm made a great play.

And then the second one, we kind of thought they’d be in quarterback run and credit to them, they blocked us a little better than we got off blocks and we kind of got one of our best players free at the ball and just didn’t get a tackle. So I think we were in the right call both times, they just executed better than we did.

On Duke protecting the QB

They do a great job. I have a lot of respect for them. I’ve defended them a lot. The thing they do a great job of is they rarely hold the ball back there very long. So the ball comes out fast. I think he’s very aware -- and he’s a redshirt senior that’s been there for a while at quarterback. I think he’s very aware of where the protection faults could happen, so if you are able to get a guy coming free, he knows where it’s coming from and so the ball gets thrown.

They do a great job. And O-Line wise, they don’t get beat a lot. You can’t say, I’m going to get Jason (Strowbridge) on this Center or this Guard or this Tackle, and we felt some weeks -- and he’s going to win. You don’t feel like that, as much against them. That’s the challenge. I think the challenge, you’ve got to get one-on-one matchups that are favorable to you without selling out your coverage.

On Pro-Football Focus’ low grade on Chazz Surratt

How many tackles did he have? 17. Yeah, he did alright.

He missed some tackles early. One that sticks out that was bad. He could have been better in coverage a couple of times, he did just okay.

On Duke’s multiple looks

I texted Jeff Monken (Army head coach) yesterday, who I used to work for and I said, Duke’s running the double slot stuff. And he goes really? And I had told him a couple of weeks ago when I first watched it, I said it’s their second most used formation behind empty. That’s pretty good coaching right there when you can get that done. They are very multiple. They do a really good job. I’ve been defending them the last few years. I’ve had some good days and some bad days. Hopefully we’ll have a good day on Saturday.

On Chazz’s potential professionally

I think he’s got some skills that are hard to find. He can really run, he’s explosive. Athletically he’s going to blow the combine test away, I would imagine. He’s still got a long way to go learning linebacker, and being a linebacker skill-wise to be at that level. But you see him improve so much week to week and then you’ve got another year with him. You start to be pretty confident he’s got a chance to do that. I think his skillset is absolutely NFL worthy. He’s got to become a better linebacker to reach that. And I know he wants to and he’s committed to doing it.

On him making transition from QB to LB and being successful

Yeah, I’ve never heard of it. In the spring, you saw some flashes. You’re like wow, this kid -- maybe we can play him on third down some. Maybe we can blitz him some. And then in the summer when you really start to see it kind of forming, I remember asking Coach Brown, you ever…? No.”

It’s one thing if you’re like a running quarterback in high school and they recruit you as a linebacker. He started as a quarterback here in a pretty pro-style offense. A very talented kid.

On recruiting

I think we got as good head coach as anybody in the country. And kids want to play for really good head coaches. We’ve got a really cool school. And I think when you’ve got a really great school and you’ve got a really great head coach, kids are attracted to it. And our fans have been awesome. The home games have been awesome.

What is resonating defensively on the recruiting side

Defensively when you walk down that hallway, you see some of the people that play defense here, it’s pretty impressive. And Coach Brown has made that known to recruits that you can come here and be as good as anybody. Two of the best players to ever play this game went here, and played defensive end and outside linebacker.

I think when they can see it, and we were recruiting a safety, and he was talking with Coach Brown in his office with me, and Coach Brown says who is your favorite player, and he says Earl Thomas. And Coach Brown says, yeah I coached Earl Thomas. It’s just like 'Hmm, pretty cool.'

When we get them in with Coach Brown and he can talk about his career and what he’s helped kids do, and you look at the academic reputation of the University of North Carolina and how great the fans are, the commitment to facilities, I just think the momentum is really special and will continue. 

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