ACC title road, game 2: UNC's Larry Fedora pushing for defensive improvement

Tar Heels coach not ready to name a starting quarterback

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, left, talks with quarterback Bryn Renner (2) during the team's first football practice of the season in Chapel Hill, N.C.

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, left, talks with quarterback Bryn Renner (2) during the team's first football practice of the season in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Editor's Note: Following their ACC opener at Tallahassee, Clemson will continue conference play on Saturday, Sept. 27, at home against North Carolina. The game has been designed as Hall of Fame Day. It will be Clemson's first encounter with Coach Larry Fedora, who provided the following update on the Tar Heels following spring practice.

North Carolina Coach Larry Fedora

On the quarterback battle between Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubiski: "I think both guys have competed really well, and that brought out the best in both of them. I think they will continue to do that through the summer and through fall camp. I wish we could have that type of competition at each and every position on our team. When we do have that, then we're going to be a really good football team.

"I'm pleased with where both guys are, with how they've handled the situation. I don't have a given date that I'll make a decision. That way, that gives everybody something to talk about all year...I think there were certain days where we had one that would do better than the other, then the next day the other would compete. That's the great thing about the competition going on right now.

"I can tell you this at this point, I do feel comfortable we got two guys that we can win with. That's a great thing right there. As far as when it will be determined, I don't know. We'll see how it works out."

On defensive improvement during the spring: "First of all, I think our defense is probably a little bit more experienced than our offense right now when you talk about on the field playing time, all those things. We have some seniors on the defense. We have one scholarship senior on the offense. We have I think seven on the defense.

"We're still a really young football team. But any of our age is on the defense. I just think our guys developed a little bit quicker. We have guys that have been playing in the system for three years on that side of the ball and they totally understand what we're trying to do."

On the most important development he saw during the spring: "I would really have to say defensively I thought our guys have a good understanding of what we're trying to do on defense. Because of that, I thought they made the most progress this spring. I couldn't pick out one position or one player. I would just say as a whole defensively I thought we had a pretty good spring."

On the execution of his no-huddle, up-tempo offense: "I've been a no huddle football team since 1999. Basically I don't know any different. We've been up tempo, we've been multi tempo. We've done it a lot of different ways.

"Since 1999, we've evolved with the way we practice. One thing that I can tell you is we practice the way we're going to play. Everything we do within our practice plan is an up tempo type plan. Our guys understand that's the way we practice because that's the way we play. That carries over to what we do in the weight room, the way we condition in the summer. Everything that we do is oriented that way."

On nutritional issues and the NCAA's expanded meal allowance for athletes: "It's definitely changed over the years. We have two full time nutritionists here, one that works entirely with our football team. I think it's one of the last frontiers that hadn't been fully tapped yet when you're talking about the development of your players.

"It's interesting. James Hurst, one of our seniors, was getting ready for the draft, and he came back from training and talked about how his body weight went down, his body fat went down, his muscle mass went up. We started talking about it. James, what did you do? I did what you guys have been telling us to do for the last two years. I really bought into it. It's amazing the results. If these kids can start buying into this, what we're doing nutrition wise, I think they're going to see great results for them athletically and the way they perform on Saturdays.

"I do think the reforms that the NCAA are proposing, I think they're good. I don't know if it's completely thought out on how it's going to be implemented or the cost involved, how it's all going to take place. I do definitely think it's a good thing. In what I've read, I would say (the only drawback) is just the cost. I don't think there's any way you could say that feeding your players more, providing more for them can be a negative thing. I don't see it that way."

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