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October 6, 2007

UNC offense postgame Q and A

CHAPEL HILL - Immediately following their 33-27 upset of Miami Saturday afternoon in Kenan Stadium, North Carolina offensive standouts Brandon Tate, Anthony Elzy, and T.J. Yates spoke to reporters. Tate recorded 64 rushing yards and 54 receiving yards, along with a touchdown, while Elzy tallied 95 yards on 25 attempts. In a solid outing, Yates completed 15 of 23 passes for 218 yards.


BRANDON TATE


What were your thoughts about Miami's second half comeback?

In the second half I thought Miami was about to come back and win, but we had some great plays on offense, and we held the lead. When I saw those boys come out, keep scoring and scoring, I started to get nervous. I said, 'Our offense has to do something. We've got to come out and score points just as fast as they do.

Just how important is this victory for this team?

This is a great win for us. This gives us momentum for the rest of the season, and we are still fighting for a bowl game. We're not out of it yet. We have to go out and play just as hard against South Carolina next week.

Describe that scoring play on the end-around…...

When I came around the end, I just saw green grass. I knew Hakeem (Nicks) was going to block for me, so I just put all my faith in him. He blocked two men on that play, so all the credit should go to him. Coming in, Hakeem told me he owed me a good block from the Virginia game, when I helped him score. When I got the reverse and went around, I saw green grass, and there was like two (Miami) men. I ran behind Hakeem on the first one, and Hakeem blocked two men. All the credit should go to him, really. Hakeem helped me out. I started running as hard as I could, because I knew those boys were fast over there.

What about that end zone celebration?

Oh yeah. Last night in the hotel, I told my teammates, 'If I score, I'm going to do that Soldier Boy.' Everybody was like, 'You're not going to do it.' As soon as I did (score), I took my chance to do it. I just told my teammates I was going to do it. I might, just to keep some excitement going, I might keep doing it.

Describe the long pass play in which your shoe fell off…..

It was holding onto my leg, and I was trying to get loose, and my shoe came off. I was loose (then), so I just ran to the races. My freshman year at N.C. State my shoe came off and I kept running with it.

How does a win like this take some of the pressure off this team?

It takes some of the pressure off, because we can still fight to get a chance for a bowl game somehow. Going into this game, we've been so close to winning. We just put all the pieces to the puzzle together, and went out and fought hard.


ANTHONY ELZY


Do you feel like you're becoming the "main man" in the offensive backfield for this team?

I think we have four great tailbacks. Four great tailbacks. Like I've said before, we're going to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to us, and just do our work from there.

When did you find out you were going to start at tailback against Miami?

It was maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. I wasn't nervous at all. I was anxious. I was excited all week. Last night I couldn't sleep. I was just really excited.

Did you know you were going to redshirt when you came to North Carolina?

No. I did not. After summer camp, they told us. I was excited about it, because it gave me another year to get adjusted to the game, the speed of the game, contact, (and) knowledge. It just gave me another year to grow and lift weights, and I think it worked out for the best.

Being a native of Ohio, did any of the schools in the Big Ten pursue you in high school?

Michigan looked at me. Ohio State was looking. Wisconsin looked at me. There were a number of schools, but coming down here (to Chapel Hill) to visit, as soon as I came down here I just fell in love with it.

What do you think your best quality as a runner is?

I think yards after contact. I just keep pounding the ball. I think probably power would be my best asset.

What's it like to have your best rushing performance so far as a collegiate player (95 yards) in helping the team win?

It's a very exciting feeling. I'm excited not for myself, but for the linemen. That whole performance was all linemen. I take no credit for that. They played hard, very hard. They got those 100 yards and that first touchdown. All credit goes to the line. I just ran through the holes they created.

Does a win like this take some of the pressure off you guys?

I think so, because we worked so hard this week. We stayed focused all week long, and it paid off. I think getting this win over such a good team brings our confidence back.

What do you think about so many young players playing, and how that will pay off over the long-term?

Always. We are a very young team, and I think those first couple of weeks of our season, we were still learning and growing. I think today we put everything together, and just showed our fans and the world just a little bit of what we can do once we become older and have more knowledge of the game.


T.J. YATES


What does it feel like to upset Miami?

I'm numb right now. It hasn't really set in all the way yet. That was an amazing game. We came out and scored quick. The defense did an amazing job. They gave us a little run in the second half, but we held them off and we finished the game. It's a great feeling.

Describe the momentum shift in the second half when Miami began their rally…..

Offensively and defensively, we played off each other. We were kind of slow there in the start of the second half, but then the defense picked it up a notch and gave us some energy. We brought that on the offensive side, and going things going again.

What did you think about the offense being more aggressive?

We tried to leave it all out there on the field. We weren't going to hold anything back. There was nothing to hold anything back for. We came out and started strong, and kept going on strong. We finished the game.


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