CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina head coach Mack Brown met with reporters for his weekly press conference on Monday morning. Here are our running notes from what Brown said …

* Injury update: Caleb Hood (lower) will be evaluated throughout the week to determine his status on Saturday. Storm Duck continues to be week-to-week. 

* Re: Miami, will never apologize for a victory. That’s what the team is supposed to do. 

* “Happy to win the game. A lot of great things in the game. We’re getting better. A lot of things we’ve got to get fixed, obviously. But the most important thing is we overcame some adversity and found a way to win. And that’s what we haven’t done in the three games that we have lost.”

* Says the defense has to do a better job of preventing explosive plays and getting off the field on third and fourth downs. 

* Proud that the team was able to overcome some adversity to win, which didn’t happen in the three losses. 

* “A lot of great young players that we watched in the open date. That was fun. They competed against each other. The two young quarterbacks had pretty much the full week. Sam practiced a little bit but not a whole lot. We took some of the older guys out and let them get rested. Still worked on Notre Dame, but mostly worked a lot on the young guys. And the future looks great.”

* Notes that UNC will be underdogs in four of its final five games, three of which come on the road. The program will have to show growth to finish strong. 

* Big play to Antoine Green vs. Miami, but UNC has to do a better job of getting the ball to receivers not named Josh Downs. 

* Congrats Brian Kelly on breaking Knute Rockne’s win record. Has done a tremendous job with that program. Adds that he doesn’t negatively recruit.

* Re: transfer portal, staff went through projections and roles with players last week. Says the guys leaving are primarily leaving for more playing time. Kids in the portal can go on official visits and limit chances to get hurt, etc.   

* “We had Josh Henderson go in the transfer portal this morning. We said last week what we would do is sit down with every young man and go over exactly where we feel like he is right now in our program and the projections for him. So most of the guys that leave are leaving because they want to get more playing time or they want to be the featured player at their position. And it’s our job to be honest. And tell them exactly how we feel about where they are right now and where they are moving forward. I’ve thought a lot about the transfer portal. I don’t like the fact that young people now, if they get so they want something more, they leave immediately. They don’t stay with their team, but at the same time, they can go on official visits and they can start looking at their next opportunity. And they also don’t want to stay and get hurt. So I understand that completely. And Josh is a great young man. And he’s done everything right in this program. And I told him yesterday that I understand completely and that we will help him go where he would like to go. And at the same time, if a guy’s not totally into trying to win the game at Notre Dame, then he shouldn’t be on the trip, either. So that’s what you do with the transfer portal, you try to handle it. I thought at one time, maybe there should be stronger guidelines that you couldn’t get in the portal until after your last game and then give them a month or two to be able to do it. But at the same time, from the head coach’s standpoint, you know more about your roster management. If someone leaves now, you’ve got other guys that you need to get prepared to play. If someone’s not completely bought in and it helps you know at the end of the year how many scholarships you’ve got available with this crazy roster management even when last year the NCAA gave everybody an extra year. So we wish Josh luck.”

* References 2-3 spots where UNC may look for an upgrade in the portal. 

* “Roster management has never been like this.” Has told the coaches the portal is what it is. If players leave, that means they don’t want to be here, which is better for the program.

* Says the team tweaked its road game approach this offseason after the struggles last year. Added a Brian Hess period in addition to the staff getting together with the team multiple times throughout the day before night games. “I don’t think there’s anything we can do better except play better on the road.”

* The Notre Dame game last year was the only time Mack thought the offense had no chance to win the game for the team. Irish were stout and had answers across the board. 

* Data says there are more injuries in the preseason and during bye weeks than any other part of the season. Likely due to hitting more in those periods, so UNC takes that into account. Goal No. 1 during the bye week is to stay healthy. Goal No. 2 is harsh evaluations of what’s going right and what’s going wrong. Goal No. 3 is evaluating young talent.  

* Says when he was at UNC in the ’90s, his last few teams were blowing opponents out and so everybody got to play and morale was high. UNC is playing young guys now and trying to win close games, so it’s a different and challenging situation. Lot of emphasis in the bye week of trying to decide about playing time and burning redshirts. If certain kids are going pro in three years anyway, why limit snaps to preserve eligibility? On the flip side, don’t waste eligibility for a few extra snaps. Caleb Hood has been hurt, but he’s played four games. Once he gets to 100%, do you put him in or hold him? Right now, the idea would be to play him. Staff is hoping the bowl game won’t count towards eligibility due to opt-outs, etc. 

* Hard to put a finger on why the team handled adversity better versus Miami than in the three losses, but seems genuinely excited about the challenges over the next five weeks. Great opportunities for the players to be tested and gain confidence. 

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