Welcome to the new season of Sunday Sitdown, brought to you by The PFP Network. This week we have a treat as we sit down with Coach Mayernick of The North Carolina Tar Heels.. Excuse me.. The Defending National Champion and two time defending ACC Champion North Carolina Tar Heels. This is a team at the top of the football world right now and we are so excited to have him in the studio. So with out further ado (adue??) lets get to it. 1. Well Coach , first off thanks for coming and sitting down with me this weekend. I know your coming off big win against South Carolina this week. What was the key to victory in that one? My pleasure, I appreciate the opportunity. I think it's always a challenge dealing with turnover at the quarterback position. Bryn Renner was a tremendous leader and player--I mean you just don't replace guys like that. Instead, you adapt and learn to be successful without them. Our ability to control the clock, protect the football, and get acclimated to a new quarterback were the keys. 2. No rest for you though huh, Headed straight back out on the road to face USC, an always tough opponent. Some have said that Strength of Schedule is what kept you out of the National Title in year 1, that have anything to do with your scheduling? Well, I'd be lying if I didn't say Coach Bulldog and I didn't have a bit of a friendly rivalry. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play him. As for South Carolina, the ole ball coach and I thought it'd be fun to ignite a North/South Carolina border war. As for the BCS rankings?...that's not what dictates my scheduling. In order to be the best, you have to play the best. It's as simple as that. 3. Can you give us a hint into your strategy vs USC? Stop at the Notre Dame "Grotto" halfway and pray? Haha, no, in all seriousness, that's a talented club there in LA. They have tremendous talent on both sides of the ball, and I know we'll need to open things up a bit through the air and stay balanced. The key will be the turnover battle. If we want to be competitive, we need to win the turnover battle. 4. I guess I should finally congratulate you on your National Title last season. As our guests know I'm a Hurricane fan so I was happy to see an ACC team do well and help out the perception of the conference. Is this years team better than last years? It's tough to say, it really is. Like I said, this team has an entirely different "feel" to it. I'm inclined to say no, just based on the veteran leadership we lost last year. You don't lose guys like Renner, LB Darius Lipford, FS Tre Boston, and DE Tim Jackson and just replace them. Having said that, this team has all of the potential in the world. It depends on a few younger guys stepping up, like freshmen DE Dennis Oliver. We also need some of the veterans, like LB Travis Hughes, to step up and assume leadership roles. Leaders are tough to come by, and we lost some of the best. 5. Giovanni Bernard has been plagued by injury throughout his career, will he be able to stay healthy? Gio's a great kid who has obviously had his share of bad luck. It's impossible for me to determine whether or not he'll stay healthy. What I can tell you, though, is that nobody worked harder in the offseason. Nobody. He is in the best shape of his life and is bound and determined to change the perception of him as an injury plagued player. He's the single most talented running back I've ever seen at that level. I just hope he stays healthy enough to showcase his abilities. 6. Bernard Berg on paper straight up scares opponents, is he the real deal? Bernard is a hell of an athlete. He came to us as a raw two way player, and we transitioned him into the QB role for our spread option. To be honest, he struggled with some of our concepts and playbook the first year. But, as previously noted, Bryn Renner was an excellent learder, and really took him under his wing. He has all the physical tools, it's a matter of the mental make up at this point. While nobody doubts his athleticism, I think he surprises a lot of people this year with his passing ability and his ability to read coverages. 7. On the defensive side of the ball do you finally have the guys in place to run your 4-2-5 to its maximum effectiveness? If not, what pieces are missing? I'm really pleased with the starting group we have, as well as the depth. It's really just a young group at this point, particularly in the secondary. All the pieces are there, it's just a matter of them coming into their own. I really can't wait to see what this unit looks like next season. 8. What are your predictions for your team this season? All training camp we just focused on the ACC. While it might surprise you that our goal hasn't been a national championship, I'm a firm believer in taking care of business in your conference first and foremost. We played South Carolina and are headed to see the mighty Trojans in LA tomorrow, but these are all games in preparation for conference play. I have the utmost confidence in this team's ability to win the conference. That is the sole focus now, anything else is gravy. 9. If you had to pick one team to beat you this year who would it be and why? Our only blemish on the record last year: Virginia Tech. To get vengeance on our home field is an opportunity this club is chomping at the bit for. 10. On the recruiting trail is UNC finally becoming a destination school? Or is there more work to be done? ::Laughs:: always work to be done on the trail. While I think there is a great buzz surrounding this program, we still fight the perception that we're a basketball school. I really believe the school and program sell themselves, and we're beginning to attract more top talent every year. Slowly but surely we're getting there, but still need to do some work in order to compete with the Flordia State's and Virginia Tech's of the conference. 11. This is your chance to send a message to the rest of the Coaches around the Nation, lets hear it. I know this club has the target on their backs. We welcome the challenge. Remember: winning is a habit. 12. Thanks for sitting down with us, enjoy the rest of your season and we hope to have you back again. You're welcome, thanks for having me on. Thats it for this edition of Sunday Sitdown, see you next time.