CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Coach Bobby Bowden is renowned for his G-rated language, but he might have gone a bit beyond his usual daggumits at halftime.
"Ooh, I don't want to get into that," he said with a laugh Friday, a day after his team came back from an 18-point second-half deficit to pull out a 30-27 win against North Carolina.
"It was some really getting on some people."
The Seminoles played what Bowden called, perhaps, the worst opening half he had seen in 55 years of coaching: nine penalties for 70 yards (one nullifying a 60-yard pass to Jarmon Fortson), 0-for-5 on third down, 14 yards on 10 carries and 100 total yards of offense.
"It was more than I can remember in a long time, both offensively and defensively," he said, adding he believed his players had prepared well.
Down 17-6, offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and line coach Rick Trickett started the speeches, and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews had his turn. Bowden then wrapped up with a spiel with some spice.
He offered a sanitized version: You are not playing up to your potential. What are you going to do about it? You've got 30 more minutes to go out there and become a man or a mouse.
"It was about that simple," he said. "It really was (intense), and it was deserving. There are some coaches who might do that to kind of fire their kids up. Ours was more addressing them for what was happening."
The result: a win for a team that had lost three straight.
300-300-300: Christian Ponder's 395-yard passing performance was his third straight 300-yard game. Before this season, he had never surpassed 300. He joins Kim Hammond, Peter Tom Willis, Danny Kanell, Chris Weinke and Chris Rix as the only Seminoles with the three-peat.
Nice sub: Sophomore TE Beau Reliford, filling in for senior Caz Piurowski (out for the year with a knee injury), had two catches, including the winning 18-yard touchdown. On the touchdown, he ran a slant-and-go and was wide open. What did the game mean to him as one of the younger players who has been thrust into a prominent role?
"It just makes us want to play better, get better, get back in practice, work hard, come together as a team and make things happen," he said.
The last word: "You just remind them we're 3-4. It's hard to get overconfident when you're 3-4." — Bowden on how to guard against a letdown against visiting North Carolina State on Oct. 31.