UNC lost on Saturday which means there is plenty for the fan base to gripe about. Since panic and fretting is a common response to a bad game, we here at THB want you know we are here for you, to talk you off the ledge and tell you it is probably not quite as bad as you think it is.
Losing winnable games is beyond frustrating and a sign of doom.
Not to take anything from Wake Forest, but this was a winnable game for the Heels even without Gio Bernard in the lineup. That and the razor thin margin makes us all crazy. All it takes is one play to go a differently and well, you know the rest. The issue is UNC losing a game most fans were counting on throws the perspective on the season out of kilter a bit. This kind of loss feels a little like UNC is down a lap early in the race and now the hope is the Heels can somehow flip an expected loss to even things out.
But it was Wake Forest! Wake who had to rally to beat Liberty!
And there is a reason they play the games. I agree that on paper UNC should have manhandled the Wake offensive line and do a better job controlling the game. Unfortunately, there are times when what everyone thinks will happen and what actually happens don't get on the same train. That is why we watch the games because if everything unfolded as it should what would be the point? Besides that, we are talking about a Jim Grobe coached team. Grobe has been yanking the rug out from under ACC teams for the better part of 11 years now. Everyone assumes Wake Forest is...well...Wake Forest but somehow Grobe finds a way to manufacture a win. As Doc pointed out, it has been years since UNC, Duke or NC State have won in Winston-Salem.
Hey I thought things were going to be different.
No doubt this concerns the lack of an effective pass rush, Wake Forest converting on 3rd down, allowing a long 4th quarter drive that costs UNC the lead which was yet another instance of the Heels not closing the deal. There were some unwanted but familiar visitors at this game for UNC in the form of the aforementioned bugaboos that have seemingly been issues since Carl Torbush was around. Like watching a team go 10-13 from three in the first half vs UNC, we get antsy when certain deficiencies constantly rear their heads. In this instance when certain things we hoped the new coaching staff would fix show up again a collective sigh emanates from the fan base. The good news is, it was only one game and the hope is these kinds of issues are not emblematic of how the program will be under a new staff. That is unless you look at the fact Larry Fedora is now 1-14 when trailing at halftime but I'm sure that is nothing to worry about right?
Why didn't Gio Bernard play when he could have last week?
The postgame comments from Fedora indicate Bernard wasn't comfortable in a pre-game running test so they sat him. At least one tweet I saw said Bernard has a sprained MCL but that has yet to be confirmed by anyone else or UNC. As for the comments from last weekend that everything was good and Bernard could have played, who really knows for sure? Fedora is so committed to keeping injury information quiet it would not shock me if he painted a rosier than reality picture. On the other hands, some injuries look like less of an issue a few minutes after they happen versus days later. As for Bernard's statement that he felt good, well, I am not sure what people expected him to say, especially when he wants to be on the field. One thing is certain. UNC injury reports are only slightly less worthless than Monopoly money.
I've seen tax law with fewer holes than UNC's secondary
Is that the personnel? The scheme? The personnel's fit or lack thereof in the scheme? Could be none or all of those. The good news is Vic Koenning is one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. The bad news is, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will this defense. With a new coach and scheme, there will be a transition until the recruiting cycles bring in players who are a better fit for the scheme. While Fedora has said he adjusts his schemes for the personnel, there will continue to be some fit issues. The same is true on the offensive side plus all of this is still somewhat new to the players. Yes they had the spring and a month of camp but it is a completely new system for both units which is simply going to require time to full acclimate.
How would you rate the UNC fan base's general state of mind?
No more crazy or upset than you would expect from a loss. The fact it was Wake Forest spurned more in terms of anger than you might have seen otherwise. In general, no one was throwing Fedora and the program under the bus. Frustration follows any loss and most of the griping was along the lines of dealing with issues that seemingly paved the way. I haven't seen anyone go off rails jumping into big picture issues nor should we, unless its someone totally nuts and those people we should really ignore, if at all possible.