And the streak goes on.
I am not crazy about the coaching decisions made late in this one.
For starters how do you not make a few attempts to move the ball with 47 seconds left? As a matter of principle I despise it when coaches sit on the clock to end the half and especially at the end of a tied game. Granted it is risky but there is a good chance UVa is going to sit back in a prevent which ought to give you something. I realize UNC was out of timeouts but I feel much better about things if you at least take a stab at it.
Secondly, someone please explain to me why this defense cannot stop a two minute drill. I was listening to the radio and Rick Steinbacher inexpicably says the "cover two" defense UNC was using "served them so well in the past versus Miami and Notre Dame." What? I seem to recall both Miami and Notre Dame driving the ball straight down the Heels' collective throats only to have both victories saved by Trimane Goddard via INT and fumble recovery respectively. This one topped it, especially given how inept the UVa offense was for most of the day. UVa went into the final drive with less than 200 yards and only six first downs. Yet the Heels give up an 82 yard drive for a TD then allow the Cavaliers to score on a handful of plays in overtime.
The odd aspect of that is UNC did what it had failed to do so far this season and that was limit a team from moving the football. UNC did not force any turnovers which was not a huge deal since UVa was severly limited in moving the ball. The problem with UNC lay in the turnover margin which UNC had done a great job of controlling. Not so this game as a UNC offense not prone to mistakes made plenty in the form of two INTs and fumble by Hakeem NIcks. That was bound to happen eventually but what is annoying is the fact UNC was in position to win the game except for their stark inability to stop teams running a two minute drill.
Aside from the turnovers the offense was decent. Shaun Draughn ran for 138 yards and Sexton passed for 166 on 24-38 passing. For whatever reason the Heels could not find the endzone and it wasted a strong defensive performance. How much did they miss Brandon Tate? That is not really clear. Nicks had 90 yards receiving with Brooks Foster, Anthony Elzy and Cooter Arnold sharing 69 yards between them. Couple that with the two INTs you have to believe that either the UVa defense did a bang up job shutting down the passing game or the loss of Tate had a profound effect. You would think given the way Draughn was running the football, the passing game would have had more chances. Things did not break that way, though I am thinking it might take awhile to factor in or adjust to losing Tate. At any rate, it would appear there is a running game after all for UNC, if the passing game can work through losing Tate, UNC is still plenty dangerous.
So this was a frustrating loss but not a season ender by any stretch. UNC can still manage 8-9 wins, unfortunately the division title is probably out of reach now. Still plenty of football and success to be had, just as long as we aren't playing in Charlottesville or any team from Virginia for that matter.