Take your pick of the boneheaded mistakes in this one. It is fairly amazing that this team has found ways to make the worst mistakes it could possibly make at the most inconvenient time. T.J. Yates interceptions on the opponent's goal line. Getting the exact same penalty called two straight plays. Passes hitting receivers in the hands and dropped. And the cherry on top: jumping offsides on 4th and 2 with less than two minutes left and Pitt attempting a 47 yard FG. Who knows, maybe Pitt still hits the FG but I would rather take that gamble and nearly two mins of clock to move the football rather than 52 seconds. Speaking of which: Why did Butch Davis allow 40 seconds of game time to slip away on the play that followed the UNC offsides penalty? I understand having a timeout in the pocket but I would have felt better had Yates been operating with forty more seconds.
This was a frustrating end to the season that fittingly concluded with a Yates pass thrown over the receivers head and landing nowhere near anyone in blue. A game like this you at least want to see the FG attempted. If Casey Barth misses a decent FG or even a long one, the blow of the loss is cushioned to some extent by the fact the effort to win the game was made. No such comfort here.
Thus ends the third season of Butch Davis. It was a head scratcher.. At times this team was inept and the coaching suspect. During the four game winning streak that took the Heels to the eight win mark the defense did a lot of things right and the offense was serviceable. However, the offensive line was always an issue and Yates was still Yates. Maybe fewer OL injuries and Shaun Draughan and A.J. Blue being healthy changes some things, especially versus NCSU and Pitt. The record says the program stood still but the wins over Miami and Virginia Tech say something else. Hopefully most of the defense returns and Bryn Renner turns out to be the real deal so next season can be a true push forward.