It is pretty simple. 50 points is enough to win a college football game. It doesn't matter who it is against, that is a sufficient number on the scoreboard to walk away with a victory. Of course that logic assumes a team can make some stops on defense. The defense doesn't even have to be consistent in that respect just make a stop every so often. In this quite ridiculous 68-50 loss to Georgia Tech, UNC forced exactly two punts on the day. One came in the first quarter and the other when the game was salted away. For rest of the contest Georgia Tech moved the ball at will and got a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half as the cherry on top. There are a variety of words one could use to describe UNC's defensive effort today. Most of them profane, some of them synonyms of "embarrassing" except it never felt like the defense came up short for lack of effort. The defense just isn't good and a failure this immense is on the players, Vic Koenning, Dan Disch or anyone else who help prepare this unit for the game today.
In addition to the porous defensive performance, there were some questionable special teams moments. The aforementioned 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that started a 30 point 3rd quarter for the Jackets was one. The other was an inexplicable and ill-advised fake punt on the part of Tommy Hibbard that was stopped well short of the first down well onto UNC's side of the field. Now, Hibbard has been a major contributor on the special teams front. He has four passes for a two point conversion and his punting has been very good. However, he clearly had images of his run for a first down against Duke when he took off on 3rd and 10 and it failed miserable. UNC was having enough trouble stopping Georgia Tech's offense so giving them a short field was a disaster.
On the offensive side of the ball, things worked fairly well except for two huge miscues by Bryn Renner. The junior quarterback threw for 350 yards and 2 touchdowns. However Renner also threw an interception to a defensive lineman on a screen pass to Giovani Bernard(just think about that one for a minute.) Renner also fumbled the ball in the red zone trying to make a quick pitch. Both mistakes resulted in 14 points for the Yellow Jackets and in the case of the fumble stopped UNC from scoring on a red zone possession. Other than that, Bernard had another solid all around day with 78 yards rushing on 16 carries and 92 yards receiving along with two touchdowns. Since UNC could not force punts, it meant Bernard didn't have chances to make some noise on punt returns, another casualty of the poor defensive performance. Freshman WR Quinshad Davis had his best game of his fledgling Tar Heel career with 104 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Coming into this game, UNC's defensive woes were well documented and the Heels had managed to get by to some extent, in large part, because the opposing team helped out some. Even in the loss to Louisville, the Cardinals took the foot off the gas and UNC took advantage. Two weeks ago, NC State turned the ball over plus had some poor offensive playcalling and execution. Georgia Tech simply did not oblige in the same way save a pick six thrown to Tim Scott which made it a 58-50 game later in the third quarter. In the end there was simply not enough offense nor should an offense need to put up that many points to win. This loss is on the defense and given his isn't the first time UNC has been totally inept in stopping an opposing offense, there will be plenty of questions for Larry Fedora on why this unit has been so uniformly awful.