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Weekly Report Card: Quick Lane Bowl

UNC embarrassed itself on a national stage again--losing to Rutgers in the inaugural Quick Lane bowl.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina put up another zero on the national stage against Rutgers in the Quick Lane Bowl. The loss gave Larry Fedora his first losing season in Chapel Hill. The game showed Carolina's defense had never improved from its dismal showing against NC State. Carolina never showed it could stop the run this season and its last two opponents exploited that to blowout wins.

On to the grades:

Make Nova Struggle: C

Carolina held Rutgers QB Gary Nova to a mere 184 yards passing and to a 45% completion rate. Unfortunately, the Heels could not generate any turnovers from Nova and he was able to throw two touchdown passes. The Heels couldn't stop the run all day and that enabled Nova to just hand the ball off for a win.

Hold Rutgers on Defense: D

When Rutgers scored more than 26 points this season they won. That continued in this game. The Heels never held up against the Rutgers ground attack and they could not get off the field enough in the first half. By the time the defense stiffened, the Heels were already too far behind for it to make a difference.

Score Early: F

The Heels didn't score at all in the first half and we're punch-less until garbage time. The longest play of the day for the Heels was 23 yards, and the offense lacked explosiveness during the entire game. The Heels have been plagued by inconsistency on offense all season, and when the offense isn't working, the whole system the team is built on collapses.

Bonus Bowl Assignment: Fail

The last two losses of this season (both blowouts) force some tough questions about Larry Fedora's remaining years in Chapel Hill. The team has lost one win each year since Fedora's inaugural 8-4 year. The players on this team are now "Larry's guys" in that they were recruited by Fedora for his system. Next year there will be a new defensive coordinator and NCAA sanctions will ease. The team will also be a year older and won't be "growing up" anymore. The Heels need to get better next season and start winning, or the Fedora contract could start to look like another mistake.