Larry Fedora, T.J. Thorpe and Ethan Farmer met the media on Monday ahead of UNC's game against Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Fedora noted what everyone saw that UNC did some things better on the defensive end but the "back end" was a nightmare. The front seven did its job stopping the run and defenders were getting to the football and making tackles.
The other nightmare was the penalties. UNC had 15 with Fedora noting three coming on special teams and four were false starts. Three of those resulted from receivers not being lined up properly to begin with which is something that probably shouldn't happen. The three pass interference penalties stemmed from the defensive backs not looking back and playing the ball. Most of the penalties fell in the "can't happen, got to be smarter" category.
There was no plan on the use of running backs. Elijah Hood made plays so they stayed with him. That is in line with what Fedora has said in the past, that they would ride the hot hand whoever it was. What isn't clear and Fedora didn't address was why Hood didn't get more carries given he was getting 5.5 yards per attempt.
Fedora also said the doesn't look at UNC's 35 points as "enough to win the game."
"All I look is that we scored less than they scored. It's not that "we scored enough to win the football game, why didn't we win the football game." that's not the way I look at it. We didn't score enough to win the football game that's all there was to that. Whatever mistakes were made, the other side has to make up for it or you're don't win. You can be as frustrated as you want but I am not going to pin it on one thing or one side and say that's the reason. I don't have the luxury of being a fan and saying, "This side is the reason we didn't win the football game." We're a team and the only way we're going to get better as a team and continue to pull together as a team. There is going to come times when the offense is going to struggle and the defense is going to have to pick it up and they're going to have to make it happen for the offense."
On one hand, Fedora's not throwing the defense under the bus here and taking a "we're all in this together" approach. On the other hand, given how easily the Tar Heel defense surrenders yards and points, that's a lot of pressure to put on the offense.
T.J. Thorpe and Ethan Farmer