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Tar Heel Hangover: Dealing with mediocrity

Sometimes a .500 record is good. Not this year.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Tar Heel Hangover. This is our opportunity to review last week’s game, second-guess all of the key moments, and set the game plan for the weekend ahead.

The Elevator Speech: What happened last week.

A solid offensive effort was undone by poor defense. It seems like the story of the season; one side plays well and the other stinks. This is a 4-4 team and that feels just about right. Unable all season to put together the complete performance in a big game, this is a program that is just feeling its way through the year. Will there be 2 more wins this year?

Water Cooler Discussion: A wasted bye.

How did that performance follow a bye week? The Carolina defense gave up nearly 300 yards on the ground. One could understand somewhat if there was constant pressure on the quarterback; but there was not. Only one sack and only one hurry.

The truth is that I am just frustrated. I know I am not alone in that regard. This was supposed to be the year for Carolina. Looking back, if someone would have told me that this was going to be the off year for Clemson, I would have put a lot of money on the Heels to make the playoff. Now, I’m not sure they will make a bowl game.

There is so much talent on this team. Years of great recruiting classes should be yielding incredible results. I guess this is how Duke basketball fans feel.

I underestimated the impact that losing players to the draft would have, especially on the offense. I overestimated the growth from year to year, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. And, I overestimated the coaches.

Do not get me wrong; Mack Brown is a great leader and a great person. He is a tremendous recruiter and a very good ambassador for the school. He has had issues managing late game situations, but his emotion on the sideline is infectious. It is time to get him some help. There must be a balance between great coaches and great recruiters. I worry that if the former is not fixed soon, the latter will go away as well.

But maybe I’m just frustrated.

A Quick Look Ahead

Wake Forest is undefeated at 8-0. They are 9th in the first CFP rankings. They move the ball at will against opponents. They are a 2.5 point underdog at Carolina. What? The over/under is 76. That one I can believe. This is a chance for Sam Howell to put up some gaudy numbers. He may throw 50 passes and could get 500 yards in the air and 125 on the ground. Saturday will be exciting for those that like points.

Final Thought

I need to get over this season but it is going to take some time.

Go Heels!