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Tar Heel Hangover: UNC’s week 8 loss to Virginia Tech

Where do we go from here?

North Carolina v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

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

The Elevator Speech: What happened in week eight.

The Heels were destroyed. It was a very good defensive showing through most of the first half but the Carolina offense gave up more points than it scored. Not a good showing.

Water Cooler Discussion: If I were the coach . . .

Honestly, I am lost, as are many Tar Heel fans. It would seem that some additional simplification in play calling could be beneficial. This is especially true on the offensive line. All of the pulling and shifting resulted in a lot of missed assignments and blown blocks. The Hokies were in the backfield more than the Heels were in the secondary.

The truth, however, is that with the present healthy personnel on the field, this team will have trouble competing. So what does a coach do in this situation?

First and foremost, the staff has to make sure that the rest of this year does minimal harm to future campaigns. This year is a fluke; a bump in the road for what has been a successful period. It needs to be portrayed as such, especially to the young men contemplating their choice of college.

Second, the team needs to hit the reset button. With no hope of a bowl game, this season is now about four games over five weeks. Focus on those four games instead of the last seven.

If anyone has any other ideas for how to handle this season as a head coach, I am all ears.

Lying In Bed, I Wish I Could Change . . .

The self-inflicted wounds. Take away the turnovers and special teams mistakes and the score would have at least been respectable. There is simply no margin of error for this team.

Looking Forward: Miami

ESPN is giving the Heels a 13.3% chance of winning. I think that number is not lower simply because of Miami’s upcoming schedule. With games against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame on the horizon, it would be easy for the Hurricanes to overlook the Heels.

The game plan has to be simplicity with no mistakes.

Final Thoughts

There is no question that this has been a difficult season. Within the last two weeks, the vitriol that was directed at the NCAA investigation has been redirected to the football team. The desperate line of thought is that “you may have escaped the NCAA but at least your football team is terrible.” This sort of nonsense is about as respectable as investigative journalists engaging in Twitter wars.