Carolina Managing Emotions Before Rivalry Showdown
CHAPEL HILL– The UNC football team is set to add another chapter to its gridiron rivalry against the N.C. State Wolfpack on Saturday. The Tar Heels will be looking to get a little winning streak going with a win in Raleigh, a place where Carolina has not tasted success since 2005.
To make things more complicated, Head Coach Larry Fedora says that due to injuries at the quarterback position, the offense the Wolfpack roll out at Carter-Finley Stadium remains a mystery. Coach Fedora is even soliciting help from the media to do a little scouting.
“It’s still a mystery. They all four do something different. You don’t know exactly who’s going to play or how healthy they all are. You don’t know all the details. If you guys would go over there and watch a practice and tell me, that would help,” Coach Fedora says.
However, there is some very positive news for Tar Heel fans and maybe bad news for opposing defenses. Coach Fedora now says the full offensive playbook package is now at quarterback Marquise Williams’ disposal.
“We have not restricted him in any way. He still has some packages that he is in charge of, but the entire game plan he’s running. Whatever we got going in the game plan, he’s got,” Coach Fedora says.
Big time rivalries are what make college football great. But how do you strike that balance between emotional excitement and focused discipline on game days?
“We want guys to be emotional and have fun with it. But also they can’t let their emotions control them. They have to be able to make decisions under duress. They got to be able to make decisions in the line of fire. […] At the same time, have fun and be excited,” Coach Fedora says.
Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning says defensive end Kareem Martin is “the guy” on his side of the football. Coach Koenning says the Tar Heels really need Martin to be that difference maker.
“I think he’s the most steady player we have right now. He needs to be. It’s squarely on his shoulders. If we’re going to have a guy to be the guy, obviously Kareem would be that person,” Coach Koenning says.
Coach Koenning says the Wolfpack offense will be a handful for the UNC defense on Saturday with athletes all over the field.
“They got a lot of good players. It isn’t like someone pulled the drain. They got great speed at receiver. Their linemen are big guys. They got a lot of tight ends. They play a lot of people,” Coach Koenning says.
How will the Tar Heels stack up? We won’t have to wait much longer to find out.