CHAPEL HILL – Tar Heel fans would no doubt like to forget last season’s humiliating 68-50 loss to the Yellow Jackets in Chapel Hill. But Coach Fedora says he is not pinning all the blame for that debacle on the defense.
“Everybody jumped all over the defense, but it was not a one-sided deal. It was not just the defense that gave up problems. Especially with an offense like theirs, that is very productive and difficult to defend, you cannot give them extra possessions, and you can’t give up points in the special teams,” Coach Fedora says.
Coach Fedora says he changed up some things this year in the bye week in order to focus all of Carolina’s time and energy on getting revenge against Georgia Tech.
“We really spent almost all of our time where we didn’t the previous year. We were still trying to learn what we were doing offensively and defensively and spend time on us. This year we spent quite a bit more time on Georgia Tech,” Coach Fedora says.
Cut blocking, so popular with Coach Paul Johnson’s Tech team, is always a controversial topic in college football, but Coach Fedora says he has no issues with the strategy.
“It doesn’t really matter what I think, it is part of the game. It is actually part of the game. In Paul’s offense, they’re able to take advantage of it. We could do it, but with what we do it doesn’t fit as much for us. It is legal and part of the game,” Coach Fedora says.
The Tar Heels haven’t won an away contest against Georgia Tech in sixteen years. Coach Fedora says there is only one formula to reverse that trend, but in general, he doesn’t take too much stock into those kinds of streaks.
“Well the only way to do that is to win, right? I didn’t know it was sixteen years, and now I’m scared,” Coach Fedora jokes. “I don’t put a whole lot of stock in that. We don’t control any of those things that happened the last sixteen years, so I don’t see that plays a part in this year’s team and what we are doing at this time.”
So, how aggressive will the Carolina defense be this weekend in Atlanta against the triple option? Coach Fedora says they must strike that fine balance with contained, disciplined aggression.
“It boils down to being very disciplined. You can still play hard and be disciplined. So if we play hard, and we got a lot of guys running to the football, we got a chance,” Coach Fedora says.
That “chance” will come at high noon on Saturday for the Tar Heels. The game will be broadcast nationwide on ESPN. Pregame coverage on WCHL begins at 9:00 a.m. with Countdown to Kickoff presented by UNC Health Care followed by The Good Sports with Art C. and BobLee at 10:00 a.m. before we send you to Atlanta with the Tar Heel Sports Network at 11:00 a.m.