CHAPEL HILL– With a few days to step back and regroup from the South Carolina loss last Thursday, senior quarterback Bryn Renner and senior defensive end Kareem Martin said on Monday that they will learn from their mistakes and look to grab a win in Chapel Hill on Saturday.
After spending some time in the film room, Martin said the locker room is still high with energy and motivation despite the opening setback.
“I think that after watching the film that morale is still pretty high, because we see that we are pretty good team once we get everything together.” Martin said.
Martin said although South Carolina had a size advantage on the line of scrimmage, the bigger obstacle to the Carolina defense was the Gamecock rushing attack.
“Their line was obviously bigger than ours, but I don’t think that was the biggest role. I think that it was more so their running backs. They had great running backs,” Martin said. “I don’t think we were prepared for it. We never really talked about how big their running backs were.
Middle Tennessee State, the Tar Heels’ next opponent, will not be taken lightly, said Martin. He says Carolina will need to be clicking on all cylinders in Kenan Stadium on Saturday to protect their home turf. After all, the Blue Raiders knocked off Georgia Tech last season, a team that UNC lost to later in the season.
Renner said he was not satisfied with his performance last Thursday night and will be trying to be more alert and quick with his footwork in the pocket.
“Whenever you lose you feel like you can do a lot more. […] I didn’t do a very good job of moving my feet and subtly moving. I think I can do a better job this week. And that falls on me. I think the offensive line did a great job blocking, but I can definitely improve,” Renner said.
At the end of the day, Renner said the Tar Heels must do a better job of finishing off drives with touchdowns in the red zone if they want to be successful this season, but the offensive unit still remains confident.
“We ran 86 to 89 plays, but just didn’t put the ball in the end zone. You know there is a ton of positives you can take, and we aren’t going to lose any confidence,” Renner said.
Kickoff for the Middle Tennessee State contest is set for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Coverage on WCHL begins at 9:00 a.m. with Countdown to Kickoff with Ron Stutts.