CHAPEL HILL– The 6-6 UNC football team was back to the grind on Monday at Navy practice fields. With exams over, the Tar Heels have shifted their focus to preparing for a tough 9-3 Cincinnati team in the Belk Bowl Dec. 28.
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Head Coach Larry Fedora says his team was eager to get back to business following the brief hiatus.
“We had a good workout Saturday morning, Sunday and another one today [Monday]. We’ve had three really good workouts this week. We had one last week. I think they were ready to get back out here and get going again,” Coach Fedora says.
Senior offensive lineman James Hurst says Cincinnati is a formidable opponent that features a defense that makes you earn every inch of yardage.
“They’re a great team defense. Early on, looking at it, it’s hard to find any holes or anything like that. You know you’re going to have a challenge, and they’re going to make you earn every yard that you get. We’re going to have to be consistent and put some drives together in order to put points on the board,” Hurst says.
Charlotte provides a friendly locale for the Tar Heels in the Belk Bowl. Hurst says he’s relishing the opportunity to play his final game in Carolina uniform inside the state of North Carolina.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to get such a big fan base at the game and finish at some sort of a home game a little bit. We’re excited about it. I’m sure our fan base is excited about it. It’s a great way to go out for us not being able to play at home for your last game, but being able to play in the state of North Carolina,” Hurst says.
Sophomore quarterback Marquise Williams went to high school in Charlotte. He says he’s looking forward to returning home to play in front of family and friends.
“It’s a big home game. It’s especially a home game for me. That’s where I played high school at down in Charlotte. It’s going to be unbelievable. A lot of alumni is in Charlotte and can’t wait to watch us play Dec. 28. We’re excited to come down there, have some fun, and just enjoy the time,” Williams says.
Coach Fedora says he wants his team to enjoy the bowl game atmosphere, a reward for a successful season. But of course, he says that doesn’t stop the desire to go win a bowl championship trophy.
“We’re going down there for our guys to have fun, but we’re planning on winning the football game. I’m sure Cincinnati is doing the same thing. We want to win the football game. We’re going to prepare that way, but we also want to enjoy it,” Coach Fedora says.