CHAPEL HILL—The Tar Heels finally get a chance to kick off their ACC slate against the formidable Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech Saturday. And with ample opportunity to prepare these last two weeks, the coaching staff is ready for some live action. Coach Fedora even calls the game the ‘ultimate measuring stick.’
Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning says he tries to instill some fight and toughness in his defense, but in the end, the players have to want it the most.
“You like to take your heart, your knowledge, your focus, and everything you want as a coach and put it in some of them. And you can’t really do that. You can’t want it more than they want it,” Coach Koenning says.
Koenning says Saturday’s contest will come down to a battle of wills. Which team will sacrifice more to get the win? Koenning even quotes some Scripture when characterizing the showdown.
“In the Book of John in the Bible, 8:32, basically says the truth will set you free. On Saturday at twelve, the truth is going to be the truth. Do we want it enough? Are we willing to fly around and get off the ground and put our bodies in there?” Koenning asks.
Koenning says one of the scariest propositions for the Tar Heel defense this weekend will be containing standout Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee. His versatile play running the option and throwing the ball down the field presents major problems.
Head Coach Larry Fedora says despite the thorough and sound preparations made by his team, he can never really predict how his squad will fare on game day. It’s up to the players, after all.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I wish I could say that you know, but you never know. You really don’t. You work extremely hard during the week; you prepare them, and give them everything you possibly have. And then it comes down to the last day of a personal plan then,” Coach Fedora says.
For Tar Heel fans, let’s hope those “personal plans” include emerging with a win against a conference rival on Saturday.