CHAPEL HILL– Head Coach Larry Fedora was in much better spirits on Monday as he faced the media for his weekly press conference in the penthouse floor of the Kenan Football Center.
The 34-10 victory over Boston College on Saturday kept the season alive for the Tar Heels. Coach Fedora says he is looking forward to a normal schedule this week in the lead-up to the N.C.State rivalry contest.
“We’re getting ready to go on the road this week to a place we know will be a hostile crowd. It should be a great environment. It should be a lot of fun. And looking forward to getting back into normal routine, which we haven’t had the opportunity to do that often this season,” Coach Fedora says.
Coach Fedora says he has seen vast improvements in all facets of the game in the past couple weeks, especially out of the young guys.
“I think that especially the last two weeks we have started to make some progress in some areas. We haven’t arrived, but we’re getting better in a lot of positions, and we’re getting better in a lot of situations. With as many young people playing as we’re playing, they’re getting better and getting more experience, and they’re feeling more comfortable with what we’re doing,” Coach Fedora says.
One of the keys to the Boston College win was Carolina’s ability to avoid the stupid mistakes that had plagued them the majority of the season. And Coach Fedora says a lot of that is mental.
“Just cutting down on the mistakes the last couple of weeks, we’ve done a much better job of that,” Coach Fedora says.
Another bright spot for the Tar Heels on Saturday was the red zone efficiency. The offense impressively converted touchdowns on all five of their trips inside the 20-yard line. Where did this come from? Coach Fedora says he sees more focus and intensity out of the team.
“It was much better execution and more focus from the guys. We were also I think fifty-percent on third downs, which was better. Overall, there was more focus, more energy, and more intensity,” Coach Fedora says.
With the game against the Wolfpack down in Raleigh on tap, Coach Fedora says the team is relishing the opportunity. He says what he loves most about college football are the rivalry games like Carolina versus N.C.State.
“That’s what makes college football so great are the rivalries that you have. The fans, the hatred for one another, I don’t know, that’s what’s fun about college football. It really is-the excitement that rivalries create,” Coach Fedora says.
And the excitement will only build as the weekend draws closer.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/rivalry-week-begins-for-tar-heels
CHAPEL HILL– The Tar Heel football team played with passion and fought hard in front of a spirited crowd on hand in Kenan Stadium for Zero Dark Thursday. But it wasn’t enough.
Falling to the Miami Hurricanes 27-23 was a tough pill to swallow for the coaches, players and fans.
“There’s nothing that I’m going to say that’s going to make them feel any better. They’re hurting, our fans are hurting, and everybody’s hurting. Those are hard to swallow. Our guys did everything we asked them to do as far as believing in each other and playing hard to the last second. I’m hurting for them. I really am,” Coach Fedora says.
That was Head Coach Larry Fedora following the game. One of the more questionable plays of the contest came in the second half when Carolina was called for a delay of game on offense on third down and inches to go. Coach Fedora says he is at a loss for what happened there.
“We substituted. They felt like they needed to hold up the ball. You’re supposed to give the team three seconds to be able to substitute, which we felt like we gave them more than three seconds. That was his [referee’s] explanation to me,” Coach Fedora says.
Despite the crushing defeat and final touchdown drive given up to the Miami attack, Coach Fedora says the defense played a strong game overall, snagging four interceptions of Miami quarterback Stephen Morris over the course of the contest.
“It put us in position to win the football game. Any time you create four turnovers you got a chance. Our defense made a lot of plays. I hate to look at it as those two drives in the fourth quarter,” Coach Fedora says.
But make no mistake; Coach Fedora says the Tar Heels will not abandon ship on the season. He hopes to still make something of the season despite the 1-5 record.
“We’re just going to go back to work. We’re going to do what we do. Our kids are going to come back and continue to work hard. And the coaches are going to continue to coach them hard. And we’re going to hopefully build off it and get better,” Coach Fedora says.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/coach-fedora-givesthursday-night-reflections