In a segment that was created by Holden Productions Group at the 2:18 mark of the clip, Coach Larry Fedora beats the drum to his young Tar Heel team. “The success of the team depends on me…”   Then it builds and gets louder.  “The success of the team depends on me…” and with a final cry, repeat after me “The success of the team depends on me…”

Who is he talking to?  The starters?  The offense? The defense? The fans?  Himself?  Try all of the above.  Like any company or organization, a football team needs buy in from the top on down and back up again.  And we finally got to see some of that buy in last Saturday afternoon.  With a loud home crowd behind them, the Tar Heels decided to uphold their end of the bargain and gave Tar Heel Nation 60 minutes of effort, 60 minutes of enthusiasm, 60 minutes of dependability – “The success of the team depends on me….”
Welcome back star tailback Gio Bernard who made two different trips into the end zone, well done quarterback Bryn Renner who offered up another strong performance and hats off to our aggressive, shark-feeding defense which played at a frenzy pace all afternoon recording seven sacks, five in the 3rd quarter alone.  It was a long day for Ruffin McNeil and his Purple Pirates and frankly that’s the way we like it. 

Clearly there is still room for improvement as we look to put consistent plays, drives and halves together but this was our best showing of the season thus far against FBS competition and something that this program desperately needed.  I think that most fans that were sitting in Kenan or watching on the “U” were waiting to see if we were going to slip that cleat on and tie it up or it if was going to drop.  Again, if you reference that segment clip, Coach Fedora clearly puts it, “The success of the team depends on me” and that means everyone.   

Kenan Stadium for the most part was abuzz due to the tension that an in-state rivalry offers.  Granted, we are North Carolina’s flagship school but we have to give kudos to the little Pirates down the road whose fans gobbling up all of their 3,500 ticket allotment and then some.  Remember fellow fans, we need to support this team through thick and thin, and not lose our passion after two L’s.  “The success of the team depends on me…”
The fans who were at Kenan were fantastic and there needs to be special recognition brought to the Tar Pit.  Having a special view from the field for warm-ups (lettermen get to help build the tunnel of people that the players run through on lettermen weekend), I got a renewed feeling of the energy and excitement that our student section brings to the program.  With the renovations that were made in 2008 in the student section end zone, it has allowed the players and students more interaction with energy and excitement passing from the stands to the field and back again. 

When Casey Barth kicked his final warm-up field goal through the pipes that a Tar Pitter caught, several Tar Heel players ran and jumped into the stands with body painted students and classmates that are 100% in their corner, and the tone was set for a game that would put two tough weeks on the road behind us. 

From there, the students cheered on the players as they went in for the final 10 minutes of preparation before they came out for the kickoff which got them back on track and “Answer the Bell.”  This is the kind of culture change from our fan base that I believe helped us to be successful on Saturday and will only continue to grow with the leadership we have in place.  “The success of the team depends on me.”  The success of the team depends on us all.

Smart. Fast. Physical.