CHAPEL HILL– UNC Head football coach Larry Fedora says he feels his football team is “not that far away.” He says the Tar Heels just need to execute and clean up their careless mistakes that turn potential wins to losses against top teams like South Carolina.

Coach Fedora says he remains positive about Carolina’s outlook for the 2013 season. He says if the little mistakes that lead to big plays for their opponents are cleaned up; UNC will be ready to roll.

“We have to play much better than we did. That was the disappointing thing in our execution in all three phases, but there were some really bright spots in the film,” Fedora says.

Yet again, defender Norkeithus Otis earned high praise. Coach Fedora says he definitely stood out as a dynamic player under the lights in Columbia last Thursday.

When asked about the morale of the team following the opening loss, Coach Fedora brushed the question aside, saying his team is excited about their first opportunity of playing in front of the home crowd this Saturday.

“I wouldn’t think we have anything to be flat about. We have another opponent coming up; we have an opportunity to get a bad taste out of our mouth and that knot out of our stomach. And we’re playing in the Tar Pit,” Fedora says. “That’s really all it should take.”

Coach Fedora spent a few seasons as offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State, the next opponent for UNC, and he says it was it was there that he developed his trademark up-tempo offensive philosophy.

But nostalgia aside, Coach Fedora says he understands the need for a rebounding victory for his team, and he says that if the Tar Heels aren’t fired up on Saturday, the Blue Raiders are more than capable of the upset.

“This team that is coming in here, they’ve beaten ACC teams. They did it last year, and they did it before. […] We’ll have all our focus on Middle Tennessee,” Fedora says.

Kickoff for the Middle Tennessee State contest is set for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday in Kenan Stadium. WCHL will have you covered with a live countdown show and broadcast of the home opener for Carolina.