Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

Tar Heels Staying Fresh on GT

UNC preps for Georgia Tech weekly with a brief practice period.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Sunday is corrections day at Navy Fields, a practice session in which the North Carolina coaching staff works through miscues from the previous day’s game. It also provides an opportunity for a brief period dedicated to Georgia Tech’s multifaceted rushing offense.

“Gene [Chizik] and those guys have been doing that weekly on Sundays,” UNC head coach Larry Fedora told reporters on Monday. “We did it throughout camp and then we’ve done it on every Sunday. There’s a period built in where we’ve done that.”

UNC travels to Atlanta for its ACC opener against the Yellow Jackets on Oct. 3. The Tar Heels wrap up their nonconference slate with FCS opponent Delaware on Saturday. 

Georgia Tech is the lone opponent that UNC preps for on a weekly basis, and this is the second year in a row Fedora’s defense has taken this approach. The Tar Heels had open weeks before the Georgia Tech game in 2012-13, so the extra week of practice offset the need for weekly periods, according to Fedora.  

“They make an emphasis of not overlooking the next opponent we have, so we’re very dialed into Delaware, but what they do stress to us is with that offense, it’s so explosive that you can’t really prepare for it in three days like you can for a regular team,” junior cornerback Des Lawrence said. “So what we do is a little on corrections day, we go over some of their offense and then any time that we really have, we’re just really looking over what they do because they’re really explosive.”

Fedora and Chizik devised their current plan during the spring. Georgia Tech’s offense was also a focal point for specific periods in training camp, including walkthroughs, meetings and practice time on the field.  

“We talked about how we wanted to do that because you’ve got three days to prepare in that short [game] week, and so we wanted to be able to do something weekly, but do it when it’s not going to take away from the team we’re preparing for,” Fedora said.

The Georgia Tech period on corrections day runs 10-12 minutes.

“It’s just a refresher; that’s all it is,” Fedora said. “You’re doing base things just so that those guys are seeing it each week.”

Fedora said his Georgia Tech prep is partly due to the schedule, adding that he may not take the same approach if the game against the Yellow Jackets was later in the fall.

UNC is 2-5 against Georgia Tech since Paul Johnson took over in 2008. The Yellow Jackets have averaged 33.6 points per game against the Tar Heels under Johnson’s direction, which includes a 68-point effort in 2012. 

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