CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – On Saturday, North Carolina will play Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, a location that’s home to an 18-year-long losing streak for the Tar Heels.
UNC hasn’t won at Georgia Tech since 1997, when Mack Brown’s final North Carolina team defeated the Yellow Jackets 16-13. For the sake of context, that was North Carolina's last game before hosting second-ranked Florida State for “Judgment Day” at Kenan Stadium.
Despite a segment of the UNC student body not having lived long enough to witness a Tar Heel win in Atlanta, head coach Larry Fedora isn’t concerned with the streak.
“It’s not something we talk about as a team,” Fedora said at his weekly press conference on Monday. “It won’t be something that I address with them, because the 2015 team hasn’t ever lost in Atlanta, and they’ve never lost in Chapel Hill.”
While the losing streak is long and well-documented, Fedora said he doesn’t see how that effects how his team will play in Atlanta on Saturday.
“We’re a different football team, so I really never have put much into any of that,” Fedora said. “I just don’t see a whole lot of carryover.
The Tar Heels are focused more on defeating the opponent than snapping the streak.
“It’s a tough place to play,” senior linebacker Jeff Schoettmer said. “They’re obviously a great team, so we’ve got to be prepared. But we don’t really focus on that aspect. We’re just trying to get our first ACC win.”
“We’ve got a big divisional game coming up against Georgia Tech in Atlanta… And let me go ahead and address the quarterback issue so we don’t have to answer 78 questions about the quarterbacks. Marquise Williams is our starter. Yes, I’ve talked to him, he knows why I did what I did on Saturday, and that’s where we’re at. He’s our starter going into this game. There’s not a whole lot to talk about.”
Why did you put Mitch Trubisky in?
“I was looking for a spark offensively. I didn’t think we were executing very well, and looking for a spark, and put him in there at that time, and I thought he added a little bit to that offense and as he got rolling, he got hot and things were moving, so I didn’t feel like going the other way.”
What can you take from what Duke and Notre Dame did to stop Georgia Tech’s triple option?
“They did a really good job. I’ll tell you just from watching the Notre Dame game, they just had blockers on every guy, and the guys defeated blocks and went and made plays. You’re going to have to do that, because they’re going to get hats on you. It’s just the way the offense is set up. You’re going to have to defeat blocks, you’re going to have to defeat cut blocks, you’re going to have to do all of the things. Outplay them is what you’re going to have to do.”
What did Mack Hollins’ two touchdowns do for his confidence?
“You don’t ever have to worry about Mack’s confidence. That’s not going to effect his confidence. He’s got plenty of confidence, and what he did do was he had a tremendous week of practice, he really did, and he worked extremely hard and I think it paid off and showed that when you do those kind of things, good things usually happen, so the ebb and the flow of the game, sometimes you get a call that they’re in the right coverage and you get to make the play and you make the play. Sometimes you get those opportunities, and there’s other plays that we call in the game where other guys could have made big plays, but the defense didn’t dictate it. Ball got checked down, ball got thrown to another place, it just happens. He was fortunate that when those big balls came, he was able to make some plays.”