CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –North Carolina’s offense finally started delivering the amount of explosive plays that Larry Fedora expects in Saturday’s 56-28 win over James Madison.
An explosive play in UNC’s offensive system is defined as a run of 12 yards or more or a pass of 15 yards or more.
“We want at least 10 or more explosive plays every game,” Fedora said during his weekly radio show on Tuesday. “We had 16 in that game, but we probably left another ten out there. We can be much better than we were.”
By Fedora’s calculations, UNC’s offense was the most lethal it’s been all season against JMU. The Tar Heels had only seven explosive plays against Georgia in the season opener and 14 in their Week 2 victory over Illinois.
Of the 16 big plays against the Dukes, two stood out specifically. The first being the 75-yard touchdown pass off a flea-flicker from quarterback Mitch Trubisky to receiver Ryan Switzer in the first quarter. That play was later followed up by a 71-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky to receiver Mack Hollins midway through the second quarter.
UNC’s offense seems to be rounding into form as the Tar Heels open up ACC play this week against Pittsburgh.
“We needed to hit some explosive plays like that to get us going as we get into conference play because it’s a part of our offense,” Fedora said. “It’s a big part of our offense and something we count on.”
Your thoughts on the game from this past Saturday?
“Well as I sit back and think about it, you almost win by 30 points and you’re mad the whole time. That’s the way I felt. I felt frustrated the entire game, the whole night, the entire time. There were some good things that happened in the game in every phase and there were some bad things and we didn’t play well enough in any phase of the game to really be a good football team.”
You’ve said a lot of those fouls came from frustration and selfishness, correct?
“Getting a personal foul is selfish, because you know you can’t do it. You know you can’t do whatever you’re doing. That’s selfish within itself. It came out of frustration, they were frustrated. That’s just poor, it really is disappointing.”
On defensive delay of game call:
“We have a cadence on defense called ‘Move,’ and that gets our defensive lineman to shift and the linebacker to shift down on the line of scrimmage. We had done it two other times during the game. This time the official threw a flag on us and said that (a lineman) hollered ‘Go,’ and not ‘Move.’ That’s what the official said he heard.”
Why was Mitch Trubisky’s completion percentage so high on Saturday?
“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, it could have been our scout team, that’s hard to do. That’s not just Mitch, because the receivers have to catch the ball also, and the offensive line has to protect. I just thought those guys did a really good job in the passing game and took advantage of what JMU was giving them.”
UNC led the ACC last season in interceptions, but still don’t have one this year. Are you a believer that turnovers come in bunches and once you get one you start getting them?
“I don’t know if I’m a believer in that. I know we’ve dropped at least seven interceptions already this season. We had four in the game Saturday we dropped. We’ve had a couple pick-sixes that we’ve dropped. So that’s frustrating because it’s something we work on all the time.”
Why don’t you discuss injuries?
“There’s no advantage to doing it for us. I’ve never understood why you want to give your opponent any information about yourself. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t say anything… I would talk with you but I wouldn’t give you much. I just don’t get the purpose of telling people about injuries. I don’t know how that helps your football team.”
Do you know who your third quarterback would be if you had to put him in during a game?
“Yes I do. I’m not going to share that information. Why give my opponent anything?”
Are there times where it’s hard to stay calm on the sidelines?
“First off, I’m not a stoic person; I’m a pretty passionate person. That’s who I am so I just try to be who I am and try to control myself as much as possible. The only thing I hear a lot, and I hear it from my players a lot, is that I never smile. I’m like, ‘I can’t, not until the game is over.’”