CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Often after a blowout loss, a coach looks to the game film to not only correct the problems his team had, but also to find any sort of positives with a fresh set of eyes. When head coach Larry Fedora looked back at last weekend’s 34-3 loss to Virginia Tech, there were no positives to be taken.
“There wasn’t much that went our way, actually,” Fedora said on his radio show on Tuesday. “As a coach you say it’s not going to be as bad as you think it is, or it’s not going to be as good as you think it is. It was as bad as I thought it was…. Offensively it was atrocious.”
In a game where UNC accumulated only 138 total yards of offense, the worst under Fedora, looking back at the game film only left the head coach and his players dumbfounded.
“I was in shock, really, and I’m not sure any of the players can tell you why either,” Fedora said. “It was something that happened and we really don’t have an answer for it.”
For Fedora, it’s hard to look for answers when there isn’t one specific position to blame, but rather the offense as a complete unit. The plan moving forward is to fix what they can and leave the game in the past.
“We looked hard for the lessons,” Fedora said. “There were so many things. It wasn’t just a position, it was all the positions on offense. Receivers, running backs, offensive line, quarterback – there was nothing good to come out of it. We’ve made the corrections, and there were a lot of corrections to make, and we’ve moved on.”
Do you think the rain and wind affected the way you had to operate?
“Well I’m not very smart but I do think it had something to do with it, yes. But again, that’s not going to be the excuse that we use. Both teams played in it, we made more mistakes than they did, and they capitalized on our mistakes…. They scored 27 points off of our turnovers. If you don’t take care of the football and you’re still not playing well on offense, you’ve still got a chance to win a football game.”
Those field conditions really held up on Saturday in those ugly conditions.
“They really did. The field conditions were really good under the circumstances. There wasn’t a problem with footing throughout the game, I thought the field drained well, our crew did a tremendous job. I called them Sunday morning to let them know that we really appreciated the job they did. They claimed that if we had to play this Saturday on it that it would be fine and ready to go.”
Was there ever any concern of thought that the game may not go off as scheduled?
“Throughout the week you’re worried about it, but I just do what they tell me to do. They said we were going to kickoff at 3:30 and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it so we kicked it off. Throughout the week you wondered. They kept talking about the path of the storm. I try not to think about it a lot because it’s not something I can control.”
Do you think it would have helped the receivers to wear gloves last week?
“We’ve gotten to the point in this world where a receiver can’t play unless he wears gloves. People used to catch the ball with their hands and didn’t use to wear gloves. I left it up to those guys. In pregame some of them tried the gloves and didn’t like it when the gloves got wet and got slick. It’s up to them. They’re the ones that need to do the job. Most of them pulled their gloves off because they weren’t comfortable with them on. Personally I wouldn’t have worn them, I wouldn’t wear them ever.”
Was there any consideration to changing your offensive style when your offense was struggling throughout the game?
“No, there was never any thought towards that. That’s not who we are so we aren’t going to change our offense in the middle of the game, it’s not who we are. We wouldn’t be able to do it, we’ve never practiced it. Guys couldn’t do anything like that.”
Is it hard to switch gears to recruiting mode after a difficult performance?
“We were able to get everyone here with all the plane flights, so that was not an issue. We got all their parents here, their families, so it was really good and we had dinner with them after the game at night. It is difficult to flip over, but you have to. They understand, they’re football players. They understand that sometimes things are good and sometimes things aren’t good. They knew what the situation was. They had a good time, we had a good weekend, and our staff did a tremendous job with them.”
We saw that Les Miles was here this weekend. What was Les doing in Chapel Hill?
“His son Manny plays for us. So he and his wife and both daughters came to the game and hung out this weekend and spent some time with Manny. It was good to see him, he’s doing well. He hung out and waited for me after the game so I got the chance to see him after the game. He’s in great spirits and doing well.”
Do you guys have any wildcat plays in your offensive game plan?
“We have done it before and it is in our playbook and in some game plans, but we just haven’t gotten to it. I want to say we used it last year and have it for the future.... It’s something unexpected so defenses aren’t prepared for it and defenses aren’t prepared for it in the middle of a game.”