“I don’t have the answer for you right now,” head coach Larry Fedora said. “I’ll have to go back and look at the film, and see what was actually happening out there.”
No one would envy the chore of going back and looking at that film.
And as it turns out, not only did the Tar Heels not have any answers for their defensive performance, coming into the game they didn’t have any clues that such a performance was forthcoming.
“Practices were going great,” senior linebacker Kevin Reddick said. “Everybody was hitting their man, whoever they had they were getting there. But that’s practice, the “look” team - they give you the look, trying to get as close as they can to the real team - but then you get out on the field. Guys get out on the field and we don’t look at the things we’re supposed to.”
The Tar Heels even had an extra week of practice to prepare, thanks to a bye week, but Fedora never envisioned that Georgia Tech would light up the scoreboard as it did today.
“Had I saw that coming I probably wouldn’t have shown up today,” Fedora said. “No, I didn’t see that coming, we had really good practices, we had a lot of energy at practice. No, I had no idea.”
Cornerback Tim Scott agreed that the number of points put up by Tech was shocking.
“We knew that they were going to run the ball, of course, and we were just going to have a find a way to stop them and get off the field, and we didn’t do a lot of that today, and that showed up on the scoreboard.”
Georgia Tech is known for running the ball, and they did that to the tune of 380 yards, but more surprisingly the Yellow Jackets had no trouble finding receivers running free in the secondary for big yardage.
“You don’t want to give up 7 completions for 208 yards, I know that, against a team that traditionally has trouble throwing the football,” Fedora said.
The Yellow Jackets only attempted 12 passes, and aside from one miscue that resulted in a Tim Scott “pick six,” they made the most of them.
“They are known as a running team, but when they’re running, running, running, they are going to give you a couple of play action passes, so when they did do so, we weren’t prepared for it,” the coach added.
The Tar Heels are operating on a short week, headed to Charlottesville on Thursday night. If they’re going to find answers, they’re going to have to find them quickly.