CHAPEL HILL -- University of North Carolina head football coach John Bunting shared his thoughts on Sunday evening, after reviewing the game tape of UNC's 52-21 loss to the Texas Longhorns.
Feels the team played the best game of the year, offensively, specifically on the offensive line. Handled Texas very well, for the most part. Protected the ball and protected the quarterback. Pleased with progress. Jupiter Wilson played his best game as an offensive lineman and won the "Chip-on-Your-Shoulder" Award for this game.
Missed alignments, missed assignments, and 17 missed tackles amounted to a total of what Bunting described as, "We gave them 222 yards of offense -- just flat gave it to them. You can't do that and beat a team as good as Texas."
In spite of the score, feels UNC competed well with this team, up until the end. The kids played with emotion and played hard. Does not feel like they were overmatched. Huxtable said today at a team meeting, "I wish we could play them again," and Bunting feels the same way.
Feels two of the punt returns could have been returned for touchdowns. "One block away from making a big play and going for a touch[down] on the first one. On the second one, as far as the ball was kicked towards the Texas sideline, Michael was still supposed to bring that thing across the field. If he does, he might take that one for a score. He made a decision to stay on the Texas sideline and take what he could get, which wasn't much. The return was designed to go across the field."
At 24-0 in the second, the offense still had a lot of confidence because they had moved the ball. They still felt that they were going to score points. At half-time, they talked about being 0-0. "If we could have made a few more plays on defense, we could have really scared Texas."
Disappointed that the tight ends weren't more involved catching the ball, but felt they did an outstanding job of blocking. Wants to make sure that the tight ends are involved in the offense.
Jacque Lewis has set himself apart as the starter, but feels like the team needs more production from Parker and Williams. "Jacque can't carry the load all day long, because he is involved in special teams, also. He's our personal protector on the punt team, and he's on the punt return team."
Felt the defense put some pressure on the quarterback, but opportunities to sack Simms -- Stewart and Page both missed. Wants more pressure with a four-man rush, because zero coverage allows for deep pass plays.
The upcoming off-week will allow for some decisions on possible personnel changes, red-shirt decisions, and special teams play -- and an emphasis on fundamentals.