Turner's Take: Monday Musings
Larry Fedora said he proved an old adage wrong in watching film from Saturday’s loss to East Carolina. “You all know the old saying, ‘it’s never as bad as you think it is, and it’s never as good as you think it is’ until you go in and look at the film? Well, it was as bad as I thought it was, so I proved that wrong. The film didn’t show us anything to make us feel any better about it.”
Per their routine, Carolina practiced Sunday with the day off Monday. Fedora said the session went well. “It was good. I didn’t give them a choice. I told them the way it was going to be, and the way we were going to react,” he said. “Because that’s going to determine who we are, the way we react to this game and the way we played. And if you walk around with your head down . . . you have no time to do that. You’ve got two more days to get ready for Virginia Tech. So you have no time to feel sorry for yourself or to be mad at yourself or any of those things. You’ve got to put it to bed and you’ve got to move on or you get beat twice by the same team.”
Senior defensive back Jabari Price said there were 37(!) missed assignments in Saturday’s loss, out of the 101 offensive snaps for the Pirates. “Thirty-seven out of 101. You can’t win a game with 37 missed assignments,” Price said. “We can’t have 37 missed assignments and expect to win a football game regardless of what our offense did, or regardless of how fast they went. Thirty-seven missed assignments, you’ll lose every game.”
The most glaring? A 26-yard run by East Carolina’s Vontavious Cooper came in the second quarter with just nine Tar Heel defenders on the field. Price couldn’t believe his eyes while watching the film. “I’m like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . . I saw nine people. I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ That was an amateur mistake,” he said. “It’s a lack of focus on the guys on the sideline. If your package is being called, you have to go in the game. We can’t win a game with nine people. I’ve never seen it done in my life. That doesn’t give us a good chance to win but it’s inexcusable and we just have to focus more throughout the week and focus more on the game plan.”
Price said his team should not have had a lack of discipline against the Pirates, given that his own team runs an uptempo offense. “It surprised me, because we go through this type of drilling in summer in camp and in the spring,” he said. “You would think a team like us would be prepared for it, but obviously not. It caught us off-guard and we got punched in the mouth when we didn’t respond so that was the story of Saturday.”
One positive from Saturday’s game? T.J. Thorpe may have had his best game as a wide receiver. Thorpe had six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. He said that even playing without Sean Tapley, the receiving corps stepped up in the second half. “[We had] an attack-the-ball mentality, and we made plays,” he said. “We didn’t sit around and wait for people to make plays.” Nic Platt had a terrific catch and an even better run to score his first career touchdown, and in addition to Thorpe, Quinshad Davis and Bug Howard all made good plays through the air. “We’re starting to see guys step up and take matters into their own hands.”
One final note: Bryn Renner wore a boot on his left foot as he addressed the media Monday afternoon. He would not disclose the injury but said he plans to play on Saturday.