Turner's Take: Monday Musings

Turner's Take: Monday Musings

By Turner Walston

At Monday's press conference, Larry Fedora addressed the loss to Miami before turning attention toward Boston College (3:30 on Saturday). “The film showed that our team played extremely hard. We put ourselves in a position to win a hard-fought football game, and in the end we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch to win the game, and give Miami credit for making those plays.”

A delay of game penalty with about five minutes to go in the fourth quarter began a chain of events that ultimately led to Carolina punting and setting up the game-winning Miami drive. Fedora said there are a lot of things that haunt him from the four-point loss that made the Tar Heels 1-5 on the year. “I can pick out, just like I can every game, five or six plays that you take them the other way and we’re on the other side of that win column, so it’ll definitely haunt me.”

Miami begins this week ranked seventh nationally, and the Hurricanes needed a touchdown with 16 seconds remaining to top the Tar Heels. Fedora said that even in the loss, his team realized that it could play with the nation’s best. “You’ve got to build off of those things. We’re in a tough spot right now in our season with where we are, so it’s just us. That’s it. It’s circle the wagons and it’s play hard and it’s practice hard and prepare hard and do the things and it’s find a way to get a win.”

Quarterback Bryn Renner was impressed with the team’s morale following the heartbreaking loss. He said it would be up to the seniors and team leaders to keep the team motivated. “Right now we’re 1-5, but we’re going to stay focused on trying to be 1-0, and we have six games left and we’re going to play for pride and battle every single game and do it for our fans and everything like that,” Renner said. “We’re going to try our best just to finish up strong and it starts with Boston College on Saturday.”

Carolina has six games to go in the 2013 regular season. Five of those games are against ACC teams, and though the Tar Heels are seventh in the Coastal Division, no upcoming opponent is higher than fifth place in either division. The FCS Independent Old Dominion Monarchs are 4-3 with wins over Howard, The Citadel, Albany and Liberty.

As for the Tar Heels, the effort in close losses to Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami ought to inspire the team for the next six games. “We’re right on the precipice of being a really good team and I don’t know when it’s going to click,” Renner said. “I don’t know when it’s going to happen but we have a ton of confidence that it’s going to happen if we keep believing and every week try to be 1-0 and improve on our mistakes.”

Tight end Eric Ebron, who had eight catches for 199 yards and a score on Thursday, said the 1-5 record was not indicative of the quality of the football team. “One and five doesn’t speak for how good we actually are,” he said. “One and five does not speak for how hard we work or if we do work, we might be going across some people’s minds. One and five speaks for the mistakes that we’ve made the mental errors and the youth of our team. So, we have to just keep going out there and giving the best we’ve got. That’s the only way you’re really handling and accepting 1-5 is if you go out there and play your hardest, not if you go out there and just lollygag around and you know you’re 1-5 because you’re not producing or you’re not doing what needs to be done out there on the football field.”

Now would be a crucial time in which a team could decide to either pack it in and play out the season or close ranks and play for pride and a still-attainable bowl berth. “I’d rather be this close playing the game that we played against Miami than losing and not being close at all,” Ebron said. “I’d rather be close and win or at least try to win than just give it up. I’m not a quitter. I never gave up anything in my life, so I feel like just going out there and putting on a performance that we did against Miami every single week whether we win or lose we can’t be doubted for our hard work and how bad we really wanted to win.”

After his first career start, freshman T.J. Logan sits atop the depth chart at tailback. ahead of A.J. Blue, Romar Morris and Khris Francis. Fedora said a rotation will likely continue there, but Logan has displayed a lot of potential. “He did some really nice things, and he’s coming on,” Fedora said. “I still don’t think we’ve seen him at where he’s going to be. I think each week he feels a little bit more comfortable, gets his legs under him a little bit. He’s starting to make a few moves and I think he’ll just get better every week.”

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