Aaron Schoonmaker

After bowl win, UNC fans can be optimistic for 2014

Posted December 28, 2013

— Addressing the North Carolina fans at Bank of America Stadium Saturday after accepting the Belk Bowl trophy, Tar Heels head coach Larry Fedora shouted, “I promise you, next year we will be even better!”

While obviously garnering a loud ovation from the thousands of blue-clad faithful, it also planted a seed. A 7-6 record looks, feels and generally sits with a fan base a lot better than a 6-7 record when they have eight months until the next game.

“I’m really excited about our future,” Fedora said in his postgame press conference before rattling off the names of nearly a dozen true freshmen that made an impact in 2013. “We are going in the right direction. Good things are coming in our future.”

Saturday in Charlotte, freshman scored two of the five touchdowns while sophomore Romar Morris added two more. True freshman Ryan Switzer was named the game’s MVP after his fifth punt return for a score of the season, tying the NCAA FBS record for returns in a season and also matching the career mark at UNC.

“Coming into camp I was third on the depth chart and I was mad,” Switzer admitted after the game. “I took that as a challenge and worked my way up.”

For Fedora and UNC fans alike, optimism isn’t unwarranted headed into 2014 for the simple fact that the team closed the year winners of six out of seven.

“What I’ll remember most about this season is when we were 1-5,” Fedora said. “There was nobody that thought we would be here today when we were 1-5 except the guys in that locker room.”

Another settling point, UNC, unquestionably an offensive-minded team, will lose just four starters on defense next year. A defense that held opponents to 20 points or less in five of the last seven games and gave Cincinnati fits registering a safety and sacking Bearcats quarterback Brendon Kay five times.

“Defensively we played really well in the first half,” Fedora said of the bowl game. “We dominated in the first half really.”

Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville agreed, saying, “They knew we were missing three offensive linemen and they threw the kitchen sink at us.”

Of the 22 starters in the Belk Bowl, just five were seniors while 13 were either freshmen or sophomores. 

A hole will need to be filled on the coaching staff after the departure of offensive coordinator Blake Anderson, but any gaps on that side of the ball were not evident Saturday in Charlotte. With eight months to prepare under offensively-driven Fedora, there is no reason to believe the transition will be anything but smooth in filling that role. As far as a timetable for that goes, Fedora said there isn’t one and they will go through the process.

While it was far from a sell-out at Bank of America Stadium Saturday, just two hours down the road from Chapel Hill, closing the season on national television with a win will make for a happier offseason for UNC fans. And as Fedora put it in regards to recruiting, “winning breeds success.”

12 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • The Heels Win Again Jan 1, 11:18 a.m.

    From what I can read, they should have the best athletes that MONEY can buy. The punishments... View More

    — Posted by Countrylawyer

    U Mad Bro? Why yes, you are! LOL!

    GO HEELS!

  • vt94hokies Dec 30, 5:16 p.m.

    UNC has a load of talent and should challenge for the Coastal Division.

  • vt94hokies Dec 29, 9:53 p.m.

    UNC showed us how coaching can change a team. Fedora and his staf have done as well as any in the entire Country after startting at 1-5. Fedora called all plays last night. He did a super job to keep them guessing. Their recruitment blows the doors off for 2014. They will be a solid team. FSU and Clemson have two great coaches that can recruit. Fedora is knocking on the door; folks.

  • 4tarheels Dec 29, 6:03 p.m.

    The future looks bright for UNC football. If they keep working hard, and stick together, then good things will happen. GO HEELS!!

  • ACC22 Dec 29, 5:19 p.m.

    From what I can read, they should have the best athletes that MONEY can buy. The punishments... View More

    — Posted by Countrylawyer

    You do understand that the "news" that you read about UNC is all old news. This was... View More

    — Posted by TeaBagOnLove

    It is very interesting how that is ignored. Just go to wake county real estate site. You will... View More

    — Posted by ACC22

    Exactly. The "rumor" started in early 2013 and it appears to be true. The worst part... View More

    — Posted by TeaBagOnLove

    Maybe the AD would be interested in her

  • TeaBagOnLove Dec 29, 3:42 p.m.

    From what I can read, they should have the best athletes that MONEY can buy. The punishments... View More

    — Posted by Countrylawyer

    You do understand that the "news" that you read about UNC is all old news. This was... View More

    — Posted by TeaBagOnLove

    It is very interesting how that is ignored. Just go to wake county real estate site. You will... View More

    — Posted by ACC22

    Exactly. The "rumor" started in early 2013 and it appears to be true. The worst part is that Gott's wife is way better looking than the alum's wife.

  • ACC22 Dec 29, 12:35 p.m.

    From what I can read, they should have the best athletes that MONEY can buy. The punishments... View More

    — Posted by Countrylawyer

    You do understand that the "news" that you read about UNC is all old news. This was... View More

    — Posted by TeaBagOnLove

    It is very interesting how that is ignored. Just go to wake county real estate site. You will see two listings for Gott one in his name only. Looks life his wife got tired of it too. All those rumors about what happened when he was at bama. YUP!

  • TeaBagOnLove Dec 29, 10:42 a.m.

    From what I can read, they should have the best athletes that MONEY can buy. The punishments... View More

    — Posted by Countrylawyer

    You do understand that the "news" that you read about UNC is all old news. This was discovered over three years ago and the infractions occurred years before their discovery. The NCAA has concluded their investigation... UNC has served their probation... and they have moved on with a new coaching staff and completely new players.

    Build a bridge.... and get over it. NCSU has it's own issues and they are just beginning. Got to love how the media has ignored Hoodrat Thornton and Coach Gott's affair with an alum's wife. Makes you question the bias of the sports & local media in general.

  • heelsforever Dec 29, 9:34 a.m.

    From what I can read, they should have the best athletes that MONEY can buy. The punishments... View More

    — Posted by Countrylawyer

    Most men choose to cry in privacy.

  • snapjack Dec 29, 9:20 a.m.

    From what I can read, they should have the best athletes that MONEY can buy. The punishments... View More

    — Posted by Countrylawyer

    You can read?

More...

 

 

  • CBB: Duke at St. John's

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on FOX50

  • NBA: Miami at Chicago

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State vs. Notre Dame

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 64
TULSA 66
Final
UNC 78
FSU 74
Final
NCCU 79
COPST 77
 
Final
CHA 76
NYK 71
Final
CHA 76
NYK 71
Final
MIL 101
DET 86
Final
MEM 101
PHI 83
4th
UTA 90
BRK 64
 
2nd
POR 41
WAS 47
 
Final
SENS 13
SENN 34
Final
DREX 53
COC 51
 
Final
XAV 89
DEP 76
Final
PURD 67
IOWA 63
Final
SCAR 43
KENT 58
Final
KYST 63
OKST 53
Final
PSU 79
RUTG 51
Final
ECU 64
TULSA 66
Final
CLEM 59
WAKE 57
Final
HC 76
NAVY 65
 
Final
FUR 82
ALLN 46
 
Final
BU 77
BUCK 92
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 81
JVU 59
 
Final
IUPUI 65
SD 50
 
Final
TENN 61
TEXAM 67
Final
VMI 85
CITA 75
 
Final
INDST 72
LOYC 61
 
Final
WMICH 69
AKR 71
 
Final
MIZZ 60
ARK 61
Final
AFA 68
BSU 77
Final
YALE 69
BRO 65
 
Final
OHIO 63
BUF 61
 
Final
HARV 61
DART 70
 
Final
NEOM 80
DEN 69
 
Final
GWU 74
DUQ 59
Final
KNST 48
FLGC 54
 
Final
UNC 78
FSU 74
Final
TEX 62
KU 75
Final
BST 52
KSU 63
 
Final
LAF 71
LEH 75
 
Final
COL 59
GHND 58
 
Final
WMARY 78
NE 62
 
Final
USCU 91
STET 67
 
Final
WVU 86
TCU 85
Final
MINN 79
ILL 71
Final
MARQ 85
GEOR 95
Final
UGST 75
LALAF 64
 
Final
MNTER 52
RFLSH 40
 
Final
MSST 66
UGA 72
Final
MARS 78
UTEP 71
Final
WKENT 83
TXSA 74
Final
CHIST 41
CALST 57
 
Final
SDU 77
BYU 74
 
Final
WINT 71
CAMP 63
 
Final
TTU 78
ISU 73
Final
HOF 63
JMU 69
 
Final
COOK 70
MDES 74
 
Final
NWST 93
MCNST 67
 
Final
SYR 62
MIAMI 66
Final
NILL 55
UMO 60
 
Final
NEB 79
MSU 77
Final
WYO 63
NMU 62
Final
CCAR 63
PBY 52
 
Final
Terriers 65
RMU 67
 
Final
BRY 66
SHU 83
 
Final
EVAN 75
SILL 66
 
Final
OREG 82
UCLA 64
Final
EILL 52
PEAY 56
 
Final
NCCU 79
COPST 77
 
Final
CMICH 65
EMICH 51
 
Final
RAD 84
LIB 76
 
Final
FD 76
LIU 80
 
Final
MNTST 64
NARZ 71
 
Final
LIP 66
UNF 75
 
Final
EWASH 102
NDAK 80
 
Final
TROY 55
ARKST 64
 
Final
TXST 58
APP 64
 
Final
CSOU 93
GWEBB 80
 
Final
LAMON 53
GSOUT 57
 
Final
ABCHRIST 61
INCWORD 77
 
Final
JVST 63
MORE 66
 
Final
CARK 61
NICST 71
 
Final
UAB 81
ODU 68
Final
SHSU 68
STEPH 79
 
Final
ALAST 84
ALCOR 60
 
Final
MTST 72
CHAR 69
Final
NCAT 52
DELST 67
 
Final
MISS 72
UF 71
Final
SMU 80
HOU 59
Final
FAM 50
HOW 59
 
Final
GRAM 63
JST 74
 
Final
VANDY 75
LSU 79
Final
SCST 63
NORST 76
 
Final
BAY 69
OKLA 58
Final
MVSU 65
PVU 72
 
Final
ARKLR 68
TXARL 75
 
Final
CHAT 81
UNCG 72
 
Final
ORST 59
USC 55
Final
SAV 68
HAMP 66
 
Final
TOL 71
BGU 67
 
Final
UCSB 68
CSFU 49
 
Final
RIDE 59
CAN 46
 
Final
CLMB 47
CORN 57
 
Final
GMAS 73
DAVID 80
Final
ELON 94
DEL 82
 
Final
WOFF 72
ETST 64
 
Final
YOUNG 77
ILLCH 64
 
Final
FRES 66
NEV 62
Final
MAST 77
NDST 71
 
Final
STJOE 52
PENN 56
Final
DAY 63
RICH 60
Final
TENNM 70
SEMIZ 53
 
Final
HIGH 72
UNCA 51
 
Final
CCST 53
WAGN 50
 
Final
SAMF 78
WCU 72
 
Final
MICH 64
WISC 69
Final
UMKC 75
SEAT 55
 
Final
NO 67
TAMCC 71
 
Final
ALAAM 58
SOUTH 65
 
Final
TXPA 73
GRCN 72
 
Final
HOUB 79
LAM 77
 
Final
RICE 45
LATU 58
Final
TULA 55
MEM 57
 
Final
BRAD 61
MIZST 59
 
Final
SIUE 54
MURST 60
 
Final
GONZ 91
PAC 60
Final
UNT 71
SMISS 75
 
Final
ORU 72
SDKST 76
 
Final
UNCW 69
TOWS 65
 
Final
UNLV 79
UTST 77
 
Final
COL 90
WASU 58
Final
ALA 57
AUB 55
 
Final
ARKPB 66
TXSOU 62
 
Final
WEBER 71
SACST 78
 
Final
MONT 58
SUTAH 56
 
Final
NMST 69
WLVRN 44
 
2nd
IDST 76
PORST 72
 
2nd
TENT 62
EKENT 60
 
Half
CSNO 18
LBSU 28
 
Half
USF 43
LMU 30
 
Half
IDAHO 47
NCOL 32
 
Half
COLST 40
SDST 32
 
Half
PORT 31
GAELS 30
 
Half
CPSL 24
UCR 24
 
1st
CAL 4
ARZ 11
 
11:00pm Tonight
SCU
PEPP
 
11:59pm Tonight
STAN
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCI