banner
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, 2014

    View quoted thread



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

    GO HEELS!

  • vt94hokies Dec 30, 2013

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

  • vt94hokies Dec 29, 2013

    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.

  • ? Dec 29, 2013

    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, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Maybe the AD would be interested in her

  • TeaBagOnLove Dec 29, 2013

    View quoted thread



    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, 2013

    View quoted thread



    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, 2013

    View quoted thread



    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, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Most men choose to cry in privacy.

  • snapjack Dec 29, 2013

    View quoted thread


    You can read?

More...

 

 

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
6th
STL 1
HOU 0
 
5th
BOS 2
MIA 4
 
6th
TAM 1
MIN 1
 
4th
PHI 0
NYY 0
 
6th
ATL 8
WAS 7
 
1st
TOR 0
BAL 0
 
6th
NYM 1
DET 3
 
3:05pm Today
SDP
CWS
 
3:05pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
3:05pm Today
MIL
LOS
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
SFG
 
3:05pm Today
LOS
SEA
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
COL
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
OAK
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
MIA
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
SAC
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
UTA
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
BOS
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DET
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAL
8:00pm Tonight
BRK
PHO
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
Final
MVSU 75
ARKPB 94
 
Final
CSOU 60
LONG 68
 
2nd
WICHS 54
SILL 43
 
1st
RAD 12
WINT 12
 
3:35pm Today
ILLST
EVAN
6:00pm Tonight
HIGH
GWEBB
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNCG
SAMF
6:00pm Tonight
ELON
TOWS
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
BGU
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMICH
CMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
CLMB
 
7:00pm Tonight
PRIN
CORN
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
ILLCH
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
UMO
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
TOL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NIOWA
BRAD
7:30pm Tonight
MURST
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
HARV
YALE
 
8:30pm Tonight
DREX
COC
8:30pm Tonight
CITA
FUR
9:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
TTU
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
CLB
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
BUF
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CAL
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
EDM
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT