Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Chapel Hill, we have a problem

Posted September 29, 2013

1. To paraphrase Silky Johnson from the "Player Hater's Ball," what can be said about North Carolina's defense that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan: It looks bombed out and depleted.

It's not just missed tackles or a tendency to give up big plays. The Tar Heels have a big problem stopping the run.
  • South Carolina: 228 yards on 38 carries.
  • MTSU: 159 yards on 41 carries.
  • Georgia Tech: 324 yards on 71 carries.
Against East Carolina, a traditionally pass-heavy squad, it was more of the same. The Pirates rushed for 194 yards on 54 attempts. Vintavious Cooper did the bulk of the work, running 35 times for 183 yards. 
 
In ECU's loss to Virginia Tech, Cooper ran for only 28 yards on eight carries. While it's easy to chalk up his limited production to a rejuvenated defense out of Blacksburg, consider Cooper had just 133 yards on 32 carries in wins over Old Dominion and Florida Atlantic.
 
East Carolina ran 101 plays, the most ever by an opponent against the Tar Heels, and only punted twice. The Pirates dictated the pace and North Carolina didn't have any answers during the game. Head coach Larry Fedora didn't seem to have any after the game, either.
 
"You’ve got to play with energy, no matter what happens," Fedora said. "It doesn’t matter. You can’t let one play affect the next play. We obviously don’t have that right now.”
 
 
2. High scores are nothing new for North Carolina under Fedora. Virginia Tech put up 34 points, NC State scored 35 points, Georgia Tech dropped 68 points and Maryland kept it close with 38 points. The Tar Heels won three out of those four in Chapel Hill because the offense stayed one step ahead.
 
The Tar Heels are not afforded the same luxury this season. 
 
Yes, they miss Gio Bernard. Yes, their offensive line lost key players to the NFL. And the Tar Heels were without Romar Morris and Sean Tapley against East Carolina. However, the offensive woes in Chapel Hill have lingered throughout the early part of the season.
 
Bryn Renner finished with a good looking box score. 28-of-46 for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns. He threw one interception. That masks a shaky first half where the ball just wasn't leaving his hand right. Fedora used a little trickeration with Quinshad Davis passing to T.J. Thorpe for a 32-yard score to finally get on the board.
 
 
3. North Carolina doesn't appear to be a focused team at the moment. For starters, look at the penalties. 
 
The Heels continued a nasty trend from their loss to Georgia Tech and were penalized nine times for 99 yards against the Pirates. North Carolina is doing a good enough job beating themselves by destroying offensive rhythm and taking touchdowns off the board (once against the Yellow Jackets and another one against the Pirates). 
 
More disturbing is the talk of complacency coming out of A.J. Blue. The senior runningback called out his teammates for not giving 100 percent against East Carolina and labeled the attitude of some as front-running.
 
 
The flat effort isn't lost on Fedora, who told Lee Pace of the Tar Heels Sports Network at halftime that he'd just like his team to "play football" at some point. It's up to the coaching staff to snap them out of this funk.
 
4. NC State bounced back from a tough loss to Clemson with a drama free win over Central Michigan. 
 
The Wolfpack defense jumped on the Chippewas early, erasing any thoughts of a Richmond repeat from a couple weeks back. NC State intercepted quarterback Cooper Rush three times, including D.J. Green's pick-six on the second play of the game, and limited Central Michigan to just 259 yards of total offense. 
 
NC State's primary attack was on the ground. Fifty-two carries divided between 10 different Wolfpack players for 259 total rushing yards. Shadrach Thorton got the start and lead all rushers with 71 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, he saved the media from a scary spider.
 
 
5. Duke was on the right end of another high scoring affair, beating Troy thanks to the work of Brandon Connette. The quarterback threw three touchdowns and punched a couple in on the ground. Connette's development from change-of-pace quarterback to starter due to injury is the biggest story of Duke's young season and important to making another bowl.
 
Say this about the Blue Devils' defense, they keep things interesting. David Cutcliffe might lose the rest of his hair in the process, but he'll take it. The unit got stronger after initially getting knocked back on it's heels by the pace of Troy's offense.
 
Duke's schedule following the bye-week isn't especially daunting, but the defensive issues make even the winnable games toss-ups.
73 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • PricelessGemUNC Oct 3, 2013

    Everything in today's world is about what have you done for me lately! All Fedora has done is upset me every Saturday this fall! Follow FireLarryFedora on Twitter!

  • FE_ORA Oct 1, 2013

    55 points is not that much ...... in C-USA. Just trying to step up the ACCs game. That's all.

  • JohnnyVoodoo Sep 30, 2013

    The tarholes would've been better off letting the Chapel Hill High Tigers play against the Pirates. If the Pirates played the tarholes Monday thru Friday of next week, the tarholes get spanked 5 times in a row.

  • North Johnston Resident Sep 30, 2013

    It would not have mattered if Bernard and the others were still here...ECU dominated both the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage. Say what you will about the missing players, THAT'S what secured this win and I for one, was glad to see it.

  • heelsforever Sep 30, 2013

    That is one bad defense in Chapel Hill.

  • captaintyy86 Sep 30, 2013

    I TRULY DIDN'T EXPECT THAT TO HAPPEN!!! EMBARRASSING,YES!!! THEY MADE US LOOK SMALL IN OUR OWN STADIUM!! SOUL-SEACHING TIME,, ASAP!!!!

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Sep 30, 2013

    View quoted thread


    ECU lost 15-10 to an average VT team.

    I think ECU is pretty good, but that's about it. Carolina made them look SPECIAL. But like Steve Logan said, ECU has an offense that is tailor-made to carve up Carolina's 4-2-5 gimmick defense. And that is exactly what happened. They didn't play over their heads. But they are also not that great. They looked like Alabama against Carolina. But they are not even close to Alabama.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Sep 30, 2013

    View quoted thread


    How about a dropped pass on 3rd and a mile for Richmond, instead of the made catch that led to a TD? How about one or two LESS turnovers in the red zone for State?

    Richmond made some huge plays to keep that game close and nearly win. And you ask for one more dropped pass from State? Please. It's not like we were playing awesome and eeked out the win. We played terribly that game and still found a way to win.

    It is what it is. A Wolfpack win over Richmond. We were better than them that day. They played over their heads and nearly stole one from us. But that's OK. As long as the right team wins.

    I'd rather play bad and win than to play good and lose (or play bad and lose, like your Holes have been doing!) :)

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Sep 30, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Big, wide badger GRIN!!! :)

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Sep 30, 2013

    View quoted thread


    State fans enjoy this?

    We are.

    :)

More...

 

 

Listen & Watch
  • Logan Zone

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: The Tour Championship

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Oakland @ Washington

    Friday at 8:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • College Football: Duke at North Carolina

    Today at 3:30 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 21
7Final
21
43
Fri, Sept 22
23
30Final
24
Sat, Sept 23
36:45
1st
12
0
07:03
1st
19
7
05:15
1st
10
14
11:00 PT12:00 MT1:00 CT2:00 ET6:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST
Preview
13
5
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
2
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
14
16
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
6
1
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
8
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
Preview
18
3
3:30 PT4:30 MT5:30 CT6:30 ET10:30 GMT6:30 北京时间3:30 MST5:30 EST
Preview
22
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
17
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
11
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
25
4
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
20
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
15
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
24
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
7
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 21
LA Rams41Final
San Francisco39
Sunday, Sep. 24
Baltimore 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT21:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Jacksonville 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Buffalo 
New Orleans 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Carolina 
Pittsburgh 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Chicago 
Atlanta 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Detroit 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Indianapolis 
Tampa Bay 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Minnesota 
Houston 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
New England 
Miami 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
NY Jets 
NY Giants 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Philadelphia 
Seattle 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Preview
Tennessee 
Cincinnati 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
Green Bay 
Kansas City 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
LA Chargers 
Oakland 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Washington 
Monday, Sep. 25
Dallas 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Arizona 
NHL Preseason
Los Angeles4F-SO
Vancouver3
Colorado 3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET22:00 GMT6:00 3:00 MST5:00 EST2:00 UAE (+1)18:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Minnesota 
Boston 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Detroit 
Carolina 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Washington 
Montreal 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Ottawa 
NY Rangers 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
New Jersey 
Toronto 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Buffalo 
Dallas 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
St. Louis 
Columbus 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Chicago 
San Jose 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Arizona 
Winnipeg 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Edmonton 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Boston 1:10 PT2:10 MT3:10 CT4:10 ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 MST3:10 EST3:40 VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 CT
Preview
Cincinnati 
American League
LA Angels010:05 PT11:05 MT12:05 CT1:05 ET13:05 ET17:05 GMT1:05 10:05 MST12:05 EST12:35 VEN21:05 UAE12:05 CT
Preview
Houston0
NY Yankees 1:07 PT2:07 MT3:07 CT4:07 ET16:07 ET20:07 GMT4:07 1:07 MST3:07 EST3:37 VEN0:07 UAE (+1)3:07 CT
Preview
Toronto 
Cleveland 1:10 PT2:10 MT3:10 CT4:10 ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 MST3:10 EST3:40 VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 CT
Preview
Seattle 
Minnesota 3:10 PT4:10 MT5:10 CT6:10 ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 MST5:10 EST5:40 VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 CT
Preview
Detroit 
Tampa Bay 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Baltimore 
Kansas City 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Chi White Sox 
Texas 6:05 PT7:05 MT8:05 CT9:05 ET21:05 ET1:05 GMT9:05 6:05 MST8:05 EST8:35 VEN5:05 UAE (+1)8:05 CT
Preview
Oakland 
National League
Chi Cubs010:05 PT11:05 MT12:05 CT1:05 ET13:05 ET17:05 GMT1:05 10:05 MST12:05 EST12:35 VEN21:05 UAE12:05 CT
Preview
Milwaukee0
St. Louis 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh 
Philadelphia 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Atlanta 
Washington 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets 
Miami 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Arizona 
Colorado 5:40 PT6:40 MT7:40 CT8:40 ET20:40 ET0:40 GMT8:40 5:40 MST7:40 EST8:10 VEN4:40 UAE (+1)7:40 CT
Preview
San Diego 
San Francisco 6:10 PT7:10 MT8:10 CT9:10 ET21:10 ET1:10 GMT9:10 6:10 MST8:10 EST8:40 VEN5:10 UAE (+1)8:10 CT
Preview
LA Dodgers 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Memphis 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET12:07 GMT
Durham 
TOUR Championship (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1tJ. Thomas-718
1tP. Casey-718
1tW. Simpson-718
4tP. Reed-618
4tJ. Rose-618
4tJ. Rahm-618
4tG. Woodland-618
8tX. Schauffele-518
8tJ. Dufner-518
8tB. Koepka-518
View Full Leaderboard
 
Evian Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Nordqvist - z-9F
2B. Altomare - y-9F
3tM. Jutanugarn-8F
3tK. Kirk-8F
3tL. Ko-8F
6tS. Feng-7F
6tS. Kim-7F
8J. Song-6F
9M. Lee-5F
10tG. Hall-4F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Portugal Masters (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1L. Bjerregaard-1417
2G. Coetzee-1318
3tE. Pepperell-1218
3tM. Warren-1218
3tN. Bertasio-1217
6tC. Paisley-1118
6tA. Wu-1118
6tT. Detry-1118
6tN. Elvira-1118
6tG. Storm-1118
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Saturday, Sep. 23
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(8) J. Struff3 5    
D. Dzumhur6 7    
(1) R. Bautista A6 67 65   
(3) F. Fognini2 79 77   
 
Moselle Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(5) M. Zverev3 0    
P. Gojowczyk6 1    
(7) B. Paire6 77    
N. Basilashvi1 65    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Saturday, Sep. 23
Guangzhou Women's Open (WTA)
Final
(2) S. Zhang6 3 6   
A. Krunic2 6 2   
 
Korea Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(1) J. Ostapenko3 6 6   
L. Kumkhum6 1 3   
R. Hogenkamp1 67    
B. Haddad Mai6 79    
 
Toray Pan Pacific Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(1) G. Muguruza2 0    
(3) C. Wozniacki6 6