Tudor: UNC offense, Fedora fail to capitalize on Clowney's struggles
Posted August 30, 2013
Columbia, S.C. — On a night when Jadeveon Clowney looked more like the first pick of the fifth round than the first NFL draft pick overall, North Carolina could scare up only 10 points against South Carolina in Thursday’s first major game of the college football season. That failure to generate points and yardage alone was enough turn the opening game of Larry Fedora’s second season at UNC into a ringing failure.
By game time, the Tar Heels were a 12-point underdog on the road in a big building against an SEC foe with a No. 6 national ranking.
I didn’t expect UNC to win. Few people did.
But what I did expect was a more effective offense.
That was especially the case after the first series or two, when was it became obvious the 275-pound Clowney was badly winded and in no physical condition to intimidate a decent opposing offense.
The Heels likely will improve a lot by Sept. 21, when they visit Georgia Tech in their first ACC game. But here are three areas of serious breakdowns in Thursday’s 27-10 loss.
- Pass protection: Bryn Renner got sacked three times and was fortunate to keep the total that low even though Clowney was basically a non-factor. The situation was ripe for UNC to pass for about 300 yards rather than 194.
- Special teams: As feared, the loss Gio Bernard from the kick-return game turned out to be costly. That was was crystallized by T.J. Thorpe’s fumbled punt near midfield in the second quarter.
- Big plays: From the line of scrimmage, UNC managed one play in excess of 20 yards: a Renner pass to Quinshad Davis. South Carolina had five, including a 75-yard scoring run by Mike Davis and a 65-yard touchdown pass from Connor Shaw to Shaq Roland on a simple post pattern of a play-action fake on the third play of the game.