Caulton Tudor

Tudor: UNC offense, Fedora fail to capitalize on Clowney's struggles

Posted August 30, 2013

— 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Fedora coaching grade: D.

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  • Objective Scientist Sep 1, 2:15 p.m.

    With regard to the "over the top" Clowney hyperbole... based only on everything I saw, read, heard, etc. I would have thought that Clowney was a "superhuman" creature created by a merging of the DNA of Julius Peppers, Lawrence Taylor, Dick Butkus, Superman, Batman, etc., etc., etc. The hype / hyperbole in the world of sport today (other areas too!) is truly incredible and... produces unbelievable - and I mean truly UNBELIEVABLE in the sense that it is truly not logical - rhetoric about players and teams. It seems the major - THE MAJOR - event that was the catalyst for the Clowney hyperbole was "the hit" that we've seen how many thousands of times now? Consider this... if the running back's helmet had NOT come off - would that have made a differnence? IMO - yes it would have. Without the helmet "popping off" it would have been a great defensive play - absolutely a great play! But I do not believe for a moment that the hype would have reached the lofty level it did if the helmet had stayed on the running back's head!!! In what way did the helmet coming off make that a "greater play"? It likely was caused by a "perfect" confluence of a specific set of circumstances that had little to nothing to do with Clowney's abilities... as good as they may be (although general conditioning does not appear to be as good as thought?). With regard to today's media hyperbole, and all the "trash-smack" talking that goes on - in decades of playing, coaching, and observing as a fan many athletes over decades - IMO, no athlete has ever been as good as the hyperbole would lead one to believe he is. Fedora had to "prepare" for Clowney, but I certainly hope he did not "overemphasis" Clowney in his preparation!

  • Hokies94 Aug 30, 8:44 p.m.

    I saw a light blue Ram running with his tail between his legs going north on I77 with a rooster... View More

    — Posted by jdupree

    Funny one. I have tried to catch up since this afternoon. I will say that South Carolina doesn... View More

    — Posted by Hokies94

    a.

    FUnny you say that. I was watching the game last night and thought I was watching a State... View More

    — Posted by rduguyhere

    I hear you. First games is all about teaching players. USC has more talent vs UNC. It showed early. USC didn't impress me because they aren't in shape. They have great speed on both sides of the ball though.

  • chivegas Aug 30, 8:20 p.m.

    My brother was talking to a State fan neighbor of his earlier today. All he did was talk about... View More

    — Posted by rduguyhere

    To be fair, Carolina was the first top-10 ranked team the CHeats have played since 2005 (according to the announcers last night). None of the teams in this State can really boast the World's toughest schedule (well, except maybe App State).

  • BreakingBaaahd Aug 30, 8:01 p.m.

    While I wouldn't give Fedora an "A" for his coaching last night, the man is on the... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    Agreed. Tudor has lost it. Not sure you can give a coach a D when the other team is so physically superior. USC looked like an NFL bench when they were off the field with the helmets off.

  • bigfella Aug 30, 7:30 p.m.

    Poor tackling , a carryover from last year and questionable play calling for the Heels last night

  • rduguyhere Aug 30, 7:28 p.m.

    a.

    I saw a light blue Ram running with his tail between his legs going north on I77 with a rooster... View More

    — Posted by jdupree

    Funny one. I have tried to catch up since this afternoon. I will say that South Carolina doesn... View More

    — Posted by Hokies94

    FUnny you say that. I was watching the game last night and thought I was watching a State game. I kept hearing farm animals in the background.

  • rduguyhere Aug 30, 7:27 p.m.

    My brother was talking to a State fan neighbor of his earlier today. All he did was talk about Carolina and how bad they are, etc. My brother asked the neighbor who his team was playing tomorrow. The State fan said he couldn't remember. Honestly. He said that. He LOLed.

  • Hokies94 Aug 30, 6:48 p.m.

    I saw a light blue Ram running with his tail between his legs going north on I77 with a rooster... View More

    — Posted by jdupree

    Funny one. I have tried to catch up since this afternoon. I will say that South Carolina doesn't have the energy nor the physical conditioning to hang long with the teams from the SEC.

  • Over at the hill Aug 30, 6:42 p.m.

    Play calling lacked aggression all night. That also was a key factor. Playing conservatively to... View More

    — Posted by raleighboy524

    Like... going for it on 4th and 12? Yep, that's conservative alright. ;)

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    USC's defense made unc look conservative--their razzle had no dazzle

  • Over at the hill Aug 30, 6:39 p.m.

    Renner is over-rated plain and simple!!!!!!!

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