In a game that was expected to be one sided in favor of the North Carolina Tar Heels, things never went as planed for Coach Fedora’s team.
Right out of the gate the ECU Pirates drove the ball down the field and immediately scored to get the early advantage. They would score yet another touchdown on a seven yard pass to Lance Ray before the first quarter would end and North Carolina would finally put up points of their own.
On what looked like a touchdown scoring drive, the Tar Heels would have to settle for a field goal after being called on a questionable illegal block eliminating that touchdown. East Carolina got a lucky break on the penalty considering Caleb Peterson never even made contact with the ECU defender.
Bryn Renner never could get the offense rolling for North Carolina early on. In fact the first touchdown pass for North Carolina wouldn’t even come from the senior quarterback. TJ Thorpe would score the 32 yard pass touchdown after a pass from fellow wide receiver Quinshad Davis via the hand-off.
In the second half, North Carolina picked the pace up slightly but it just wasn’t enough. The defense struggled to stop ECU’s offense led by Shane Carden who threw for 376 yards and scored three passing touchdowns (he also had three rushing touchdowns). The defense allowed ECU to have over 600 yards on offense.
Penalties yet again bit North Carolina hard. The Tar Heels had nine penalties for a staggering 94 yards. Yet only three penalties were called the entire game against the Pirates.
Coach Fedora and staff have their work cut out for them. Virginia Tech and No. 15 Miami are next up for the Tar Heels. At least Miami will be visiting Chapel Hill, but the trip to Blacksburg could be ugly.