Search Party: Where is the North Carolina defense?


Two games have come and gone already in the 2013 college football season for the North Carolina Tar Heels and the performance on field has not be spectacular by any means. Sure the Tar Heels produced over five-hundred yards on offense, but even the offense was nothing to brag about.

Sep 7, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels safety Tre Boston (10) defends Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders wide receiver Christian Collis (81) at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

However, in both games this season thus far, the North Carolina defense has appeared to be non existent. So it’s time to gather up as a group and begin the search party to find where they were left.

The entire defensive squad is missing as a hole, but somewhere the secondary is still far behind the defensive line. The defensive line cannot block against the run, rush the quarterback, or even put pressure on the quarterback. Meanwhile, our secondary just leaves the opposing wide receivers wide open. Not just often, but almost every single play. The result when they rarely actually had the receivers covered resulted in interceptions.

With all of this talent UNC has on defense, why are they playing so terrible? Most of these players were not recruited by Larry Fedora to fit in Fedora’s defensive scheme, still these are talented and smart players and should be showing improvement each game. Instead it seems since last season they just continue to get worse. That’s bad news for North Carolina who has a tough schedule this year that started with then No. 6 South Carolina because these teams they gave them trouble last season and other teams are watching and taking notes. All it takes at this point is a strong quarterback with smart receivers because they’ll be left wide open and given many opportunities.

These holes and issues with Fedora’s defense are being so well noted, that Middle Tennessee actually had a decent chance at stunning the Tar Heels Saturday (performance wise) up until the fourth quarter despite what the points had shown.

Right after kicking the ball off to start the game the defense let Middle Tennessee State in a rather quick fashion into the red zone. Then out of no where, they woke up as Tre Boston intercepted the ball in the end zone to stop the dominating first drive from the Blue Raiders.

To start the the third quarter, North Carolina did just the same thing as the first quarter except that Middle Tennessee actually found the end zone to put some points on the scoreboard.

The Blue Raiders offense luckily for North Carolina could never pick up to take advantage of the wide open receivers that UNC had left for them. However, anytime the ball was handed off for a run, it was off to the races. North Carolina’s front seven could not contain the running game. North Carolina gave up a decent amount of yards against the run, something that was noted last season as well.

Obviously the defense wasn’t left in Columbia because it didn’t show up there. So somewhere deep in the notebook, Fedora and his coaches must sit down and figure things out. If not, this season could be uglier than North Carolina and their fans expected.