UNC Football Positional Grades vs. San Diego State

5 of 5

When you have a raucous home crowd, it should be easy to get fired up and be ready to play. The fact that the Heels were flat reflects very poorly on Coach Larry Fedora. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Coaching: D

Okay, so the Heels were flat and played poorly against Liberty.  They should have been raring to go and beat San Diego State, and excited to show how they are better than they were last week.  They weren’t.  While some of this obviously is on the players, this also reflects very badly on Larry Fedora.

I also didn’t like some of Fedora’s and co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer’s calls.  In the last quarter, the Heels had the ball at San Diego State’s 14 yard line and a 1-point lead.  If they had scored a touchdown, they essentially would have put the game away.  They gained nine yards on the first two plays, bringing up a third and one from the five.

Rather than running up the middle to get a first down, the Tar Heels threw a receiver screen that lost yards.  Carolina kicked a field goal, and gave SDSU a chance to win the game.  If Carolina gets a first down, they run more clock and get three more chances to score a touchdown.

There was also a play in the first quarter I really didn’t like.  UNC had the ball at the San Diego State 42 on third and seven.  Marquise Williams ran the ball, and was stopped well short of the first down marker.  Carolina punted the ball and squandered a good opportunity.

I don’t understand why North Carolina didn’t throw the ball down field and try to pick up the first through the air.  Williams is a good athlete but it’s hard to ask your quarterback to pick up seven yards on third down.  Besides, if Williams had thrown an incomplete pass or been sacked, it would have just resulted in a Tar Heel punt anyway.

Overall, it was a very disappointing game.  Carolina won, but I didn’t feel good about it.  And I can’t say that I’m surprised that the Heels fell out of the AP top 25.  If you have two lackluster games in a row, that’s not a fluke.  That’s the beginnings of a trend.

Carolina doesn’t play until September 20th, so they should have enough time to get ready to reverse the trend against East Carolina.  If they play like they have the last two weeks, they will be embarrassed by the Pirates for the second straight year.   Let’s hope they come out ready to prove that they are better than they’ve shown.